Jim Butcher‘s long-running supernatural hard-boiled detective series The Dresden Files has had fans clamoring for more, while his more traditional fantasy books of Codex Alera have been well-received over the past decade. Now the best-selling author is launching a new series called The Cinder Spires, which combines fantasy and steampunk for a high-flying adventure, starting with the first book, The Aeronaut’s Windlass.
In The Aeronaut’s Windlass, the world is engulfed in a dangerous mist that caused humanity to move up above the clouds to Spires, divided into multi-tiered Habbles, where noble houses vie for power and airships are the main mode of transportation, shipping, and military. When the children of noble houses come of age, they enlist for a year’s service in the Spirearch’s Guard. On Spire Albion, Gwendolyn Lancaster — who’s House is the most prestigious — is a new Guard trainee, joining cousin Benedict Sorellin-Lancaster, one of the warriorborn, humans who possess feline-like characteristics. At the Academy, the cousins meet Bridget Tagwynn, who’s of a lower, dying house (it’s just her and her father left in their line), and Bridget’s protector, Rowl, a cat who is the first of his kind to be accepted into the service.