Wow! What a great book! I like steampunk anyway, and this story encompassed so much of what I love about reading-- a compelling tale that keeps you turning the pages, and author good with words, adventure, and a mystery. To me, it was reminiscent of The Good Thief, which I also loved, but vaguely, and at the same time a story unique and all its own.
Beatrix (Bee) is a 13 year old acrobat who had run away to the circus from an home where she was unwanted, but the circus proved no better as the owner, Ziro, was a volatile man who used his whip for the smallest infraction. During a performance she meets Colonel James Bacchus, a mysterious man that many tales of daring and adventure are told about, and he ends up being her savior, allowing her to escape from Ziro and his 2 dangerous mute and strange guards that are often tasked with the duty to kill whoever disappoints Ziro. The Colonel's home away from home is the Ox, a four story hot-air balloon which is almost entirely self-sufficient, and this way the conveyance for what ended up being a globe-hopping adventure, on the hunt of criminals and treasure.
This book has now found a treasured space on my bookshelf, sure to be revisited again. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author. Thank you!