Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Edge Chronicles The Last of the Sky Pirates

The Edge Chronicles The Last of the Sky Pirates

Paul Stewart
Illustrator:   Chris Riddell 
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Random House UK, 2014   ISBN: 978-0552569699

Rook Barkwater dreams of being able to live in the world above the sewers where he has spent most of his life. Rook is one of the Librarian Academics who have been forced to live in the sewers beneath Undertown for many years. Above ground the Guardians of the Night rule over the Edge. With the help of the powerful and highly dangerous shrykes they control the land, killing many and enslaving even more. It is a dark time in the history of the edge.

Rook is resigned to the fact that he, an orphan, will never be allowed to venture about ground to become a librarian knight, to fight against the enemies of his people and to protect his community. Then something extraordinary happens, Rook is chosen to be trained to become a librarian knight. The boy can hardly believe his good fortune and before he has really had a chance to take in what has happened to him he and two other apprentices are off on one of the most dangerous journeys of their lives; Rook and the other young people chosen to be apprentices must travel to the Free Glades, a place where they can learn and train in peace and safety. Unfortunately they must travel down the dangerous Great Mire Road, through the Twilight Woods and the Eastern Roost, and across a large area of the Deepwoods before they will get to the Free Glades.

Ill luck seems to follow the three apprentices as the travel through the territories of their enemies, and again and again Rook, Magda, and Stob have to deal with terrifying and highly dangerous situations. With the help of others they finally make it to their destination and their training begins.

When Rook completes his training and begins his first assignment which is to write a treatise about banderbears, he discovers all sorts of things about himself and about the history of his land. He comes to realize that he has to do all he can to help protect his people and to save his world from the Guardians of the night and their allies.