Sky Thieves by Dan Walker


Today’s post is a review of a children’s book which is not something I do very often! Sky Thieves is a debut novel and the first in a series by Dan Walker who, being Nottinghamshire based, is a local author to me. Sky Thieves is an adventure story which is aimed at readers aged nine years old and over and it is a story which promised heroes, villains and plenty of action so I was interested in finding out more!

The protagonist is Zoya Delarose, a young girl who has spent her childhood living in an orphanage. And as the story begins with her sneaking into an office to retrieve a confiscated locket we quickly learn that Zoya is something of a rebel, someone who has found herself in trouble on numerous occasions with orphanage owner Mr Whycherley. There were some wonderful character descriptions in this book with Mr Whycherley being described as a ‘tall man with an unkempt forest of chestnut hair, giving him the perpetual look of someone who’d just escaped a hurricane.’ Zoya’s respect for this man, the person she trusts the most, means she reluctantly attends an outing with some of the younger children, one which incorporates her fascination with airships. But on her return she finds that everything has changed, and Zoya is left shocked, and on the brink of a remarkable adventure. She finds herself aboard a skyship, with no idea how she came to be there, and who had taken her. She is left to question why she has been taken, and what her future holds.

I quickly warmed to Zoya in the opening pages, a loyal and courageous girl with dreams of flying in skyships and of living the stories most precious to her. But unbeknownst to Zoya her dreams soon become closer to reality. The early events at the orphanage were an intriguing start to her story which left plenty of questions to be answered and kept my interest. And once Zoya is aboard the ship there is plenty  of adventure and fascinating characters to discover as Zoya finds herself part of a new world, one in which she also finds out about her past. The chapters are short and concise which I found resulted in a well paced story which would appeal to readers young and old in which we meet friends and enemies and come across flying ships, pirates, sword fights and much more. I also enjoyed the character development and the interactions between them as Zoya settles into her new and extraordinary life aboard ‘the Dragonfly’. All in all, this was an enjoyable read with fascinating characters and plenty of adventure to keep younger readers interested.

Sky Thieves is an exciting adventure story set in an imaginative world in which we meet a vibrant cast of characters as they take to the skies. And the adventure is to continue as the next in the series, Desert Thieves, will be published next month!

Sky Thieves was published on 6th April 2017 by Oxford University Press. Many thanks to Dan Walker and Oxford University Press for providing a copy for review.

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