Master spy, former con-artist, Eveline Duchen returns in adventure set in a world of steam and magic.
Eveline Sparrow (formerly Duchen) hopes to put her past experiences as a thief and con-artist to more legitimate use; which is why some of the girls at her Sparrow School receive private lessons in burglary, fakery, and other such underhand practices.
But it’s hard to get honest work when few businesses will employ young ladies in the security professions. The duns are at the doorstep, her friend Liu the half-fox-spirit is in some sort of trouble, and the rivalries of the Folk are in danger of overspilling into the mundane world and forcing the Empire into a bloody and horrifying war. Can Eveline pull things out of the mire this time, or will the Sparrow’s wings be clipped once and for all?
Eveline Duchen is a thief and con-artist, surviving day by day on the streets of London, where the glittering spires of progress rise on the straining backs of the poor and disenfranchised. Where the Folk, the otherworldly children of fairy tales and legends, have all but withdrawn from the smoke of the furnaces and the clamour of iron.
Caught in an act of deception by the implacable Mr Holmforth, Evvie is offered a stark choice: transportation to the colonies, or an education and utter commitment to Her Majesty’s Service at Miss Cairngrim’s harsh school for female spies.
But on the decadent streets of Shanghai, where the corruption of the Empire is laid bare, Holmforth is about to make a devil’s bargain, and Eveline’s choices could change the future of two worlds…
“Tremendous, pacey fun — perky heroines, mysterious men, vivid settings, dastardly plots and a steam powered dragon. What more could a girl want?” Francis Knight, (Rojan Dizon novels)
Published by Solaris April 2014
(Gears of Empire, Volume 2, Sparrow Falling, due Spring, 2015)
The Babylon Steel series
“…there is not a moment in this novel where you will feel bored. The pace is just blistering.” Marc Aplin, Fantasy Faction.
Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex…other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals.
She’s not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it’s tax time, and there’s not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. More than just a few night’s takings are at risk when Babylon’s hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat.
Babylon Steel, former avatar of the goddess of sex and war, owner of the Scarlet Lantern brothel, has been offered a job as bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, candidate for the Council of Incandress; and as spy for the barelyacknowledged government of Scalentine.
Incandress is on the verge of civil war. Keeping both herself and her client alive is a hard job that only gets harder. And that’s before she is driven to a choice that has terrible and far-reaching consequences…
“…a hugely entertaining novel, full of humour and excitement but also with real depth.” Simon Bestwick, (author of Tide of Souls and The Faceless)