Sky-high adventures on an air-ship crewed by Robin Hood style pirates and a life or death battle against an evil nemesis make Dan Walker’s new book a thrilling read from beginning to end.
When we first meet her, our main protagonist orphan Zoya Delarose is in trouble yet again for her rebellious nature; by the end of the second
chapter however, Zoya has been snatched away from the orphanage by the crew of the Dragonfly, a ship full of sky thieves – buccaneers who
rob from the rich to help the poor and, it turns out, former ship-mates of her parents. Yes, the sky thieves are the goodies and the thoroughly
unpleasant baddie is one Lendon Kane, the kind of duplicitous, powermad, avaricious villain that we love to hate. Kane wants what’s round
Zoya’s neck, a locket that opens the door to her parents’ secret treasury in which is hidden the mysterious Algrond Crystal. Before long the
Dragonfly is just the kind of home Zoya has always wanted (and one that readers will envy), one that allows her to climb the mast whenever she needs to escape, and where lessons are in sword fighting not maths. The crew – larger than life characters to a man and woman – quickly become her family and the strong sense of camaraderie marks the book out as much as the action sequences. The air-ship shudders and creaks its way through the air, a tangible creation of ropes, planks and rigging, and an encounter with a meteor shower is particularly vivid.
To adult readers the plot may feel familiar but the vigour of the telling make this something special while young readers will dream of slashing their way through forests and enemies with Zoya.