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Sky Raiders is the first book of the Five Kingdoms series and was released on March 11, 2014. It is succeeded by Rogue Knight. Its events take place mainly in the Outskirts and partially in Earth.
In a world that lies between reality and imagination, a “fanciful, action-packed adventure” awaits (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Come and claim it in this first book of the Five Kingdoms series, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series.
Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level.
After Cole sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath the haunted house, he dives in after them—and ends up in The Outskirts.
The Outskirts are made up of five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. It’s an in-between place. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from our world, or from other worlds.
And once you come to the Outskirts, it’s very hard to leave.
With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it’s up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home…before his existence is forgotten.
Shown below is the plot of the book divided by chapter. See Timeline for more info about the units of time.
|1||Halloween||In Arizona, Cole Randolph goes trick-or-treating with some fellow sixth-graders, including his friends Dalton and Jenna, just wanting to have some fun. Together, they enter the haunted house that has been buzzing with rumors.||0 days AEO|
|2||Spook Alley||The group goes down into a basement and is captured by slavers that have other children in cages. A fight breaks out once the discovery is made, and Cole ends up under a bundle of curtains that have fallen amid the conflict. The slavers force the children to jump down a manhole then follow suit. Cole discovers that a little girl named Delaney also managed to evade capture. Cole follows the group down the hole while Delaney runs away to get help.||0 days AEO|
|3||Rescue||Cole arrives in The Outskirts and learns from a Wayminder a little about the area. Later that night, he sneaks into the slaver camp where his friends are being held, but before he can do anything, a child informs the slavers that he is present.||0 days AEO|
|4||Bondmark||Cole attempts to escape from the camp but is captured. He receives the slave mark on his left hand and is told that he has no shaping potential. He is tied up and left to sleep.||0 days AEO|
|5||Caravan||Cole has to walk along behind the wagons and almost perishes. The next day he is put in a wagon. There he encounters Happy, a semblance that had been shaped into the wood. The caravan encounters a buyer and Cole is bought.||2 days AEO|
|6||The Brink||Cole is taken from the slavers by his new owners. They travel to The Brink, the end of the known land in that part of Sambria. Cole sees floating castles and learns a little about the land and the castles.||7 days AEO|
|7||Skyport||Cole meets Adam Jones, leader of the Sky Raiders. Mira, a shaper girl, gets him equipment, including a jumping sword.||7 days AEO|
|8||Sky Raiders||Cole goes out on his first mission. Jace explains how missions work. Cole prepares to scout a sky castle.||8 days AEO|
|9||Scout||Cole lands on the castle and is given The Shawl by a castle semblance, a shawl that obscures him from other semblances. He finds a gigantic creature—a cross between a centipede and a scorpion—that tries to kill him. He barely manages to escape and completes his first mission.||8 days AEO|
|10||Starry Night||Cole is outside watching the stars and Mira joins him, warning him of the dangers of The Brink at night. She says she sees a something that frightens her and she goes inside with Cole. Cole talks with Twitch then Jace, learning that Jace likes Mira.||8 days AEO|
|11||Proving Ground||Cole and Lyrus reach an agreement that allows Lyrus to face a test and, if victorious, allows the Sky Raiders to claim treasure from the castle, called Parona. Lyrus fights and wins, and the Raiders begin gathering treasure. Lyrus then awakens the other tests and the Raiders try to flee but many are felled. Cole saves Mira, but Durny is mortally wounded.||15 days AEO|
|12||Heroics||Cole and Lyrus reach an agreement that allows Lyrus to face a test and, if victorious, allows the Sky Raiders to claim treasure from the castle, called Parona. Lyrus fights and wins, and the Raiders begin gathering treasure. Lyrus then awakens the other tests and the Raiders try to flee but many are felled. Cole saves Mira, but Durny is mortally wounded.||15 days AEO|
|13||Floatstones||Cole, Mira, and Durny are stranded on Parona and Lyrus finds them. They learn why Lyrus released the tests. They harvest floatstones. Durny tasks Cole with defending Mira.||15 days AEO|
|14||Storm Blown||Durny dies. Cole collects some treasure, then Cole and Mira board their makeshift skycraft. They set off in a storm, but make it out alright.||15 days AEO|
|15||Mira||Mira reveals a little of the High King and why she is a danger to him. Cole and Mira then plan an escape from Skyport.||16 days AEO|
|16||Messenger||A stranger named Joe MacFarland arrives in Skyport with news of an approaching army and wanting to get Mira to safety. Before he can do anything, the advance party arrives and tries to buy Mira into their custody. Adam Jones makes a bargain but Cole disrupts the end.||16 days AEO|
|17||Flight||The Raiders intentionally delay the army while Cole, Jace, Twitch, and Mira escape in a small skycraft. The army commandeers the remaining skycraft and goes after them.||16 days AEO|
|18||Cloudwall||The group flees the army but is cornered against the Eastern Cloudwall. They take their chances and go into the cloudwall. On the other side they are caught in a vortex but are rescued by machines. They are deposited on land where a woman waits to interrogate them.||16 days AEO|
|19||Asia and Liam||The group is questioned about their intentions. Liam joins Asia (the woman questioning the group). Liam and Asia agree to take the group to their master. Lyrus appears and is revealed as the new captain of the guard.||16 days AEO|
|20||Declan||The group meets Declan and the boys learn the true identity of Mira: she is Miracle, a daughter of the High King.||16 days AEO|
|21||Answers||The group learns more about Mira, shaping, and Carnag, as well as the state of the High King.||16 days AEO|
|22||Visitors||Jace visits Cole and they talk about what to do. Later, Liam visits Cole and explains some of his past.||16 days AEO|
|23||Gifts||The group prepares to leave and receives gifts from Liam, Asia, and Declan. Cole talks with Declan and learns about Cole's ability to shape and how to save his friends. The group departs Cloudvale.||17 days AEO|
|24||The Quiet Wood||The group meets Liam at the edge of Cloudvale. There, Liam gives them final instructions. Next, the group passes through the perilous Quiet Wood.||17 days AEO|
|25||On the Run||The company finds out that the army is hunting them in the area. They decide to pass through Brady's Wilderness. They move in that direction. Twitch reveals more about Elloweer and about his past.||17 days AEO|
|26||Brady's Wilderness||The group enters Brady's Wilderness and finds giant food everywhere. Cole knocks down giant dominoes and apparently alerts something. The group encounters skeletons and giant plastic dinosaurs, all moving to destroy the group.||18 days AEO|
|27||Frenzy||The group evades the attacks then follows Mango, a semblance made by Liam. The group encounters a semblance which claims it can help them. They follow It into the sewer.||18 days AEO|
|28||Amanda||The group is taken to safety and learns the origins of Brady's Wilderness, as well as Brady's fate. With the semblance's help, they escape the wilderness and reenter their autocoach, setting off for Middlebranch.||18 days AEO|
|29||Middlebranch||The group arrives in Middlebranch. They enter an inn to get lunch. They are treated poorly by a slave and Jace responds in kind. The group learns where to find Gerta.||19 days AEO|
|30||Herbs||On the way to Gerta, the group argues. They come to an intermediate resolution. They meet Gerta, learn about Carnag, and receive help from Gerta.||19 days AEO|
|31||Devastation||The group departs Middlebranch and heads southeast. They pass deserted towns and a destroyed one. They continue until almost reaching Carnag. Liam joins them, gives a brief update, and the group moves to confront Carnag.||23 days AEO|
|32||Carnag||The group faces Carnag, but all but Mira are captured and imprisoned in its body. Mira engages it in dialog but is captured by a semblance.||23 days AEO|
|33||Miracle||The group enters the center of Carnag, finds a woman named Quima, and continues in dialogue with Carnag. The conversation breaks down and the group escapes Carnag. They are trapped again, but Cole is freed and places The Shawl over the semblance. Carnag is destroyed and Mira regains her powers.||23 days AEO|
|34||Quima||The group confronts Quima and learns of a secret group planning on conquering the Five Kingdoms. Quima is subdued.||23 days AEO|
|35||The Message||Joe MacFarland reaches the group and informs Mira that her sister Honor is in danger. The group prepares to set off for Elloweer.||24 days AEO|
- This is the first of two books in the series whose title is the name of an organization it introduces, the second being Crystal Keepers.
- The events of chapters 1-3 are mentioned in the third book of James Riley's Story Thieves series, a book series also published by Simon & Schuster Aladdin.