Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young boy overcomes adversity and escapes a remote island prison using his skills as an engineer and aviator.


In "Airman" by Eoin Colfer, readers are transported to the 19th century on the fictional Saltee Islands. This thrilling adventure novel follows the story of Conor Broekhart, a young boy with a passion for flight and a desire to prove himself. Filled with action, suspense, and themes of bravery and perseverance, "Airman" takes readers on a journey through adversity and triumph.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set on the Saltee Islands, a small kingdom ruled by King Nicholas. Conor Broekhart, the protagonist, is the son of the king's bodyguard. He grows up alongside the princess, Isabella, and they become close friends. From a young age, Conor shows a natural talent and love for flying, which he nurtures with his mentor, Victor Vigny.

However, Conor's life takes a drastic turn when he witnesses the murder of the king and is wrongly accused of the crime. He is imprisoned in the infamous Little Saltee prison, a treacherous place where survival seems impossible. Determined to seek justice and regain his freedom, Conor learns to adapt and survive within the prison walls.

During his time in captivity, Conor discovers a hidden talent for inventing and engineering. With the help of his fellow prisoners, he constructs a flying machine. Conor's ingenuity and determination catch the attention of the prison warden, Colonel Hugo Bonvilain, who sees the potential of Conor's invention for his own sinister plans.

As Conor's flying machine nears completion, he must find a way to escape and clear his name while also protecting the Saltee Islands from Colonel Bonvilain's destructive intentions. With his skills as an aviator and the support of his friends, Conor embarks on a daring adventure to save himself and his homeland.

Main Characters

Conor BroekhartThe protagonist, a young boy with a passion for flight and a desire to prove himself.
IsabellaThe princess of the Saltee Islands and Conor's close friend.
Victor VignyConor's mentor who teaches him about flight and encourages his passion.
Colonel Hugo BonvilainThe prison warden who is both cunning and ruthless. He sees potential in Conor's invention.
King NicholasThe ruler of the Saltee Islands, whose murder Conor is accused of.

Summary of Story Points

Chapters 1-5: Setting and Introduction of Characters

  • Introduces Conor, Isabella, and the Saltee Islands.
  • Highlights Conor's passion for flight and his friendship with Isabella.

Chapters 6-10: Murder and Imprisonment

  • Conor witnesses the murder of King Nicholas and is wrongly accused.
  • He is sent to Little Saltee prison, where he faces numerous challenges.

Chapters 11-15: Adaptation and Survival

  • Conor learns to survive in prison and discovers his talent for inventing.
  • He befriends other prisoners who help him with his plans.

Chapters 16-20: Building the Flying Machine

  • Conor starts building a flying machine with the support of his fellow prisoners.
  • Colonel Bonvilain becomes aware of Conor's invention and his plans take a dangerous turn.

Chapters 21-25: Escape and Redemption

  • Conor and his friends execute a daring escape plan.
  • They face multiple obstacles as they try to clear Conor's name and protect the Saltee Islands.

Main Events

  1. Conor witnesses the murder of King Nicholas and is wrongly accused.
  2. Conor is imprisoned in Little Saltee prison and must adapt and survive.
  3. Conor discovers his talent for inventing and builds a flying machine.
  4. Colonel Bonvilain learns about Conor's invention and plans to use it for his own gain.
  5. Conor and his friends escape from prison and work to clear his name.
  6. Conor faces numerous challenges and obstacles as he tries to protect the Saltee Islands.

Themes and Insights

Bravery and Perseverance

Throughout the story, Conor demonstrates incredible bravery and perseverance. Despite facing adversity and being wrongly accused, he never gives up on his dreams and fights for justice. Conor's determination to clear his name and protect the Saltee Islands is an inspiring example of courage.

Friendship and Loyalty

The bond between Conor and Isabella is a central theme in the novel. Their friendship withstands the test of time and adversity, as they support and protect each other. Conor's relationships with his fellow prisoners also highlight the power of loyalty and friendship in overcoming challenges.

Power and Corruption

The character of Colonel Bonvilain represents the corrupting influence of power. His desire for control and domination leads him to exploit Conor's invention for his own gain, endangering the Saltee Islands. This theme serves as a cautionary tale about the abuse of power and the importance of standing up against corruption.

Reader's Takeaway

"Airman" is an exhilarating adventure that captivates readers with its richly imagined world and compelling characters. The story inspires readers to pursue their passions, overcome adversity, and stand up for what is right. Eoin Colfer's masterful storytelling and the themes explored in the book make it a memorable and thought-provoking read for all ages.


"Airman" by Eoin Colfer is a thrilling adventure novel that takes readers on a journey through the fictional Saltee Islands. Filled with action, suspense, and themes of bravery and perseverance, this book offers an engaging and inspiring reading experience. Conor Broekhart's story of survival, invention, and redemption will leave readers captivated and eager to soar with their own ambitions.

Airman FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book 'Airman'?

    The book 'Airman' by Eoin Colfer is a historical adventure novel.

  2. Who is the author of 'Airman'?

    The author of 'Airman' is Eoin Colfer.

  3. What is the plot of 'Airman'?

    The book 'Airman' follows the story of Conor Broekhart, a young boy who dreams of becoming a pilot. When he is framed for a crime he didn't commit, he is imprisoned on a remote island. Determined to escape and clear his name, Conor must use his intelligence, courage, and knowledge of flight to overcome numerous obstacles and face his enemies.

  4. Is 'Airman' suitable for young readers?

    Yes, 'Airman' is suitable for young readers. It is recommended for ages 12 and up.

  5. Is 'Airman' a standalone novel or part of a series?

    'Airman' is a standalone novel and is not part of a series.

  6. Where does the story of 'Airman' take place?

    The story of 'Airman' takes place mainly on the fictional Saltee Islands, which are located off the coast of Ireland.

  7. Is 'Airman' based on a true story?

    No, 'Airman' is a work of fiction and is not based on a true story.

  8. Are there any movie adaptations of 'Airman'?

    As of now, there are no movie adaptations of 'Airman'.

  9. What is the reading level of 'Airman'?

    The reading level of 'Airman' is suitable for young adults and above.

  10. Is 'Airman' available in ebook format?

    Yes, 'Airman' is available in ebook format for those who prefer digital reading.