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Head of Zeus
A Clockwork River
A Clockwork River by J.S. Emery

'Exuberant isn't often a word you'd apply to fantasy novels, but A Clockwork River rushes along at a pace to match the waterway at its heart' SFX

'Delightfully weird and clever' Grimdark Magazine

'As charming as it is uncontainable, an uber-confident picaresque comedy in the authentic, madcap 18th-century manner' The Times

Time is running out for the Clockwork River.

Lower Rhumbsford is a city far removed from its glory days. On the banks of the great river Rhumb, its founding fathers channelled the river's mighty flow into a subterranean labyrinth of pipes, valves and sluices, a feat of hydraulic prowess that would come to power an empire. But a thousand years have passed since then, and something is wrong: the pipes are leaking, the valves stuck, the sluices silted and the once torrential Rhumb has been reduced to a sluggish trickle.

The fortunes of the Locke family, descendants of the city's most celebrated engineer, are similarly reduced. In a once fashionable quarter of the once great city, siblings Samuel and Briony Locke distract themselves: Sam tends to his vast lock collection instead of finishing his engineering thesis; facing the prospect of a disagreeable marriage, Briony occupies herself with alchemical experiments.

One night Samuel leaves the house carrying five of his most precious locks and doesn't come back. As she searches for her brother, Briony will be drawn into a web of ancestral secrets and imperial intrigues as a ruthless new power arises. If brother and sister are to be reunited, they will need the help of a tight-lipped house spirit, a convict gang, a tribe of troglodytes, an association of antiques enthusiasts, a travelling theatrical troupe, the Ladies Whist Club, the Deep State, and a lovesick mouse.

Epic, rollicking and in love with language, Jacob and Sara Emery's sprawling debut novel of humble kitchen magics and awe-inspiring civil engineering is a rare and delicious commodity – the world's first hydropunk novel.

Head of Zeus -- an AdAstra Book * Fantasy
07 Oct 2021 * 736pp * £18.99 * 9781800249929
REVIEWS
'Oh, just plunge into this 'hydro-punk' fantasy novel, will you. It's as charming as it is uncontainable, an uber-confident picaresque comedy in the authentic, madcap 18th-century manner' The Times.
The Times
'4½ stars! Exuberant isn't often a word you'd apply to fantasy novels, but A Clockwork River rushes along at a pace to match the waterway at its heart'
SFX Magazine
'It is delightfully weird, clever, and a luxuriously slow novel set in a historical urban fantasy world'
Grimdark Magazine
'A monumental hydropunk novel centred around a hydraulic city in danger of collapse, Emery's meticulously realised fantasy brings in everything from house spirits and troglodytes to the Ladies Whist Club'
Waterstones
Author
J.S. Emery
J.S. Emery
J.S. Emery is a brother-sister writing team, born in North Idaho into a homeschooling family of seven children, each of whom received an air rifle and a copy of The Odyssey by way of a fifth birthday present. This background prepared them wonderfully for writing fantasy novels but very poorly for formal education. After dropping out of secondary school, they worked jobs including ballet dancer, emergency room janitor, and map librarian in various parts of Europe and North America. They now live in the United States, where they are godparents (and, increasingly, dungeon masters) to one another's children.
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