After the earth’s power under her city is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magic to survive in this fresh fantasy standalone from the author of the acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.
In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation— the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong secretary Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her own talent—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.
When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose the earth’s power to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese forces, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming San Francisco into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .
Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her already considerable magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.
Steampunk author Cato (The Clockwork Dagger) turns to the U.S. in this well-researched and vivid fantasy set in an alternate 1906 San Francisco that's protected from earthquakes by geomancers. Japan and the U.S. have formed the United Pacific alliance and jointly targeted China. The entire San Francisco council of Earth Wardens is destroyed in a suspicious explosion, leaving only the hidden talents of young Ingrid Carmichael to thwart the next attack on the city. Ingrid, the mixed-race daughter of a vanished warden, is restricted from practicing magic due to both her gender and her dark skin. She must look for allies among the city's persecuted Chinese refugees, exiles forced to wear yellow ID patches. Along with a renegade inventor (with a handy airship!), Ingrid sets out to confront the terrorists who plan to rubble the city and tries to appease the near-mythic guardian whose subterranean slumber is being disturbed. Cato cleverly brings her colorful Barbary Coast era San Francisco to life, highlighting the neglected perspectives of the outsiders and the dispossessed who made up the majority of its populace.