Fergus Crane is a young boy who lives with his mother in an attic home at the top of the Archduke Ferdinand Apartments. Fergus Crane and his mother are very poor, so when the School Ship Betty-Jeanne offers Fergus a free education, both him and his mother are happy to accept. While Fergus attends the school his mother works at a bakery and does odd jobs for the Fateful Voyage Trading Co, a mysterious organization that sends them large paychecks for small jobs.
The plot thickens, however, when Fergus begins receiving strange messages delivered to him in the middle of the night by a flying mechanical box. They indicate that the School Ship Betty-Jeanne is not what it seems and that Fergus is in great danger. When Fergus finally realizes what the messages mean it is already too late. The ship disappears on a “school trip,” leaving Fergus behind, and only Fergus knows that the trip is not what it seems.
Fergus Crane sets out on a mission to save his schoolmates, aided by mechanical wonders created by the Fateful Voyage Trading, Co. A flying mechanical horse and a lunch box that sprouts legs and walks are Fergus' tools in his rescue endeavor.
I enjoyed the detailed world defined by “Fergus Crane.” The rich descriptions written by Paul Stewart, and the beautiful pencil drawings by Chris Riddell are a winning combination that never fail to amaze me. The plot in “Fergus Crane” is exciting and the characters interesting. “Fergus Crane” is a fantasy story that any young reader will enjoy.