Adam Bourke's Reviews > The Last of the Sky Pirates

The Last of the Sky Pirates by Paul Stewart
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Jul 17, 11

bookshelves: childrens, fantasy

I've been a little busy this weekend, so rather than rush through a book and not give it a fair chance I decided to write a review of a book I'd already read. This is one that I particularly like, so I thought I'd share it. It's not the first in the Edge Chronicles, but is the first of the books following Rook Barkwater, and the first one I read.

One of the main reasons that I like it so much is the complexity of the world it's set in - particularly with the breadth of life forms. Many fantasy books have two or three species other than humans, but this series has many more than that. From Waifs, little psychic elves, to Shyrkes and Banderbears. There are tens of different sentient species, and all of them are quite distinct. There are few other fantasy series that boast a culture as varied as this one. Not to mention the unique technology that they use - much of it based on flight. It's imaginitive and exciting.

Then there are the characters. Rook Barkwater, is an inquisitve, bookish type - who dreams of visiting the Deepwoods and being an explorer of the fantastic world he's read about. He's easy to identify with, and as such it's easy to read. But there are many other characters which together make the world a rich and detailed place. But many of the characters have storylines that span between the three trilogies (and one final, standalone book), which links the whole series extremely well, weaving a complex tapestry that t the same time is intuitive to understand - it has to be, to allow younger readers to read it.

More technically speaking, the writing is fairly simple. There isn't any particularly difficult to read bits, and so it makes it easy to read. So it's a good series for entertainment when tired, or ill, for example. The writing is enhanced greatly by the illustrations - the unique style of which almost defines the Edge Chronicles. They help to diversify the Edge with their portrayal of the various species, while remaining unobtrusive to the reading experience.

I chose to review The Last of the Sky Pirates because it exemplifies something that I strongly believe in - that "Children's Books" can be just as good as "Adult Books". This particular one is generally found under the 8-12 year old section, but I read it at a later age, and still enjoy it today. It's an exceptional book, a good one to start the series with, and I recommend it to anyone, of any age.
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