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Not so good for him if the Shrykes get into one of their rage-frenzies. Like creatures possessed they are, screaming, spitting, lashing out at anything that moves
~ Partifule the Waif about Shrykes.

The Shrykes are an antagonistic, warmongering race seen in The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. They are avian, humanoid creatures, with the ability to talk and are intelligent. They have waged war several times on every other race on the Edge.  


Their origins are unknown, but they presumably evolved from some other bird species. The shrykes may have been primal predators beforehand like the skull trogs.

The shrykes are a matriarchal society. They keep their males in pens and lock them under chains. They always have females in their regime, the strongest and most powerful is the Roost-Mother. She always seems to be called Muleclaw, there were three of her in the series. The Roost-Mother inspires fear amongst other people, as she is the most evil of the sisterhood.

There are hunters, fighters, and Sisters, who are equivalent of human priests. These shrykes are assigned missions like attending to eggs and making sure the race is secure.

Almost all of the shrykes were soldiers in the time of Stone-sickness. They had changed from a matron-like society from being traders into a wholly war-like battleflock. Hegemony had gotten to them and they were seeking to kill every other race on the Edge.They are envious of everybody, and think their enemies are always planning something. The shrykes were also natural slavers and liars, and were vain, easily succumbing to bribes, when one shryke took Twig's offer of one without question.

Before Stone-sickness

The shrykes were first introduced in book five, Stormchaser, when Mother Horsefeather, the patron of the Bloodoak pub, was introduced, but her species wasn't given until book six. Shrykes made their first appearence here.

They were shown as evil slavers, coldly selling civilized people off as slaves, and giving flowers that wilted quickly to visitors so that they could rip the flowers off and sell the people. The shrykes didn't care about people, they only wanted business and more slaves.

They had a horrible place called the Great Shryke Slave Market; which did a slash-and-burn travel through the Deepwoods, killing natives too and cruelly leaving their skeletons attached to trees pointing the direction of the Market. Twig and Cowlquape went to the Market looking for Twig's crew. They found the evil Market, only learning that the evil captain, Vulpoon, was planning on selling them for slaves for the Roost-Mother; Twig turned the tables and sold Vulpoon instead.

They took control of his ship and the shrykes took off Vulpoon. They went in the Market and were immediately warned about the danger of being sold as a slave. Twig and Cowlquape found their friend the banderbear inside a foul evil place called the Wig Wig arena, which was where the cruel shrykes fed prisoners to the hungry wig-wigs. They managed to stop the banderbear from being eaten, but the Roost-Mother got angry and ordered Twig and Cowlquape fed to the wig-wigs, but Twig sliced her harness box off the tree and she fell to the wig-wigs and was eaten herself.

During Stone-sickness

The shrykes now became more bloodthirsty, evil and vicious, as they were planning a hegemonious attack on everybody on the Edge. Librarians would see hordes of shrykes gathering on the Mire Road and would get fearful. The goblins were also planning to fight the shrykes. The shrykes did not reveal anything about their schemes to the outside world.

The shrykes attacked in a mass battle when the sky pirates freed Deadbold Vulpoon their captain. One shryke sister boasted she would kill him and become Roost-mother, but Rook killed her before she could kill Vulpoon, saving him. The shrykes were so fearsome that their very name was enough to get everyone running for their life.

When Vox said he knew a Storm was coming, he told Rook, his former slave, to visit the Roost-Mother and tell her to attack the Librarians and kill them. Rook was told to pretend to betray the Librarians because "shrykes understand treachery".

There would only be male shrykes at the gate because the army would move to the sewers, leaving the Librarians safe passage out.

But when the Librarians got to the Deepwoods after Undertown was flooded, they found to their horror that the shrykes were amassing a mass invasion. The pirates and soldiers protected them and fought the shrykes, and the shrykes in this battle ate their dead. The shrykes were much more gruesome and feral in this battle, not being able to speak, because they were fledglings, but were quickly defeated by the Freeglade Lancers. The shrykes were pushed back into the Deepwoods and have never been able to launch another invasion again, presumably dying out.