The Last of the Sky Pirates was the fifth book in The Edge Chronicles, the seventh book chronologically, and the first book in the Rook Trilogy.

Plot Summary


Rook, Stob, and Magda, setting off on their journey.

Rook Barkwater was a lowly under-librarian living in the network of sewer-chambers beneath the city of Undertown, in which a society called the Librarians Academic had established itself, secretly opposing the cruel Guardians of Night. He dreamed of becoming a Librarian Knight, though he believed that the honor would go to his best friend, Felix Lodd.[1]

His story begins with a dream of woodwolves and his parents, Keris and Shem, followed by stealthy mission to the seventeenth floating sumpwood lectern of the Great Storm Chamber Library. He went there to read Varis Lodd's treatise, A Study of Banderbears' Behaviour in Their Natural Habitat, which she had written on the same journey in which she had rescued him from the Deepwoods. Rook was admonished for accessing the treatises by overzealous under-professor, Ledmus Squinx.[1]

The next morning, Rook and Felix woke up to the sound of a tilderhorn, reminding them of the Announcement Ceremony, where three apprentices would be chosen to travel to the Free Glades and become librarian knights.[2]

On their way to the Blackwood Bridge, the site of the ceremony, Rook and Felix encountered a muglump. Rook threw a dagger at the muglump and managed to hit it, but the creature escaped.[2]

To his astonishment, Rook was chosen in the Announcement Ceremony , along with Stob Lummus and Magda Burlix.[3]

Rook, Magda, and Stob made their way along the Great Mire Road with the help of a few allies. While on the road, Rook helped an imprisoned sky pirate, Deadbolt Vulpoon, to escape from the shrykes. Finally, Rook, Magda, and Stob arrived in the Eastern Roost. With the help of a shryke-mate by the name of Hekkle, the three made their way across the Deepwoods, eventually arriving in the Free Glades.

Shortly after their arrival, Rook, Stob, and Magda were joined by Xanth Filatine, a disguised Guardian of Night who was secretly channeling information to the Guardians so that they could ambush librarians traveling to the Free Glades. Unaware of this, Rook became friends with Xanth. Rook, Stob, Magda, and Xanth constructed their skycraft in their first studies. Xanth broke his leg in a skycraft accident, and could not embark upon his treatise-voyage, the journey for which the knights were studying. A few months later, Rook, Varis Lodd, and Knuckle raided the Foundry Glades to free the banderbears enslaved by Hemuel Spume, but Xanth had tipped off the Foundry Master, and the three of them fell into a trap. Despite this, they managed to free the banderbears. During the raid, Rook took a poisoned arrow to the shoulder to save the life of one of the banderbears, and became sickened by fever. During Rook's illness, a guilt-wracked Xanth confessed his treachery to Rook before fleeing back to the Tower of Night.

A few months after this, Rook embarked on his treatise-voyage, with the aim to witness the mythical Great Convocation of Banderbears. Rook befriended a young banderbear named Wumeru, and he secretly followed her to the Valley of a Thousand Echoes. The banderbears discovered his presence and were about to kill him when the banderbear who Rook saved in the Foundry Glades stood up for him. Rook then discovered that one other non-banderbear was present at the Great Convocation--the legendary sky pirate, Twig. Twig revealed that his sky ship, the Skyraider, had not succumbed to stone-sickness, but that he had lost everyone he cared about, including his old friend, Cowlquape. Remembering words Xanth told him in his confession, Rook told Twig that Cowlquape was in fact alive, but was kept as a prisoner in the dungeons of the Tower of Night. Upon learning this, Twig enlisted a crew of banderbears, and he and Rook set off in the Skyraider to attack the Tower of Night.

While Twig and the Skyraider kept the Guardians busy, Rook sneaked into the tower on his skycraft and freed Cowlquape, who escaped aboard the Skyraider. As Rook was about to fly away, however, a rope became snagged and the skycraft was stuck. Rook was then confronted by Xanth, who, upon recognizing Rook, sliced through the rope with his crossbow and helped Rook escape.

The Skyraider, meanwhile, was losing buoyancy as its flight-rock crumbled. Four of the banderbears and Cowlquape flew to safety on parawings, but Twig, mortally wounded by a crossbow bolt, stayed aboard the Skyraider. However, as the Skyraider dropped over the Edge, Twig was rescued by the Caterbird, who carried him off to Riverrise.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chapter 1: The Great Storm Chamber Library
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chapter 2: The Sewers
  3. Chapter 3: The Announcement Ceremony


Books in the Edge Chronicles series, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Quint Trilogy: The Curse of the GloamglozerThe Winter KnightsClash of the Sky Galleons

Twig Trilogy: Beyond the DeepwoodsStormchaserMidnight Over Sanctaphrax

Rook Trilogy: The Last of the Sky PiratesVoxFreeglader

The Lost Barkscrolls: Cloud WolfThe Stone PilotThe Slaughterer's QuestThe Blooding of Rufus Filatine

Nate Book: The Immortals

Cade Trilogy: The Nameless OneDoombringerThe Descenders

Other Books: The Edge Chronicles MapsThe Sky Chart

Blogs: Weird New Worlds