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The Light Ages

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In the year 1678, Joshua Wagstaffe discovered aether, and the Industrial Revolution began. Not the Industrial Revolution of our world; but one fuelled by magic. Aether, its secrets jealously guarded by the Guilds, became the glue that bound English society together. Now, after three hundred years, change is finally in the air. The talk on the streets of London is of Revolution, of overturning the Guilds, of a New Beginning. The Third Age of Industry is ending, in fire and in death... Raised in the Yorkshire town of Bracebridge, and seemingly destined to follow his father into the aether factories, Robert Borrows witnesses the dark side of aether when his mother is transformed into a changeling; monstrous and pitiful. Fleeing to London, Robbie joins the revolution, working to bring about the Fourth Age, an era of equality and plenty. Roaming the vast, Brobdignagian city, all colours, smells and danger, exploring its myriad social layers, from petty criminals and revolutionaries to salon mistresses and opium dreamers, Robbie discovers secrets that threaten the very fabric of society; secrets that involve the deepest mysteries of aether. He becomes embroiled in the glittering social circle of the mysterious Anna Winters - beautiful, mercurial, beguiling - and finds that the past is not so easily cast off. For Robbie and Anna's fates have been intertwined since before their birth - since the infamous day when the aether engines of Bracebridge stopped working, and the world was deafened by the roar of silence. The day the seeds of change were sown...