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Napoleon's engineers create the steam-driven war machines that made France the greatest power of the nineteenth century. Called genies by his troops, they build the airships, golem soldiers, and ironclads that crushed the British fleets and conquered most of Europe. They also make medical marvels and semi-autonomous machines that changed the face of both Europe and the new world.
But now those who oppose the French Empire have kidnapped the man most responsible for this second revolution, whose schools and research centers supply the arms to keep France the world's premier power. His kidnappers didn't realize his dependence on his own devices to keep his damaged body alive. His assistants, Clarissa and Amadeus, have less than three days to find him before he dies without his daemonic aides.
And as they search, the plot deepens. Those who tried to kill the Emperor in 1804 are trying again as other enemies want to steal France's technology. And as they try to prevent the plots from succeeding, Clarissa worries her plans for her Swiss comrade will come to naught.