The Last of the Sky Pirates

The Last of the Sky Pirates

Book - 2005 | 1st American ed
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Rook Barkwater, one of the apprentices chosen to make a dangerous journey to study in the Deepwoods, joins the sky pirate Captain Twig in opposing the Guardians of the Night and learns more about his own past.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : David Fickling Books, [2005], c2002
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 0385750781
038575079X (lib. bdg.)
Branch Call Number: J STEWART
Characteristics: 368 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Riddell, Chris

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Apr 21, 2017

Cool beans

FindingJane Jan 13, 2015

While the Edge world continues to bring new adventures, it seems that Mr. Stewart’s inventiveness may be grinding down a bit. Having explored the land from the Edge itself to Riverrise, there is really nothing left to cover. We are given a trip through the treacherous Deepwoods but that was been done before with the hapless Twig. Here again Mr. Stewart shows a paucity of imagination. Too many florae, faunae, people and objects seem to have the word “wood” as a prefix: woodale, woodsap, woodmoth, woodtroll, woodhog, woodwasp, woodwolf, et al.

Also, while descriptions of the Edge are bountiful, that of people seem a bit lacking. Rook and his travel companions Stob and Magda get along well enough. But there is little or no cohesion or sense of camaraderie amongst them. Rook separates from them too easily, leaving the reader wondering why they were included in the narrative in the first place. When Stob and Magda go off on their separate quests, you really don’t care much. Rook seems more connected to the mysterious banderbears than other people, a mystery that is conveniently elucidated at the end of the book.

This disconnection also plays out with the main protagonists and their immediate families. Time and again in this series, children are often separated from their parents and siblings, either through age, accident or malice. Quintinius lost most of his family except his father, Wind Jackal, who left him in the care of academics at Sanctaphrax to study. When they are reunited, Wind Jackal is killed by a traitorous crew mate. Quintinius has a son named Twig whom he abandoned as a baby with woodtrolls. They are reunited but then Quintinius is lost over the Edge. Twig finds him only to lose him to the Mother Storm. Young Rook lost both his parents as a baby. Mothers fare even worse, dying in fires or getting captured by slavers, e.g.

Decades of literary time pass between the books, reuniting us with older men who have aged into near decrepitude (the series doesn’t concern itself much with aged women) and act as narrators to the younger generation. However, it is a bit annoying for adult readers. You meet a youthful character like Twig, Cowlquape or Screedius Tollinix in one book and, in the next installment, they’re withered old men. Isn’t middle-aged adulthood worth writing about here?

While chronicles of the Edge world continue to absorb, new blood needs to be injected into it somewhere. A good book but nowhere near as creative as its predecessors.

May 03, 2013

I love the plot of this book

Jan 31, 2012

The first in the Rook sequence. It is SO great because it has suspense all the way through. I also like the new skycraft. (I can't tell anyone who is reading it who the last sky pirate is, though.:))


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