In the mysterious City of Towers, the center of the destroyed Tarakan empire, a lowly scribe of the Guild of Historians is charged with a dangerous assignment. He must venture into the wilds beyond the glass and steel towers to discover the fate of a child who mysteriously disappeared more than a decade before. Born of a rare breed of marked people, the child, Rafik—known as “The Key”—was one of a special few with the power to restore this lost civilization to glory once again.
In a world riven by fear and violence, where tattooed mutants, manic truckers, warring guilds and greedy mercenaries battle for survival, this one boy may have singlehandedly destroyed humanity’s only chance for salvation—unless the scribe can figure out what happened to him.
Ian Blake doesn't play games and he won't accept handouts. He needs to be productive and useful - but his creepy boss just fired the baby-saving hero and father of three.
Ian yearns to build his own robots now. But with a job offer in hand under his old boss in a government agency, he fights his family's callous material greed and his own self-doubt to build the future he thinks we all need.
In space, the enigmatic Mirrorsun has begun to spin. Immense solar sails are pushing vast amounts of energy into its ancient orbital band, energy that could tear it apart--or be directed down at Earth. Already the hypnotic Call has ceased, and all electrical machines have been reduced to molten metal. A religious prophet has risen and is attempting to bring together the entire continent of Australica under her rule.
Meanwhile, her diesel-powered sailwing shot down by religious fanatics, the American princess Samondel is forced to set aside her trade-seeking mission and disguise herself as a student. Her only friends are a disgraced monk who is a member of the secret police and a beautiful young librarian who is a dangerous and unstable psychopath. From these unlikely friendships she must form an alliance between two continents and two species, and prevent ultimate war.
Fundamentally, unexpectedly, things are changing everywhere. As catastrophe looms and civilization begins to crumble, the Dragon Librarians of Australica have just one means left to hold their world together: to kidnap every numerate person on the continent and rebuild their out-of-date human-powered computer--the Calculor.
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