One dark night on the island of Great Saltee, fourteen-year-old Conor is framed for a terrible crime he didn't commit. Thrown into prison by the dastardly Hugo Bonvilain, Conor is trapped in a sea swept dungeon and branded a traitor. He must escape and clear his name; he wants his old life back - his family, his friends...and his princess. Conor ...
One dark night on the island of Great Saltee, fourteen-year-old Conor is framed for a terrible crime he didn't commit. Thrown into prison by the dastardly Hugo Bonvilain, Conor is trapped in a sea swept dungeon and branded a traitor. He must escape and clear his name; he wants his old life back - his family, his friends...and his princess. Conor knows there is only one way out. It's an impossible task, which has never been done before. But Conor is determined to do it. He'll have to fly. Swashbuckling new fiction from the amazing Eoin Colfer, ideal for readers aged 11+.
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(the following summery was taken from fantasticfiction.co.uk)
"Conor Broekhart was born to fly. In fact, legend has it that he was born flying in a hot air balloon at the world's fair. In the 1890's Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king's daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boy's idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a conspiracy to overthrow the king. When Conor tries to expose the plot, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions. There is only one way to escape Little Saltee, and that is to fly. So he passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines into the prison walls. The months turn into years, but eventually the day comes when Conor must find the courage to trust his revolutionary designs and take to the skies."
The constant plot twists and double-dealing on the villain's end makes this a real page turner, and the ending is as "happy" and completely satisfying as they come. Thumbs up to Mr. Cofer, for turning out such a great story.
One drawback and/or caution. Distasteful as it may be, Colfer did include a few scenes where the characters used the Lord's name in vain.
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