|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
Conor Broekhart lives on the Saltee Islands with his family off the coast of Ireland, the time period being the late 19th century. The islands are independent, ruled over by the benevolent King Nicholas, an old friend of Conor's parents. Conor's childhood is spent both playing around the island with the princess, Isabella, and studying with the Frenchman Victor Vigny, from whom he learns all about flight, swordplay, and other fun things.
Everything changes the day he discovers a plot to overthrow the king. This leads to him getting framed as a traitor by the would-be usurper and thrown into the prison mines of Little Saltee, where the only way off the island is by flight. Conor, only fourteen years old at the time, must call upon all of his training and wits to somehow escape, all the while trying to survive prison.
Not to be confused with the Mega Man 2 boss.
Contains examples of the following tropes:
- Affably Evil: Otto Malarkey, the thug-for-hire who will chat you up pleasantly before he beats you half to death.
- The Alcatraz: Little Saltee.
- Alternate History
- Authority Equals Asskicking: King Nicholas. He was a skirmisher and balloonist during the American Civil War, and he's said to sleep on the window seat in his chambers because the bed is too soft.
- Badass Bookworm: Conor. Aeronautics are his real passion, but Vigny trained him well in a variety of subjects. Vigny himself also qualifies.
- Big Bad: Sir Hugo Bonvillain, high-ranking traitor and the man behind the plot for the throne.
- Blind Musician: Linus Wynter.
- Clear My Name
- Deadpan Snarker: Quite a few of the characters. Conor and Vigny often sparred verbally during sword practice, and that's just one example. Enters World of Snark at times.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Otto Malarkey.
- Genius Bruiser: King Nicholas and Bonvillain.
- Genre Roulette: The book frequently switches the kind of story it's telling. It's a nine-year-old's adventure. No, wait, it's a coming-of-age story. No, wait, it's prison life. No, wait, it's a Great Escape. No, wait, it's a one-man caper. No, wait, it's Clear My Name. This is not a bad thing.
- Great Escape
- Hair of Gold: Conor.
- Historical Fiction
- Meaningful Name: Everyone in the Broekhart family has their heart broken. Also, Bonvillain's name means "good villain".
- Missing Mom: Isabella's mother. She died when her daughter was just a baby.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Bonvillain actually has 'villain' in his name. And yes, that's a real surname.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Nick, and how. Not only does he run the place, he's also responsible for ensuring its technological progress while still having time for his own research projects on the side.
- Isabella fills this role by the end; she's taken her role as queen and is planning major overhauls to the running of the place, including shutting down the Little Saltee prison and contracting the mining to a professional firm.
- Science Hero
- Tattooed Crook: Otto Malarkey, who has, among other things, a price list for his services tattooed on his chest. Conor wonders what he'd do if he ever needed to change his prices. Malarkey admits that he'd never really thought about it.
- Victorious Childhood Friend
- Villain with Good Publicity: Although he doesn't put himself in the spotlight, Bonvillain is in a position of power and is generally well-respected.
- Warrior Poet: Bonvillain fancies himself one of these.
- Wicked Cultured: Bonvillain may be a soldier, but he's also a man of taste.
- Younger Than They Look: Conor is able to pass himself off as older because of his height. This is not necessarily a good thing, since Bonvillain was able to use it against him.