The acclaimed sequel to The Light Ages, Ian MacLeod’s masterful steampunk fantasy returns readers to a magical-industrial alternate England, where a matriarch’s lust for power threatens to unleash bloody chaos
In this new age of industry, guilds reign supreme, their power dependent upon aether,a magical substance mined from the ground. Greatgrandmistress Alice Meynell rules over the Great Guild of Telegraphers with unmatched grace and ruthlessness. Yet even she is powerless to halt the disease that is destroying her son, Ralph. In desperation she looks to Einfell—a land untouched by aether’s ravages and to which England’s changelings have all been banished—and begs for help. Her wish is granted.
Miraculously cured, Ralph finds a new life far away from the industrial clamor of London, and is made whole by the love of Marion Price, a fisherman’s daughter. But the Greatgrandmistress will use every power at her disposal to thwart the couple’s ambitions and love, even if it means plunging all of England into conflict.