When the teeming regions of the world demanded their share of resources, the great Carbon Nation was taken aback, losing its foundation and its footing. It faltered. It harvested enough wind to change the climate—not for the better. It warred with itself and fell apart. Now a new nation has risen from the ashes of the old, harnessing the greatest renewable resource: humanity. Men and women walk on giant treadwheels to provide their glorious society with energy. The bigger they are the more they are worth, and so the more attractive they are. Bigger is better. It is the ultimate goal. (Pay no mind to the biggest and best dying suddenly.)

Shevi is a big girl with a bright future, betrothed into one of the biggest and, therefore, most powerful families of Induction Town. Jackson is a skinny kid, helping his father scavenge a living one crime after another. When these two youths meet, they know they have no future together. He doesn’t have the prowess, and she is too much like the mother who chose a better life for herself. But still . . .

The attraction between them grows stronger each time they meet until they can no longer deny it. Friends and family intervene, but, alas, it is up to Mr. Myrtle, a small man with big plans to gain a place among the highest of society, to insure these kids are dealt with: that Jackson is put back in his place and Shevi is returned to the righteous path.

So begins The Trintico Quartet. Shevi and Jackson explore the depths of the great society, seeing the many costs of it maintenance and coming to understand its precarious condition. But do they dare resist the momentum that, while harming many, provides at least something for all? And if they dare, could they offer a better system than the status quo?

Reviews

A truly unique premise that is a twist on the real world’s obsession with weight and body size.– Jeffery Miller

I have a new LOVE! The Trintico Quartet is an absolutely AMAZING story! Once I started I Town (book one) I quite literally could not put it down until I finished Trintico (book four). The character development is outstanding, The details are exquisite. The story is not predictable. – Jeanne Reed

This book was the very first book since I read Enders Game many years ago that made me feel that urge to keep reading. I read the entire book in no time at all. It is engaging, well written and the story was very deep! – Lindsey Pharis

The technology, history, and social structure of the world are believably presented without bogging readers down in lots of dry exposition. – Diane Willard


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The Plot

If the audacious young Scot, Coinneach Throckmorton, had not failed to assassinate the Duke of Devonshire, he would not have been drawn into the plot of the houses of Devonshire and Wellington to depose Emperor Napoleon III. Moreover, the missing secret to chronomigration might never have been discovered. The terrible truth of the cause of hemodrosis, that dreadful disease known without the learned and scholarly as the Weeping Death, might never have been realized. The next great leap of technological advancement, the interface between Napoleon’s preternatural substance Ludibrium and Britain’s clockwork mechanicals, might never have been accomplished. And, ultimately, the secret means of surfing through time by way of ethereal mind streams might never have prevented the ultimate existential threat to mankind.

Luckily, then, Coin did fail, for had he not, all might now be lost and the steampunk universe never imparted.

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The Cast

Coinneach Throckmorton – a gifted young Scot traveling about with his cousins Digby and Bridget after their family and hamlet was annihilated by hemodrosis.

Helen Culling – niece of the 1st Duke of Wellington, the Iron Duke, who deposed the first Emperor Napoleon at Waterloo. Helen’s own technological cunning had saved her from the many courters, so far.

Fabian Fairchild – given the title of Count by Emperor Napoleon III and the sole right to produce the highly valued and preternatural substance Ludibrium, which, when applied to the wall of a public house common room or mansion drawing room, will show anything desired, save how it is made.

Joseph Paxton – head gardener and chief council to Lord William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire. At the duke’s behest, in our time, Paxton designed the wondrous glass structure, the Crystal Palace, for Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851. But, as the world was as it should not have been for Coin, Helen, and even Paxton himself, the structure he designs for Mayfair’s Hyde park is instead the dreadful Great Labyrinth.

Catherine Dickens – or shall we say Catherine Hogarth, for not only has the world lost the great author Charles Dickens prematurely, but, due to certain inexplicable circumstances, Catherine never married the dashing star of story, much to her own surprise.

William Harrison Ainsworth – having lost his dear friend Charles to the Weeping Death, Ainsworth has abandoned the frivolity of fiction to journal the efforts of the Dark Riders as they quarantine hamlet after village afflicted by hemodrosis.

Lord William CavendishLord Douro, son and heir of the Iron Duke; Victoria Regina, Queen of the United Kingdom and IrelandPrince Albert, her husband and consort; Lord Charles BabbageLady Ada ByronCharlotte BronteTsarevich Alexander RomanovLouis VeronHenry ChevreauCharles-Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France; et cetera, et cetera.