The world George Dower left when he went into hiding was significantly simpler than the new, steam-powered Victorian London. Dower is enticed into a web of intrigue with ominously mysterious players who have nefarious plans of which he can only guess. If he can locate and make his father's Vox Universalis work as it was intended, his future is assured. But his efforts are confounded by the strange Vicar Stonebrake. Drugged, arrested, and interrogated Dower is trapped in a maelstrom of secrets, corruption, and schemes that threaten to drown him in the chaos of this mad new world.