Sky Pirates: The Dragon's Gold
by Alex English
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 5 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 6 Aug 2021
Simon and Schuster UK Children's, Simon & Schuster Children's UK
Echo Quickthorn has been reunited with her sky-pirate mother, Indigo Lil, and is now a fully-fledged member of the Black Sky Wolves. So when Lil is summoned to the Alliance of the Seven Skies, Echo decides to sneak along with her friend Horace. There, Horace is captured by the dastardly Thunder Sharks, a rival pirate clan, who present Echo with an ultimatum: they’ll release her friend in exchange for the legendary dragon’s gold ...
Echo must journey – through underwater libraries and active volcanoes – to the inhospitable Dragonlands, in order to find the dragon’s lair. But can she find the treasure and prove herself to be a true-sky pirate?
Praise for SKY PIRATES: Echo Quickthorn and the Great Beyond:
"Strap yourselves in for an exhilarating ride!" – Daily Mail
"Fizzes with magic and wonder" – Abi Elphinstone, author of SKY SONG
"A charmingly madcap adventure, with endearing friendships, sparkling wit, and a swashbuckling journey across pirate-infested skies. I loved it. Perfect for fans of Nevermoor and Cogheart." – Hana Tooke, author of THE UNADOPTABLES
“A spirited protagonist, a charming side-kick and a believable villain come together in this tightly plotted, visual, treat for the senses. I want to soar over the rainbow rooftops of Port Tourbillon and the toadstooled forests of Tyrian in my very own airship.” – Nizrana Farook, author of THE GIRL WHO STOLE AN ELEPHANT
“Sky Pirates is a fast-moving adventure story full of intrepid explorers, ingenious inventors, stolen treasure and mysterious undiscovered lands. If you like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (and who doesn't?) you'll love Sky Pirates too!” – Kirsty Applebaum, author of THE MIDDLER
"From the very first page, I felt as if I'd been grabbed by the hand by a best friend and taken on the journey of a lifetime. Pacey, thrilling and endearing too. If I was ever to encounter sky pirates, I can think of no one I'd want by my side more than clever, brave Echo." – Joanna Nadin, author of the RACHEL RILEY series
“A breath-taking adventure and a wonderfully imagined story of friendship and danger in strange places.” – Claire Fayers, author of THE VOYAGE TO MAGICAL NORTH
"An incredible adventure, brimming with friendship and danger" – The Bookseller
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 18 members
The first title in this series, Sky Pirates: Echo Quickthorn and the Great Beyond, was a book I very much enjoyed reading last year – a fabulous story packed with adventure, gente humour and – of course – sky pirates, so when I saw its sequel up for request on Net Galley I was desperate to read it, and thrilled to be approved – bumping it straight to the top of my TBR pile. Expecting more of the pirate airships, mechanical messenger pigeons and exciting exploits that I adored first time round, with the added bonuses of treasure and a dragon, this is a cracking tale for fans of fantasy and adventure and one which left me keenly anticipating the next in the sequence. For anyone who has not yet read the first title, fear not – this works perfectly well as a standalone read and picks up after the events of that book when we were introduced to heroine Echo, best friend Horace and Echo’s mother Lil, captain of the Black Sky Wolves gang of pirates. We are reintroduced to Echo as she looks for buried treasure, failing dismally in her efforts. Thoughts of her disappointment are cast aside by the arrival of Horace on a passenger airship though and she is thrilled when he tells her that she looks like a pirate should. Telling her friend that she has yet to be given her cutlass and tricorne hat, she wonders just why she has yet to receive them, especially when one of the crew who is younger than she is has gained hers – something that annoys her further when she is teased and asked whether she is a pirate or a princess. The following morning, Echo and Horace are surprised by the appearance of a mechanical parrot which delivers a message to them intended for Lil, summoning her to a meeting of the Seven Skies Alliance of different pirate crews. Repeating the message to her mother and crew member Bulkhead, Echo listens to them discuss what it means, only to be told that it does not concern her and Horace. When Echo complains that she is never told anything, Lil tells her that pirates follow their captain’s orders – leading her to believe that her mother doesn’t think she is a real pirate. After Lil is collected to attend the meeting, Lil persuades Horace to accompany her to where it is being held and together they borrow Cloudcatcher – a small flying machine for two and set off in hot pursuit. Without any properly thought-through plan, the pair of them crash land on the snow-covered Shark’s Fin Peak – hideout of the Thunder Sharks – and make their way inside the mountain fortress to overhear the meeting. Here, a message is shared by the assembled pirate leaders, revealing clues to the whereabouts to hidden treasure and the captains all leave hurriedly to attempt to be first to find it. Determined to prove to her mother that she is a true pirate, Echo vows to help her find the treasure before anyone – a perilous journey which will take her to an underwater library and on to a distant volcano, but first she and Horace must find their way off Shark’s Fin Peak – something which looks impossible when they return to Cloudcatcher only to find it damaged beyond repair. How will the two children escape from the Thunder Sharks’ lair? And will they be able to return to Lil and the Black Sky Wolves in time to help them reach the treasure first? Pirates are endlessly fascinating to children – and many adults – and here the rival clans to whom we are introduced are properly piratey but brought bang up-to-date with their technology and gadgetry. There is sufficient swashbuckling and hunting for treasure for this to reflect the traditional role of pirates, but here their airships and the strange flora and fauna of Echo’s world give the series an original feel so that an no point did I feel that this was a rehash of anything else I have read. With her determination to prove herself worthy of the epithet of pirate, Echo is a heroine who is determined to master the necessary skills, but she doubts herself at times which impacts greatly on her behaviour. As in the first book, Echo is still frequently driven by her – often good – intentions but she is still incredibly impulsive and the more timid and introverted Horace is unable to stand up to her to prevent himself being caught up in her schemes. Time and time again, Echo at the very least distorts the truth when she involves him in her plans and it will be interesting to see whether this continues in the rest of the series, or whether he will finally have enough and stand up to her. I for one hope that he does. As with the first title, the book is enhanced by the fabulous illustrations of Mark Chambers throughout the story which will attract a great many younger readers. At just under 300 pages long the pictures and not overlong chapters will go a long way to tempting those children who are gaining in confidence in their reading and who are ready to move on from shorter chapter books. Most of my Year 5s would love this, as would some of the Year 4s – although for some of them I would suggest this might be more suitable as a shared read. As yet, I have been unable to find any information about a third title in the sequence, but will most definitely be keeping an eye open for it as although the book does not end on a cliffhanger as such, there are many unanswered questions and I am now desperate to see what will happen to Echo, Horace and Lil next. As always, enormous thanks must go to Simon and Schuster Children’s UK and Net Galley for my advance read ahead of publication on August 5th. A swashbucklingly glorious 5 out of 5 stars.
Echo is back in another exciting adventure but this time she has a home and her mother with her. Becoming a Black Sky wolf is Echo’ dream come true and she is learning plenty while living on the sky ship. Still feeling like she needs to prove something, she looks for any opportunity to shine! . Horace is visiting and while he would love a relaxing holiday, Echo convinces him that they need to follow Lil to a meeting with the other sky pirate captains. Unfortunately for Echo and Horace, they get trapped on an ice mountain belonging to the rebel Sharks crew. How will they get back to the Scarlet Margaret? This adventure is full of dastardly pirates, thrilling action scenes and plenty of moments where Echo needs to prove herself. Horace, ever the voice of reason, tries to talk Echo out of some of her more dangerous ideas and he really gets to her, makes her think about her actions andtheir safety. It was so great to be back with familiar characters and to see where they are and what they are up to since the first book. This book ends in such a way that I can only hope there is a third still to come. I do hope Horace stays involved as well as Gilbert! I love the feeling of home and Echo’s very real uncertainty over her belonging and connection to her mother. This is still a very new relationship for them both and it felt so real as the reader. Horace is so funny and the perfect balance for Echo’s impetuousness. Brilliantly written, I read solidly for hours, not wanting my adventure to end!
What an amazing chapter book! A gripping pirate adventure for confident readers in Key Stage Two. This is the second in the series although this can be a stand alone book. Echo is a young sky pirate, desperate to prove herself to her mum, the captain of the Black Sky Wolves. When she over hears her mums intention to attend a dangerous meeting with the six other pirate crews (the alliance of the Seven Skies) Echo follows her with her friend Horace. She soon finds herself on a frightening adventure to find a treasure map and then a dragon, encountering different tribes of rival pirates along the way. Can she find the cutlass and the gold before the others and safely return to her ship? I loved this imaginative adventure and couldn't stop turning the pages! There were some really clever ideas. I loved the mechanical parrot that delivered messages and then self destructed and the invisible Aethernets (woven by aether spiders from the Caves of Cape Cinnamo) that were used to catch clouds to power the ship. Echo and Horace are both great characters and I was willing them on their quest. This was a brilliantly written book: full of friendship and humour mixed with excitement and trepidation. A great read. My daughter is seven and I know she will love this. I've just bought her the first in the series to read too. There are some fantastic black and white illustrations throughout the book which really capture some of the best moments in the story. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for this eARC. This book will be published on 5th August.
Echo is enjoying life with her mum Indigo Lil and the other Black Sky Wolves. Horace is back in Lockfort but comes to visit in the early stages of the book. Echo is keen to prove herself to her mum and is full of pride when she is taken to get her first cutlass, only to be disappointed by what she receives. Determined to prove to Lil that she is the same as the others, she intercepts a message that arrives for Lil, summoning her to a meeting of the Seven Skies Alliance, a meeting of different pirate crews. Echo passes the message on but also decides that she (and Horace) will sneak along to find out what is happening. What they overhear leads them on a perilous race against the other pirate crews to find the treasure they all seek. But can she make it in time? Sky Pirates: Echo Quickthorn and the Great Beyond is a wonderful book and one I have great affection for as it was the book I chose to read to my Year 6 bubble class last year when we returned to school after lockdown 1. They were utterly gripped and often used to ask me to read to them whilst they ate lunch! It was both my love of the book as well as their reaction that lead me to use it as our Year 6 novel study at the beginning of this year and has been as big a hit with this Year 6 as last year. With that in mind, it was with great excitement that I began reading Sky Pirates: The Dragon's Gold and, I have to say, it was just wonderful to be back with Echo, Gilbert and Horace once again. At the start of the book, it is clear that Echo is happy to finally feel she is where she belongs and she seems settled; however, it quickly becomes apparent that she still has some insecurities that she worries about: why does her mum seem distant at times? Why has she been given her own cutlass yet? Why does she feel that she's not as good as the others? It is these concerns that lead her towards this new adventure and it's here that we see Echo at her best: she is headstrong and determined, fearless (most of the time!) and is driven by her desire to prove herself. Her friendship with Horace has clearly grown, as has Horace (to an extent), although he still prefers to play it safe - much to Echo's frustration! It's great to read the two characters together and to see the way they compliment each other. I think the adventure in this book is even better than in book 1! The perilous journey, the kidnappings, not to mention the inventions (the mechanical parrot, the invisible Aethernets and the most wonderful library) and the daring-do are in full flow. It's a gripping read that you won't want to put down, with themes of friendship, family and loyalty appearing strongly from the start. With illustrations from Mark Chambers again enhancing the story, this is a must-buy book that will keep you enthralled this August when it's released.
It only took a few moments for me to be transported back to the Great Beyond and the exciting world of Echo and the Sky Pirates! When we left Echo at the end of book one, she had just found her mother and was starting a whole new life. Now her days are filled with searching for treasure, exploring a world she never knew existed and learning how to be a proper sky pirate. Some things are going well while others are a complete disaster! Will she ever be good enough? It’s such a relief when her good friend, Horace, comes to visit. Surely, he’ll be able to help. Then Echo’s mother, Lil, is summoned to a meeting of the Seven Skies Alliance – the leaders of all the different pirate crews. Echo decides she’ll go along and prove that she really has what it takes to be a true pirate. Hidden away at the meeting, Echo and Horace overhear secret clues to a hidden treasure. This is her chance – she will find the treasure before any of the other pirates! What follows is an exciting series of mishaps, discovery and danger. Proper piratey peril, daring rescues and having to think on their feet combine to create a story bursting with adventure. Add in all the brilliant mechanical inventions, crazy modes of transportation and threatening creatures and readers will be on the edge of their seats, completely carried away to a world where pirates reign supreme! Thank you to Simon & Schuster Children’s for this brilliant story!
the second in a fantastic swashbuckling series that continues the story of the young Echo as she tries to prove herself a worthy pirate in her mother's crew. When the leader of all seven pirate clans dies, there is a race to find a magical cutlass and Echo is determined to help her mother win, but all of the other clan chiefs want to win, by fair means or foul; in fact they would prefer the latter, as it would show how strong they are. A terrifically fast paced and exciting adventure that is going to build on the success of the first in the series.