Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.
Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?
The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.
Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.
Dire circumstances and an unsettling sense of inevitable heartache make Cato's sequel to The Clockwork Dagger a more somber affair, grounded in earth magic rather than the high-flying razzle-dazzle of steampunk. Magical healer Octavia Leander is alarmed by the scope of her new powers and slightly dispirited as she and Alonzo Garrett, the dashing assassin turned love interest, try to uncover information about the Lady, whose mysterious tree is the source of Octavia's powers. An unexpected source of menace moves the story into fresh territory, while the escalating hostilities between the corrupt kingdom of Caskentia and its even more violent rebel province, the Dallows, put the vigorously determined Octavia in more than enough danger to satisfy her fans. Cato continues to defy expectations, moving the saga toward an unexpected, heartfelt conclusion, and the revelations about Octavia's abilities are amply rewarding.