Pirates of Quentaris, by Sherryl Clark

Kiall wanted to race to the Halls of Justice and demand they let his father go. Didn’t they know who he was? He was the famous Paolo Tigran, the rift adventurer who’d made his fortune by finding a sapphire mine and bringing back the finest gems that Quentaris had ever seen. And now he was one of the most astute merchants in the city, with a fleet of his own ships. Or he had been, until a series of misfortunes had decimated the fleet.

When their father is thrown into jail by his creditors, Kiall and Maya are determined to find a way to pay his debts and have him freed. But the family fortune is gone, lost in a series of unexplained mishaps, and nobody is willing to help them. Kiall wants to go into the Rift caves to search for treasure, and, unable to afford a guide, he sneaks aboard a pirate ship. Together with Maya, who has followed him aboard, he is destined for adventures far beyond anything he could have imagined.

Pirates of Quentaris is a gripping fantasy novel for readers aged ten and up, set in the fantasy world of Quentaris, the setting for a series of stand-alone novels each written by a different Australian author. Here Sherryl Clark weaves a frightening but compelling tale which keeps the reader guessing and turning pages. Kiall and Maya find themselves enslaved by a crew of pirates who cruise the desert on a ship with massive wheels, murdering and plundering wherever they can. The children must use their wits, coupled with a little luck, to escape, but not before some scary events including a beheading and an attack by a sabre tooth cat.

A gripping read.

Pirates of Quentaris, by Sherryl Clark
Lothian, 2006