Author: Eoin Colfer
What it's about: Set around the 1890s, this book is about Conor Broekhart, a young man who dreams of building a flying machine. He lives with his family on the Saltee Islands, a small kingdom near Ireland. Conor's life is what any boy would dream of until he's falsely implicated in a plot to kill the king and then thrown in prison. However, he still has his dreams, and Conor works to gain his freedoms and right the wrongs committed against him.
What I thought: I haven't read any of Colfer's books in years, and I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this one is. I thought Conor might turn out to be a Gary Stu character, but instead, despite all his talents and such, he turns out to develop quite believably. The story's pace seemed almost a little too fast, but it was still enjoyable. There was plenty of swashbuckling and clever plotting, and this was an overall good piece of historical fiction.
Overall: A very good book. If you like Kenneth Oppel's stuff, this is worth a read.