Conor Broekhart was born in a hot air-ballon thousands of feet up in the air. That is why his parents believe that he is so fascinated with the sky. It is Conor's life-long dream to fly. Being the son of King Nicholas' most trusted captain, Declan Broekhart, Conor becomes best of friends with Princess Isabella. One day while they are playing on the roof, the king's apartment goes up in flames. Seeing no way down, Conor jumps off the roof with Isabella, using the flag as a parachute. After the incident, Conor becomes one the king's most trusted friends. Once recovered from the accident Conor meets Victor Vigny, an acclaimed aeronaut. Victor is to be his teacher. Together they explore the science of flight, fencing, and many other useful subjects. All is wonderful in Conor's life, until he witnesses the murder of the king and his beloved teacher. The man behind the murder was Marshall Hugo Bonvilain, one of the most treacherous men to live. Bonvilain catches Conor "spying" on him and immediately disguises Conor as a soldier and throws him in jail, blaming him for the murder. Conor is sent to the Little Saltee islands to work in the diamond mines as a slave, with the thought in his mind that everyone he ever loved hates him. In reality everyone thinks that Conor is dead, which is the story that Bonvilain shared with them. Conor soon becomes one of the most powerful inmates on the island and soon realizes the only way to escape the island is to fly. Will Conor get out of Little Saltee alive? Will his dream of flying become a reality?
I had very, very high expectations for this book coming in and for the most part the book met all of them. The first half of the book was confusing to me because the book switches points of view quickly between paragraphs, and I had to take a couple double takes to fully understand who was talking. Once I got used to this though the book was really good. The story was like nothing I've read before and Eoin Colfer did an outstanding job creating the character of Conor. I really felt all of Conor's hardships and was rooting for him to succeed. This is a great rainy-day, curl up under the covers kind of book. I loved how Conor was the main character, but there was the theme of royalty in the background. Eoin Colfer created a great novel that I highly reccomend.
This is another book I decided to use for the Royalty Rules challenge!