The Year is 2012 - and Queen Victoria still rules with an immortal fist.
She's the undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where technology lives side by side with magic, where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath) and Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it's her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But things get complicated when her sister goes missing. Xandra will not only realise she's the prize in a dangerous power struggle - but she'll also uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire itself.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the Royal Guard in an alternate Britain where the aristocracy includes vampires and werewolves, and Queen Victoria the first vampire to take the throne reigns, young and beautiful as ever. An immortal ruling class has implications beyond mere blood-drinking; technological and social changes are inhibited, often in strange and unexpected ways. Same-sex marriage is legal, for example, but horse-drawn carriages run the fashionable streets. Xandra, the daughter of an aristocratic vampire, is drawn into a world of deadly conspiracies when her sister vanishes under suspicious circumstances. What with plots to kill the queen, sinister secret medical experiments, and some oddly sympathetic cannibal goblins, there's treachery at every turn. Locke's writing is smart and fast-paced, full of sharp dialogue and vivid detail. This stylish, original story is perfectly suited to a wonderfully constructed world.