What if British magic kept the American Revolution from ever occurring?
It's 1888, and seventeen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family - but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister - but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family's life. She soon realizes she's uniquely positioned to advance the cause - but to do so, she'll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.