In a fictional island kingdom off the Irish coast in the 1880’s, young Conor Broekhart leads a charmed life. As the beloved son of the head of King Nicholas’s sharpshooters, Conor is treated like royalty himself. He plays and plots with Princess Isabella, and learns self-defense and aeronautical design at the knee of the king’s best friend and Parisian scientist Victor Vigny. Together, they dream of creating the first heavier-than-air flying machine that will catapult man into the heavens. But all those dreams come to an abrupt end the day teenage Conor accidentally witnesses the double murder of his king and his adored tutor. Framed for the murders by the traitorous commander of the king’s army, Hugo Bonvilain, Conor is condemned to rot in an inescapable prison while his parents and Isabella are led to believe he is dead. At first, Conor wishes that were the case. But slowly, his resolve to escape grows until he fashions an outrageous plan that will either win his freedom or take his life. It is impossible to dig or swim your way off the prison island of Little Saltee. But if Conor’s plan works, he’ll just take to the air and fly…this historically flavored fantasy is pure white-knuckled pleasure from start to finish. Full swash-buckling swordplay, dizzying rescues from great heights and breathtaking escapes, Airman takes off quickly and lands with a satisfying thump. If you enjoy the adventures of Alex Rider, Matt Cruse, or even the clever machinations of Andy Dufresne, the brilliant hero of Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption, then you’re going to want to book a flight with Conor Broekhart.
Airman by Eoin Colfer