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The Last of the Sky Pirates: Edge Chronicles #5    by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell order for
Last of the Sky Pirates
by Paul Stewart
Order:  USA  Can
David Fickling Books, 2005 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

A pestilence, the 'Stone Sickness' killed many inhabitants on Earth and in the Sky. The old Sanctaphrax is lost. The Most High Academe, Vox Verlix, has created the Tower of Night, built with piked gates and barred windows, and strongly armed against attack. The leadership of the gruesome Guardians of Night is taken over by the unscrupulous Orbix Xaxis. Sky flight in Sanctaphrax and Undertown is forbidden. The Librarian Academics have fled to the underground sewers of Undertown, the bustling, main metropolis of the Edgeworld, and have formed the Great Storm Chamber Library.

Rook Barkwater was four years old when he witnessed slavers capture his parents. Rook was rescued by Varis Lodd, the finest librarian knight, and has lived as an under-librarian, studying precious barkscrolls and treatises, which so many earth scholars died to protect. He's chosen with Magda and Stob, to be a librarian knight, and the three apprentices are sent to attend Lake Landing Academy, and to 'explore the mysteries of the world'. Once there, they're taught to build and fly Skycraft. After graduation, they set out to gather information for their chosen treatise. Rook studies the yodeling Banderbears, mighty warriors, and loyal friends. Rook's journeys eventually take him to the Tower of Night's dungeons. He wonders about the possibility of refurbishing the old sky ship, the Sky Raider, once piloted by the famous Captain Twig, to attack the Tower and save the prisoners ...

I highly recommend this fifth in the series. The Last of the Sky Pirates is filled with new friendships, reunions, joyful and sad events. It tells of changes and forging ahead, betrayal and loyalty, old and new worlds, and survival. And I've loved the Banderbears since the inception of the series!

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