The sixth marvellous tale of high adventure and derring-do from the master of steampunk literature, set in the world of The Court of the Air A daring underwater chase ends in a battle for the Kingdom itself...The streets of Middlesteel are under attack by an unseen enemy, leaving bloodless corpses in its trail. The newssheets scream vampire, but the truth is even more deadly than anyone knows. Charlotte Shades, Mistress of Mesmerism, is a thief - and a darned good one at that. When two mysterious men ask her to steal King Jude's Sceptre from the Parliament vaults, the challenge (and reward) is too great to pass up. After all, Charlotte's natural charm and the magic of the gem she wears - the mysterious Eye of Fate - have never failed her before. Only consulting detective Jethro Daunt and his steamman companion Boxiron know there's more to these two men than meets the eye. Yet even as they rescue Charlotte from a fate worse than death, they are thrown into a plot thicker than even they realize. They escape beneath the waves in an ancient submarine led by Commodore Jethro Black, where they encounter stiff resistance from the strange people who inhabit the vast underwater kingdoms.
But man, woman, seanore and gillneck alike must band together if they are to defeat a danger that might not even be from this world...
Praise for 'The Court of the Air': 'An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels' Lisa Tuttle, The Times 'The characters are convincing and colourful, but the real achievement is the setting, a hellish take on Victorian London ... the depth and complexity of Hunt's vision makes it compulsive reading for all ages' Guardian 'Wonderfully assured ... Hunt knows what his audience like and gives it to them with a sardonic wit and carefully developed tension' Time Out 'Rich and colourful ... keeps you engrossed ... a confident, audacious novel' SFX 'Like a magpie, Stephen Hunt has plucked colourful events from history and politics and used them for inspiration ... Hunts tells his full-blooded tale with lip-smacking relish, revealing a vivid, often gruesome imagination ... T'he Court of the Air' brims with originality and, from the first, its chase-filled plot never lets up' Starburst
Stephen Hunt has worked as a writer, editor and publisher for a number of magazines and national newspaper groups in the UK. He is also the founder of www.SFcrowsnest.com, one of the oldest and most popular fan-run science fiction and fantasy websites. Born in Canada, the author divides his time between the UK, North America and Spain. His interests include computer programming, the graphic arts and collecting comics. One day he hopes to have a library large enough to house all of his books.