Deep under the City of Glass in the frozen southern land, an age-old machine called the Heart of the City radiates a power which locals call icefire. Most citizens are immune to it, but a few, always... More > born with physical disabilities, can bend it to their will. For fifty years, the ruling Eagle Knights, who fly on the back of giant birds, have killed these Imperfects, fearing the return of the old royal family, who used icefire to cut out people's hearts, turning them into ghostly servitors.
Across the border in steam-age, science-focused Chevakia, people have built barriers against the radiation, against which they have no resistance.
Chevakia also harbours the old southern royal family’s only surviving members, and they are planning revenge and their return to power, taking both countries to the first war in fifty years.< Less
Of all the things ten-year-old Cory Wilson expects to do when he moves to Midway Space Station, saving aliens from humans isn't one. An important conference is about to start at the station, not... More > usually the sort of thing kids care about, not even when the conference is between humans and aliens, and half your family is alien. However, when bullies tease Cory, he ends up in a prohibited area where he overhears some men planning to plant a bomb at the conference. Because the terrorists hide their messages in computer games, no one believes Cory, not even his father, the station director. Kids at school think he’s crazy, some even think aliens should be bombed. The conference starts, the aliens have brought a very important person, and Cory's teacher, one of the terrorists, locks Cory in the classroom. Can he get out in time? If he does, will anyone listen?< Less
Deep under the City of Glass in the frozen southern land, an age-old machine called the Heart of the City radiates a power which locals call icefire. Most citizens are immune to it, but a few, always... More > born with disabilities, can bend it to their will. For fifty years, the ruling Eagle Knights have killed these Imperfects, fearing the return of the old royal family, who used icefire to turn people into ghostly servitors.
The old king's grandson Tandor only sees the good things icefire brought: technology now forgotten while the people of the south live in poverty. All he needs is an army of Imperfect servitors to bring glory back to the land.
Isandor is Imperfect, an ex-Knight apprentice, betrayed by his best friend.
The queen Jevaithi is Imperfect, living like a prisoner amidst leering Knights.
The youngsters, however, have no inclination to become heartless ghosts, but while they defy Tandor, the Heart beats, and he alone cannot control its power.< Less