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By Eoin Colfer

Conor Broekhart used to be born to fly.

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Sample text

Nicholas smiled sadly. ‘Isabella’s mother would have had a gift ready and wrapped. ’ The king stood silently for a moment, remembering his wife, then roused himself. ‘And now, Declan, sorry to drag you away, but apparently some opium smugglers have dug themselves into Lady Walker’s Cave. ’ ‘I’ll take care of it, Majesty. ’ The king was excited again, the old soldier in him relishing the chase. Unlike most old soldiers, he did not relish the kill. These smugglers would be sent to work the diamond mine on the prison island of Little Saltee, but not harmed unless it was unavoidable.

He had judged the coils accurately, landing the spliced end directly in King Nicholas’s hand. ’ Victor cinched the rope to the top rung, and then slid down the stiles as fast as he could without stripping the skin from his palms. ‘Ladder don’t reach,’ the fireman pointed out, while Victor plunged his hands into the nearest fire bucket. ‘I know that, monsieur. ’ ‘Ah,’ said the fireman. ‘Now stand back. If I know your king, that tower has more explosives in it than a similarly sized cannon. ’ The fire brigade gave up.

Conor he shall be called. ’ Vigny bonged a knuckle on Lady Liberty’s chin. ’ This was the second omen of the day. Conor Broekhart would eventually pay his debt to liberty. The first omen was, of course, the airborne birth. Perhaps he would have been a sky pilot even without Le Soleil, or perhaps something was awakened in him that day. An obsession with the sky that would consume Conor Broekhart’s life, and the lives of everyone around him. And so a few days after Conor’s famous birth, Captain Declan Broekhart and his family sailed from France back to the tiny sovereign state of the Saltee Islands off the Irish coast.

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