Monday, June 16, 2014

Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms #1) by Brandon Mull

From Goodreads:  "Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level. 

After Cole sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath the haunted house, he dives in after them; and ends up in The Outskirts. The Outskirts are made up of five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. It's an in-between place. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from our world, or from other worlds. 

And once you come to the Outskirts, it's very hard to leave. 

With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it's up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home; before his existence is forgotten."

The Five Kingdoms begins as Cole's journey to find his friends within The Outskirts.  I liked Cole's qualities as the hero of the story, brave and at the same time somewhat reckless. Cole makes the choice to go after his friends, I mean he didn't really have to, but he feels responsible for them ending up getting captured. Soon after coming to The Outskirts, Cole ends up a slave himself and is sold to a group of Sky Raiders.  On the Brink the Sky Raiders try to take treasures from floating castles.  It's here that Cole meets Mira and Jace, each with their own mysteries to hide.  I found Jace's character to be the most interesting, he's strong and confident and puts people in their place. Mira was the most elusive, her story hasn't been fully explained yet.  Mira has the power to shape things to resemble living things or renderings of non living things.  This is where some of the magical qualities of the book come into play.  Mull gives Mira the ability to "shape,"  so she can create special weapons or objects like jumping swords and golden ropes.  I have a feeling that the Mira will be fleshed out more in the next stories.   

My only down side of the book was the world within The Five Kingdoms felt kind of confusing.  The Outskirts are made of five kingdoms and there were cities like Skyport, Junction City mentioned, but it was somewhat difficult to visualize where things were in relation to each other.  Giving the Outskirts the qualities of lying "between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death.  It's an in-between place," It kind of feels that way too.   I agree with Mrs. Yingling, a map would have been nice as the world does sound like it has lots of potential.   The Five Kingdoms slightly reminded me of The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, with its sky pirates theme, but the Edge Chronicles has wonderful illustrations that bring the world to life.    

This quote from the book sums up the story "you have many knots to untie, but you wont unravel them all today."  I nice beginning to a new fantasy adventure story by Brandon Mull.  


  1. I read this too and liked it. I agree about the world building too. Looking forward to the rest of this series.

    1. We are fans of Fabelhaven and I enjoyed Beyonders, have yet to read Candy Shop War, but I kind of thought we would enjoy this one. I just wish they were a smidge shorter, I have such a terrible time committing to a long book these days.