The Boy Who Flew Paperback – 7 Mar 2019
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'The Boy Who Flew is an unputdownable, heart-stopping, white knuckle ride of a book. There's murder, science, friendship and family. It's in the best tradition of the undisputed master of historical adventures, Leon Garfield, and will knock your socks off!' --Catherine Johnson, author of Sawbones
'An utterly brilliant story and one that is close my heart as I met Athan long ago when he was learning to fly. So many wonderful rich characters. Athan will fly high.' --Gill Lewis, author of Sky Hawk
"It's a spirited suspenseful adventure yarn, and its breathless action scenes and multicultural characters present a very un-Austen-like vision of Bath." --James Lovegrove, The Financial Times
About the Author
Born in Chobham and raised outside Winchester, Fleur Hitchcock grew up as the youngest child of three. She spent her smallest years reading Tintin and Batman, and searching for King Alfred's treasure. She grew up a little, went away to school near Farnham, studied English in Wales, and, for the next twenty years, sold Applied Art in the city of Bath. When her younger child was seven, she embarked on the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa and graduated with a distinction. Now living outside Bath, between parenting and writing, Fleur works with her husband, a toymaker, looks after other people's gardens and tries to grow vegetables.
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Some books take a very long time to reach the public and The Boy Who Flew apparently took ten years to find a home. Indeed, author – Fleur Hitchcock – has had many wonderful books published since she wrote the first draft of this story. Luckily she didn’t abandon the idea as this book is most definitely worth the wait.
Fleur’s books usually use a contemporary and realistic setting. In contrast, in The Boy Who Flew we are transported back in time to a world loosely based on late eighteenth century Bath and the affect is truly magical. Fleur successfully avoids any long passages of description (or, if they are there, she hides them so effectively that I simply didn’t notice) and, instead, incorporates an array of clever details that allow us to see and smell the world.
Her characters are equally skilfully drawn and feel exactly right for the period. Athan narrates his story but it’s actually the other characters that sparkle most brightly. There are those who demonstrate their generosity and goodness in the face of adversity, including Athan’s best friend, Tod (who is forced to live with a father who beats him) and Athan’s sister, Beatty (who puts a brave face on her life as a cripple despite Grandma’s harsh words and insistence she is a fairy changeling). At the opposite end of the spectrum there’s the truly evil Colonel Blake who’s prepared to do whatever it takes in order to get hold of Mr Chen’s flying machine.
My favourite character, however, has to be Athan’s Ma, possibly because she makes the biggest transformation in the course of the story. From being initially hard on Athan and scolding him for ‘lying’ about Colonel Blake, she finally comes to realise her mistake. In a scene of sheer brilliance she turns on the Colonel with a poker in order to defend her children.
The plot is fast moving and dramatic with lots of nail-biting action. There’s also a fair bit of violence (at various points in the story Athan finds himself drugged with alcohol, tied and locked up as well as being shot at.) This violence leads to more than one bloody death but this is all described in a way that ensures the book remains suitable for a middle grade audience.
The story is packed with drama and tension from the offset as Athan tries to protect Mr Chen’s flying machine from falling into the wrong hands but little does he realise that by doing this he is endangering those he loves. We are taken on a breath-taking journey across the rooftops of Bath and experience a dark and uninviting side, a world away from the fashionable spas and glamorous parties of the upper classes. Fleur’s writing stimulates all of your senses allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in this dirty, sullied backstreets. Yet Athan dreams of a different life, the one that Mr Chen has given him a glimpse of, as he helped him understand that he has the potential to escape the confines of his birth. He refuses to give in to the demands of the dastardly villains who torment and threaten his family, despite being tested to his very limits. He is an intriguing and genuinely likeable character, you can’t help but admire his bravery and ambition. Fast-paced and thrilling, this truly is a edge-of-your-seat adventure, full of twists and turns that will keep you holding your breath to the very last page.