cover image Breath of Earth

Breath of Earth

Beth Cato. Harper Voyager, , $14.99 ISBN 978-0-06-242206-4

Steampunk author Cato (The Clockwork Dagger) turns to the U.S. in this well-researched and vivid fantasy set in an alternate 1906 San Francisco that’s protected from earthquakes by geomancers. Japan and the U.S. have formed the United Pacific alliance and jointly targeted China. The entire San Francisco council of Earth Wardens is destroyed in a suspicious explosion, leaving only the hidden talents of young Ingrid Carmichael to thwart the next attack on the city. Ingrid, the mixed-race daughter of a vanished warden, is restricted from practicing magic due to both her gender and her dark skin. She must look for allies among the city’s persecuted Chinese refugees, exiles forced to wear yellow ID patches. Along with a renegade inventor (with a handy airship!), Ingrid sets out to confront the terrorists who plan to rubble the city and tries to appease the near-mythic guardian whose subterranean slumber is being disturbed. Cato cleverly brings her colorful Barbary Coast–era San Francisco to life, highlighting the neglected perspectives of the outsiders and the dispossessed who made up the majority of its populace. Agent: Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore & Company. (Aug.)