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Sky Raiders

(Five Kingdoms #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  17,283 ratings  ·  1,420 reviews
On Halloween below a haunted house, Cole Randolph wanted to have fun (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But he dives after friends whisked away to The Outskirts.

The five kingdoms lie in between - wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from other worlds.

And once people are in
ebook, 432 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Aladdin (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  17,283 ratings  ·  1,420 reviews

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Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love Brandon Mull's Fablehaven and Beyonders series, so while I was extremely excited to read this new series, I was also a little afraid that there was NO WAY Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders could entice me the way the others had. Well, my fears were completely unfounded--I loved it! Mull has a talent for imagining unique and complex worlds--he has a fantastic imagination. That being said, he also has a strange talent for creating increasingly unique ways for his heroes to enter these ...more
I'm upset that I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as I did Fablehaven and Beyonders. With both of those series, I fell in love with the first book and couldn't wait for the next. With Sky Raiders, while its not bad, I'm not hooked either.

I think maybe its because I got pretty interested in the whole sky castle part with Cole working there. When it changed so quickly into the journey with Mira, I just couldn't find myself enjoying the rest of the book. I was still hanging onto wanting to kn
Mary Grace Nakao
Before anyone will start bashing me (for all the right reasons) for rating this book without actually reading it yet, hear me out first okay?


I just really want to point out that as much as I love the Beyonders series, the last book from that particular series failed me. Miserably (thats probably because I was expecting a lot from it. PPS: add to the fact that I ship Rachel and Jason PPPS: (view spoiler)
✨ Aaron Jeffery ✨
A little bit of action that didn't last long.
Only liked one character. #twitch
May 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved parts of this fantasy adventure. It has a Harry Potter/Percy Jackson feeling, but some of the elements are original and creative. Unfortunately, my favorite parts--the adventures that Cole has in the cloud castles as a Sky Raider--are short lived and last only a few chapters. The settings and character purposes change so much that it was hard to connect with the story. There's also a lot of "Cole sits down and listens to another character explain something" chapters, and while I like get ...more
Shay McClean
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(review based on the first 100 pages). What you can expect: a Halloween haunted house that gets a little too real, a talking smiley-face graffito that just wants you to have a better day, and floating cloud castles that may or may not be inhabited by such creatures as giant armored centipede monster insects that may or may not wish to eat your face.

I don't have any idea where he comes up with this stuff, but in my book Brandon Mull is the best middle grade fantasy writer working today. It's lik
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was a good book for young teens. It is very adventurous and always has you on a cliffhanger. Cole is trying to help his friends that got taken from there world and now he is trying to find them. He finds someone else very important on his way and then things start to twist.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Not a bad book by any means, just was not the adventure book for me. Liked some parts of it, like the friendship but overall I wasn't invested in the story ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't normally review books until I've finished, and I'll come back and update this review and I reserve the right to change my rating. But I will say this - it wasn't very many pages in before I knew that I would have to read every book in this series to find out what happens. That's because it begins with an entire group of a dozen or so children being kidnapped and sent through a portal to an entirely different world from which they seem to have no hope of escape. As I write this, I'm only ...more
Addy S.
2 & 1/2 stars

Definitely have mixed feelings on this one. This is a younger grade book, definitely not YA, so I think it was a little too young for me.

The adventure was pretty fun to read, but it was just all over the place and some of it was just not realistic. I couldn’t really picture things in my head easily at all. :(

A few parts about crushes, but nothing much at all.

Violence was very minimal with some fighting but nothing gory.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment for me. ;)

Recommended for:
I like the premise of the Five Kingdoms: five realms of different magical systems and different technologies. This book takes place in a kingdom based around dreams. It's very imaginative; Brandon Mull has a very creative imagination.

The beginning of the book is actually pretty creepy and scary. Then it moves from setting to setting, situation to situation, so you never quite know where it's going. It's full of high adventure that will appeal to fantasy fans of all ages.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mg, 2016, mlm, mg-fantasy
Brandon Mull never disappoints. Sky raiders is an extremely creative story that just takes off and never stops. Between castles in the sky and giant cookies this is a fantastic world that was created. Will be reading the second book shortly.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brandon mull and his magic systems. It is fascinating. The characters are well put together. Story is simple but interesting. Magic system is good but there are more to be explained. It's a good start. ...more
Cori Reed
Better than Fablehaven but not as good as Beyonders (imo, obviously!)
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
the theme is friendship
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brandon Mull never cease to amaze me with his storytelling. I have read almost everything by him and have yet to be disappointed. Sky Raiders the first in a five book series did an amazing job setting up fantastical story arc that will carry out through the series. I am very eager to find out what happens next in the Five Kingdoms. Brandon Mull always has a wonderful and colorful cast of characters and this one is no different. Every character had their own unique quality about them. We also got ...more
Steve Buchanan
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was lots of fun and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Hopefully two more might come out in the next year or so. Cole suggests going to a haunted house on Halloween and then discovers that his friends are captured and being led off somewhere. Only he and one other girl haven't been captured. He feels guilty and goes after the group to rescue them. The girl is going to try to get out of the house and go for help. Cole discovers his friends are in cages and are now going to be sla ...more
Christie Powell
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
I would have liked this book better if I didn't love the beginning so much. I really enjoyed the idea, set up, and characters, though they did seem to act older than their age. I liked the detail of the world, and I really liked the Sky Raiders part--it had excitement without being too fast paced, logical goals and sequencing yet with room for spontaneity, both plot and character development. Then the characters went off on the usual high-paced adventure with more characters than I can keep trac ...more
Jeff Wheeler
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of everything Brandon Mull writes and recently started on the Five Kingdoms series. His books are full of humor (especially teenage comebacks), tension, and interesting plots. I liked Fablehaven better than this, but this was better than Beyonders in my opinion. The story is about some kids who get abducted into a magical world. The lead character, Cole, carries his own and we start learning about his new normal and new career. As with most Brandon books, the tension kept me reading an ...more
Lou Anders
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my first time reading Brandon Mull. I was very impressed with the complexity of his world building and of the depth of his characters. I was particuarly impressed with how imaginative the world of the Outskirts is and the way he managed to include some fascinating "SFnal" concepts into the book without sacrificing pace or accessibility. I gave the book to my son before I had finished it. He overtook me and finished first. He's now on book two. Recommended. ...more
Sophie Nora
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was great! Definitely one I would read again.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! The fantasy book Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders By Brandon Mull is an astonishingly good book! The book brought me from modern Earth to another world in a different dimension where clouds spew floating castles and people can make a portal to a practically anywhere. Also, Brandon Mull, the author, has written 14 #1 New York Times Bestseller and has his books published in over 30 different languages.

This book has very lovable and interesting characters ranging from a normal 13-year-old to a craz
Sydney Jacques
3.5 (ish) stars. This was actually pretty good, but so weird. Yeah, it was kind of bordering unbelievable in the magic system, but maybe it was unique, I don't know. The characters were fun but did seem kind of cookie-cutter, like I've read about them in 89% of other fantasy books.

On a brighter note, I absolutely loved the whole shawl thing. It cracked me up to imagine Cole going out to fight these horrifying creatures armored in... a shawl. Priceless. And so much wit from him and Jace
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2021
DNF at 60%
This one just isn’t for me... I like the idea, but can’t get myself to care for any of it
Kat!e Larson
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Truly imaginative and fun. This book is a wild adventure with dreamlike magic that would appeal to any kid (who doesn’t want giant cookies and flying swords?)

Side note, I really want a Sky Raiders video game. Not with the plot of this book, just the concept of the sky castles and the team of raiders. You get captured as a slave and can choose between rising in the ranks and eventually becoming the leader or leading a revolt and escaping. Somebody make this.
Prince William Public Libraries
The first installment in the Five Kingdoms series. Great book for those who want a high action book with lots of danger. Left me wanting more.

-Caleb Y., PWPLS Teen Summer Reader

Click here to find the book at the Prince William County Public Library System.

May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I loved Mull's Fablehaven series but wasn't a huge fan of his Beyonders series. I really really enjoyed this first book in his new Five Kingdoms series. This is the first book out of five planned books for this series. The 2nd book in the series will be titled The Rogue Knight and is scheduled for an October 2014 release.

Cole ends up at a creepy Halloween party with some friends. Then things get really strange, Cole and his fri
Jack C.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Sky Raiders, book 1 of 5 in the series Five kingdoms by Brandon Mull, is a book about a boy named Cole Randolph who goes to another world called the Outskirts because he is trying to free his kidnapped friends. He ends up getting captured by the slavers too and they sell him to a kingdom called Sambria where he works as a Sky Raider. While working as a Sky Raider, he meets a girl named Mira who is actually the High Kings daughter. As soon as he finds out her true identity, Mira
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
While a nice pleasant read this second take on the whole traveling to another dimension was once again rather rote and predictable. It lacked the spirit and fun found in the Fablehaven series that made it so enjoyable. Another point against Sky Raiders is the characters.
While all of them have potential to be great,flawed,interesting additions to the story none of them actually came alive.While Jace came the closest he still lacked the je ne sais quois that makes me give a f**k .Cole dripped
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Brandon Mull Fan ...: Five Kingdoms 2 5 Dec 21, 2020 09:25PM  
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Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy S ...more

Other books in the series

Five Kingdoms (5 books)
  • The Rogue Knight (Five Kingdoms, #2)
  • Crystal Keepers (Five Kingdoms, #3)
  • Death Weavers (Five Kingdoms, #4)
  • Time Jumpers (Five Kingdoms, #5)

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