Jack Branham knew Mars better than any Earth man alive, but when he exposed the corruption of the chartered companies there his enemies kidnapped him and shipped him to Hong Kong, where the watchful eyes of the East India Company could prevent him from causing more trouble. Now after years in exile, the very people who marooned him on Earth are sending him back to the Red Planet on a secret mission - tracking down a missing Royal Geographical Society expedition to the ancient ruins of Odusar, the City of Mists.
To uncover the truth behind the expedition's disappearance Jack will have to fight his way across two worlds - against Company thugs, anarchists, and the fierce barbarian tribes of Mars - with only the promise of death by Company assassins awaiting him if he succeeds.
The Age of Aether takes place in a universe where the social revolutions of the 18th Century never happened. Mighty airships fill the skies while Cavorite-hulled aetherships ply the airless voids between the planets. From the torrid jungles of Venus to the frigid deserts of Mars, the British Empire has truly become "the Empire on which the sun never sets." The crowned heads of Europe share power with the immensely wealthy chartered companies created to exploit the wealth of the Solar System, while anarchist and republican terrorists try to stir up revolution in the colonial territories. Political activists and dissidents are shipped offworld to work alongside criminal transportees in the company towns of Mars and Venus. The Empires of Mexico and Brazil dominate the Americas, while Japan is a rising force in the East, and from the deep fastness of Nix Olympica the Martian High Emperor reigns over the remnants of his slowly dying planet.