Synopses & Reviews
Conor Broekhart was born to fly. In fact, legend has it that he was born flying, in a hot air balloon at the Paris Worlds Fair.
In the 1890s 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 kings daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boys idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, 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 Conor passes the solitary months by scratching drawings of flying machines on 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.
"Colfer's (Artemis Fowl) epic adventure story is winningly voiced by Keating, whose distinctive brogue transports listeners to the remote Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. The narrative begins with hero Conor Broekhart's birth in a hot-air balloon over the 1878 Paris World Fair, showcasing Keating's talent with a French accent, too, as he smoothly slips into the role of Victor Vigny, the aeronautic enthusiast who later becomes Conor's beloved tutor in fencing, fighting and, most importantly, the science of flight. The story turns on Conor's clash with Hugo Bonvilain, the Machiavellian leader of the island kingdom's armed guard, and Keating's sneering characterization gives the villain real menace. Two Americans also feature in the story, and Keating's only bobble here is that these two voices occasionally sound a bit similar, but this is merely a quibble in an otherwise masterly reading of a gripping tale. Ages 10-up. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 12, 2007). (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Eoin Colfer is the New York Times bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series, Half Moon Investigations, The Wish List, and The Supernaturalist. Listen to all of these on audio from Listening Library. Eoin is also the author of Eoin Colfer's Legend of...books, Benny and Omar, and Benny and Babe. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children. Visit his website at www.eoincolfer.com