Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Excellent piece of steampunk for the 8-12 age range! Set in an alternate version of 1869's German Empire this is an exciting story of spies, air flight and derring-do. We are given a brief synopsis of the German states at the time, specifically Bavaria, Prussia, Austria and Germany, so as to understand the political espionage going on. Three children find there is a Prussian spy amongst the Bavarian court and the "Knights of Aether" are trying to lure him out. Meanwhile, a great ship is being constructed for the Bavarian king to find the invisible land of Aether. And that's just a brief summary of the intricate plot! I loved all the main character, two boys and a girl. And the secondary ones also: the villain and the father. Well written, I totally enjoyed the book and look forward to the sequel. The art, on the other hand, was not the greatest for me. Sketchy watercolours were hidden and hard to see with the plethora of speech bubbles crowding most frames.