Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the kwn world-including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.Young Gideon Smith has seen things that green lad of Her Majesty's dominion should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the dreaded Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical clockwork girl Maria, along with a most fantastical weapon-a great brass dragon that was unearthed beneath ancient Egyptian soil. Maria is the only one who can pilot the beast, so Cockayne has taken girl and dragon off to points east.Gideon and his intrepid band take to the skies and travel to the American colonies hot on Cockayne's trail. Not only does Gideon want the machine back, he has fallen in love with Maria. Their journey will take them to the wilds of the lawless lands south of the American colonies-to free Texas, where the mad King of Steamtown rules with an iron fist (literally), where life is cheap and hor even cheaper.Does Gideon have what it takes to t only save the day but win the girl?
David Barnett is an author and award-winning journalist based in the north of England. His previous novels include Hinterland, Angelglass and popCULT!, and his work has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday, SFX magazine and others. www.davidbarnett.wordpress.com, @davidmbarnett.