Clash of the Sky Galleons is the ninth book (third chronologically) in The Edge Chronicles. It is the third and last in the Quint trilogy. It was published in 2006.
“Quint is traveling with his father, Wind Jackal, on a mission to track down and bring to justice Turbot Smeal, the man who started the fire that killed their family. Having left behind his studies at the Knights Academy, Quint is now eager to learn what it really means to be a sky pirate and to learn from his father. But Wind Jackal is consumed by his desire to capture Smeal, and his judgment is flawed. His actions endanger the lives of his crew and his son. As they travel from the taverns and backstreets of Undertown and the wonders of the shipbuilders’ yards to the dark dangers of the Deepwoods, Quint and Maris become separated from the rest of the crew. Finally, at the mysterious, ghostly sky-wreck in Open Sky, they discover the truth about Smeal.”
“Turning on his heels, Thaw Daggerslash headed from the stairs that led up to the balconies, passing through the huddled clusters of sky pirates as he went. Mingling together in the Tarry Vine tavern, there seemed to be members of every tribe and clan in the Edgelands—mobgnomes, cloddertrogs, brogtrolls, slaughterers, waifs and goblins of every type, from lop-ears and hammerheads, to long-haired and tusked.
In stark contrast, Thaw Daggerslash himself was a fourthling—and proud of it.
Unlike the tribes and clans of the Deepwoods, who identified closely with their own kind and shared fierce loyalties and cherished customs, fouthlings could not clearly be categorized. They weren’t goblins or trogs, waifs or trolls, but often had shared ancestors who were all of these and more. Kobold the Wise, leader of the Thousand Tribes centuries before the floating city of Sanctaphrax was even dreamed of, had named these outsiders fourthlings—for the blood of the tribes from all four corners of the Edgelands mingled in their veins.”
“Far up at the top of the tower was the Galerider—and it looked magnificent. The varnished wood and the polished metal gleamed like new. The spider-silk sails that Spillins and Ratbit had delivered were in place and almost glowing in the lowering sun—with a corner of the extra sailcloth sticking out from the top of the reappointed caternest glowing brightest of all. Steg and Tem’s ropes and rigging, fresh from the chandlery sheds, had been secured to the mast, hull and deck-cleats, and now whispered softly as the gentle breeze blew through them.
The biggest difference, however, was the body of the sky ship. Not only had the gaping hole disappeared, but all trace of the cloud-limpet and sky-fungus damage—made so much worse by the terrible storms they’d faced at the cliff edge—had been totally removed. Master carpenters and expert polishers had done their work well and now, freshly plugged, trimmed and varnished, the hull of the magnificent sky ship gleamed in the afternoon sun.”
Recommended Age Range: 14+
What I Liked:
Clash of the Sky Galleons is a very satisfactory ending to the Quint trilogy. It is, I think, the best book in the trilogy (although The Curse of the Gloamglozer is very good as well).
Once again, there are characters that we are familiar with—such as Tem, who shows up again in both the Twig and Rook trilogies, and Tuntum, who is in Beyond the Deepwoods and Midnight over Sanctaphrax—who really just add to the story. I’ve already waxed on about what I think of this circularity of characters, so I’ll leave it at that.
I love the way that the final Big Battle ends, for no apparent reason. It’s anticlimactic, but in a good way. It also just shows how conniving and treacherous the people of Undertown are.
I also really enjoyed the villain. I really don’t want to say too much because of spoilers, but I think the villain of this book is perhaps the best villain just because Stewart dealt with him in an original (for The Edge Chronicles) way.
What I Didn’t Like:
Nitpicky: The version of the cover art that was on the book that I read completely spoils who the villain is if anyone pays the slightest amount of attention to detail (which is why, if you noticed, I didn’t post that version of the cover). Also, a type of creature is mentioned here by name that doesn’t get named until The Last of the Sky Pirates, which takes place decades later—which means that either Rook is an incredible guesser/namer, or Stewart goofed up.
The sky pirates during the Big Battle at the end really didn’t act the way they’d been set up to act in other books. What they did just seemed very against their character as a whole.
Clash of the Sky Galleons finishes the Quint trilogy on a strong note. The villain is one of the best done by Stewart in the series and the characters as a whole are still great (if a bit over-the-top in their dialogue at times). There a few nitpicky things here and there, but overall, a great ending.
Coming Up Next: The Immortals