The forces of the Union are about to meet those of the North in battle. Over the next three days war will be waged, and men will die. Or become heroes. Or something in between. This is the story of those bloody days, the story of the men, and occasional women, on both sides who fight.
This is the second Book of Bayern so it does help if you have read the first book, The Goose Girl but it is not entirely necessary as the story itself is quite separate. Hale expands on the world she created in the first book, using a secondary character. In The Goose Girl Enna was one of Ani’s “forest friends”, important as friend and helper. In this book Enna is the main character. After the events of the first film she returned home to the forest, her mother died, and she moved back home with her brother. As this book begins he has found a mysterious vellum parchment in the forest and begins to change, becoming hot-headed and rash. At first he begins to argue against the king, saying the forest folk have been too harshly treated and deserve better, but as soon as word comes of a possible war he swings in behind Bayern and becomes a loyal subject, desiring to go to war on his country’s behalf. And then there is the fact that he can control fire.
It is 1914 and Europe is on the brink of war. In Austria-Hungary young Prince Aleksander’s life is suddenly in turmoil. His parents have been murdered and he is on the run and in disguise. His once-upon-a-time allies have turned out to be enemies and there are very few people he can trust. In England Deryn Sharp wants nothing more than to be an airman. The only problem is, she’s a girl, and airmen are.. well, male. In disguise she gets accepted and is soon serving as a Midshipman aboard the Leviathan. A huge airship built around a fabricated beast.