Napoleon III, that vexation of the British Empire, with his preternatural Ludibrium, has brought nations of every continent into the French Empire and wooed Victoria’s own subjects from her domain. A message from the future has wrought collaboration of the houses of Devonshire and Wellington, entreating they preemptively depose Napoleon.
But naught goes as planned for company when Coinneach Throckmorton undertakes the assassination of the Duke of Devonshire and becomes inadvertently enthralled with Wellington’s niece, Helen Culling. Coin is a mechanically gifted, youthful Highlander seeking only to protest insouciance toward hemodrosis, that blight known commonly as the Weeping Death, but his entanglement with Helen threaten unravel all their machinations.
All is not lost, however, as Coin and Helen’s antics allow them ascertain the missing component to chronomigration, accomplish the next great technological advancement of the Interface between Ludibrium and mechanicals, discover the terrible source of the Weeping Death, expose the existential threat Ludibrium poses humanity, and, ultimately, impart the secret means of surfing time itself upon ethereal mind streams.
All this happened after a young Scot returned from university to find his family taken by the Weeping Death, and an old Brit arrived at Devonshire House with a chimpanzee in the box of his dogcart, the primate proving to be a precise duplication of the very one which then contentedly occupied its keep in the estate’s monkey house.