A quick-witted Irish safecracker juggles alchemy and automatons in the action-packed follow-up to the nineteenth-century United States steampunk adventure, King of the Cracksmen.
Liam McCool, the premier safecracker in 1877 New York, isn’t the type to hang around fairy circles on the Celtic day of the dead. But an invitation from his Gram leaves the “King of the Cracksmen” possessed by the spirit of Finn McCool, the great hunter-warrior of ancient Ireland and a mighty magical force.
Just in time, too. Edwin Stanton, once Lincoln’s Secretary of War but now a self-proclaimed dictator, has restored slavery in the United States, and conscripted every able-bodied white male to fight in the war he’s waging against Little Russia, made up of all the continental North America west of the Mississippi, sold to Russia by Andrew Jackson fifty years earlier.
Stanton needs Little Russia’s calorium, a mineral used to power America’s airships, factories, and humanoid automatons. But Liam and the love of his life, world-famous reporter Becky Fox, mean to stop him. Joined by Crazy Horse, the Sioux war chief and medicine man, and Ambrose Chen, a Taoist sorcerer and alchemist, Liam and company embark on a wild series of adventures from New Petersburg, where revolutionaries are fighting to overthrow the government, to the Bear Flag Republic, a California enclave governed by P. T. Barnum.
It’s an explosive combination of dynamite and sorcery in this rip-roaring steampunk extravaganza, the audacious follow-up to the “rousingly violent, funny, sometimes shockingly profane” King of the Cracksmen (Kirkus, starred review).