Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms) Hardcover – March 11, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
#1 bestselling author of The Inheritance Cycle Christopher Paolini interviews #1 bestselling author Brandon Mull about his new series, Five Kingdoms.
Paolini: What inspired you to write Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders?
Mull: It’s hard for me to pinpoint where my stories come from. I get bored easily so I make up crazy stuff to cope with reality. Some of that stuff is useless, but some takes shape and becomes fun to revisit. I knew my sister-in-law Liz wanted a story with sky castles, so floating castles were one of the first ingredients I threw into the stew. I may not be able to detail the origin of Five Kingdoms, but I can explain what I was aiming to accomplish.
With Five Kingdoms, I wanted to bring together much of what I do best as a writer into one place. I wanted to merge some of the fun I put into Candy Shop War, with the discovery and adventure from Fablehaven, with some of the big world-building like I did in Beyonders. I wanted to create a world that opened up story possibilities I haven’t seen before.
The result is the Outskirts, where five different kingdoms are each governed by different types of magic. Some characters from our world get drawn into a fast-paced adventure that is sometimes scary and often strange but hopefully never boring.
Paolini: We’ve spoken before about your love of doorways, portals, and other such openings that transport you to strange and different places. That idea seems especially prominent in Sky Raiders. Is it something you thought about consciously when you were writing, or did it arise naturally from your interest in the subject?
Mull: Since my childhood, I’ve loved the idea of characters being transported to another world through a wardrobe, down a rabbit hole, over the rainbow, etc. As a kid, after reading the Narnia series, I sincerely wished for something like that to happen to me. I wanted to be king of some world and kill all the monsters and ride on lions and save everybody. When that didn’t pan out, I visited other worlds in my imagination instead.
With Five Kingdoms, I’m deliberately creating my most elaborate and varied world so far, and exploring it through the eyes of a character from our reality. Since each of the Five Kingdoms has different kinds of magic that work there, by the end of the series, readers essentially get to visit five new fantasy worlds in one.
Paolini: Many of your books feature characters who are siblings—specifically brother/sister—or who feel like siblings. In this case it’s Cole and Mira. Having a sister myself, I think you do a great job of portraying that sort of relationship. What is it, that you enjoy most about those kinds of characters?
Mull: I grew up as the oldest of five kids. I did and said nice, loving things to my siblings that I didn’t do or say to anyone else. And I did and said mean things to my siblings that I wouldn’t dare do or say to my worst enemies. And my siblings returned the favor in good and bad ways. We had each other’s back and we stabbed each other in the back.
Brother and sister relationships are complicated and interesting. They help ground characters and bring them to life in ways that many readers can identify with. I enjoy trying to capture the blend of silly banter, heated arguments, and real love and protectiveness that I remember from my own family relationships.
Paolini: It seems like you put a lot of thought into how the economy of the Five Kingdoms works. The sky raiders are scroungers, eking out a living on the edges of a very strange world. Much more interesting than just reading about kings and queens. How did you go about developing the economy and the society?
Mull: Some people think of fantasy as nonsense where anything can happen, but I’ve never seen it that way. To me, good fantasy doesn’t abandon reality. Instead, it creates a functional reality with different rules than our own. If my fantasy worlds make sense and feel authentic, the reader will have an easier time getting involved and caring about the story.
Part of the task involves figuring out the logistics of how the world works. Who governs it? How do they maintain control? Who supports them? Who dislikes them? Given the reality I have established, I try to think through how the fantasy/magical elements in the story would affect day-to-day life. I especially try to think how people would exploit different magical abilities or artifacts for gain.
Paolini: The magic in Five Kingdoms is really cool! I’d love to know more about why you chose this particular kind of magic and what its particular advantages/disadvantages are.
Mull: Each kingdom in Five Kingdoms has a different type of magic. Those in Sambria with magical talent can reshape reality as they desire. Only the most gifted can change reality in big ways and create beings called semblances that seem alive. Powerful shapers risk losing control and either becoming trapped in a nightmare of their own making or flat out destroying themselves and everything around them.
That type of magic seemed cool and dangerous, and gave an excuse for me to take readers to some very unusual settings. I had to be careful not to let the magic feel too powerful, so I made it very dangerous to tamper with living things, I made the magic work better in certain geographic locations than others, and I didn’t let any practitioners be flawless experts.
Paolini: Have you plotted out the series from start to finish? If so, how much does the outline change as you write?
Mull: I tend to daydream about my stories until I see them like movies in my mind. Then I convert that daydreamed adventure into written scenes. So I have a pretty firm blueprint at the start, but it evolves as I make discoveries along the way.
With Five Kingdoms, I know the kingdoms we’ll be visiting, and the main events that will happen. Many details will be added as I go.
Paolini: Who is your favorite character and why?
Mull: So hard to pick! I like Cole because he really cares about his friends and takes responsibility for them accidentally getting taken to the Outskirts as slaves. I think he is funny and grounded and tries hard to do the right thing.
Paolini: If you had to choose one magical item to use when raiding along with the sky raiders, which one would you choose?
Mull: Of the items in the book, I’d want Jace’s golden rope. It was an item that he claimed when scouting out a sky castle. The rope can get longer and shorter as needed. It responds to the will of the wielder, so it can reach out and tangle an enemy, wrap around a distant object, coil and spring the wielder forward, or curl up to cushion a fall. The golden rope’s extreme versatility would increase my chances of surviving a dangerous sky castle raid.
From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
"Five Kingdoms is a good book. There is a group of kids going to a haunted house on Halloween, They thought it would be fun, but it turned out to be full of slavers from a different dimension. They take kids to their dimension (called the Outskirts) and sell them into slavery. Cole (the main character) manages to not get captured. He followed them to their dimension to save his friends. He was captured and sold to the Sky Raiders. The Outskirts is also made up of five kingdoms.
This book is full of action and adventure, which I love. The world is really cool and the place where the Sky Raiders work is really cool, too. The Sky Raiders have a dangerous job, they have to raid castles in the sky and steal treasure. The sky castles are full of random creatures, either good or bad, you never know. I think it is a great book. It's really fun to read and I have always like Brandon Mull's writing."
(He is the one who picked the star rating, btw. I think it's only four instead of five because the reading level is a little lower than Mull's other books, and he's likely comparing it to Beyonders, which was his favorite book series ever.)
Two things I must add: He's been busy reading this at night before bed (he's nearly done) instead of playing games on his tablet, which I think speaks volumes. Second, I have every intention of sneaking this book and reading it myself when he's totally finished...shhhhh....
This book proved me wrong- after the first couple chapters, I was hooked. I can barely wait for the second in the series to come out, because I want to know what happens next. If you have read Fablehaven and you especially liked Seth's character, then you will definitely enjoy this book. I found that the main character in this book, Cole, was very similar to Seth in how they acted and the style of writing Brandon Mull used when writing from their point of view.
This book is great for anybody age 8 or older- a younger kid definitely could read the book, but Brandon Mull's writing style might be too sophisticated for them to enjoy the book much. However, I think that this book would be great to read aloud in an elementary school classroom where foreign words could be explained by a teacher. I would definitely recommend this book!
The story should appeal to readers of all ages who like fantasy and adventure. The story's main character is a 6th grader which seemed a bit young to me--but I think his young age will appeal to young readers--and after all, that is the target audience for this book.
The only downside to this book is that, like another reviewer has indicated, I have to wait until the next book in the series comes out to find out what happens next! According to Amazon that book will be realized in October of this year (2014).
Another of Brandon's books that I really enjoyed reading to my son, and he enjoyed it as well was "The Candy Shop War."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great books they are what I expected from a great writer. I love Brandon Mulls work.Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
I find this series to be crafted to keep your attention. The characters are well developed and the story moves at a quick pace.Published 18 days ago by Nanadeb
Amazing. Just amazing. Highly recommend this book. This is personally one of the best books that I have read, and I could read it again and again.Published 20 days ago by Apey
My daughter and I have read most of his books. We started with Fablehaven. His books are never 5 stars for me, but they're never 2 stars either, and they're always more enjoyable... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Jay Kuykendall
I love all of Brandon Mull's books! This is such a good read! I really love the concept of this adventure and I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series!Published 22 days ago by Zionmsureray
Well written, moderate to fast paced. Imaginative without being impossible. I look forward to reading more of the series.Published 28 days ago by Dragonstone
This book was engaging, with a well thought out plot, interesting characters, fantastical powers, an uplifting tone and was just fun to read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert Peck
It was good
Went straight into the action and didn't take much time to grab you. So intense and fascinating