The Edge Chronicles: Clash of the Sky Galleons
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Ages 12 and up
Random House (UK), 2006, 0-385-60721-0
Though Quint is happy to be sailing across the sky in his father’s sky ship, the Galerider, he is worried. Indeed the entire crew is worried, for Captain Wind Jackal seems to be bent on a mad, dangerous, and wild quest to track down and destroy his old quartermaster, Turbot Smeal. Many years ago Smeal burned down Wind Jackal’s home killing his entire family except for Quint. Everyone thought that Smeal was long dead but now he is back and taunting Wind Jackal, enticing him to meet in dangerous places where monsters lurk.
Thankfully Wind Jackal can be coaxed back to sense and he manages to find work. Admittedly the jobs are not going to be an easy but at least the captain will be able to pay his bills if all goes well. Soon enough the Galerider is repaired and is heading for the Deepwoods to deliver a load of candle wax to the Great Shryke Slave Market. After that the crew has to find and bring back a load of bloodoak timber – the best timber there is for building sky ships.
The journey is hazardous and some of the crew doesn’t survive. Two new people join the Galerider though - a young banderbear called Hubble and Thaw Daggerslash. Everyone likes the ambitious young man well enough except Spillins the oakelf who senses that there is something wrong with Thaw.
As Captain Wind Jackal battles with storms and his own demons, and as the crew work together to bring their load of bloodoak timber back to Undertown, League leaders in the town scheme and plot to find a way to destroy the sky pirates and their hold on airborne commerce. Two of these leaguesmen in particular seem bent on taking all the power on the Edge into their own grasping hands, no matter what the cost might be.
In this third book in the Quint sequence, Quint and his friend Maris do their best to support and help Wind Jackal, hoping that his madness will eventually burn itself out before too much damage is done. Quint cannot help loving his father’s ship and the feelings he experiences as they sail across the sky, but he is sickened by many of the things he sees and there is always that dream that one day he might be able to return to Sanctaphrax to complete his education.
This gripping, sometimes disturbing story will resonate well with readers who dream of great quests, high adventure, and big dreams.
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