Werks, Queens, and Other Dangerous Things
One queen. One apprentice. Giant metal clockwerk insects.
It's 1897 and clockwerks of destruction threaten the kingdom of the Netherlands. In response, the Royal Council is forcing inexperienced Queen Wilhelmina into a close alliance with either Britain or Germany. But Mina is no fool. She knows that Queen Victoria and Kaiser Wilhelm are known for making empires, not alliances.
Bakianto of Java hasn't the luxury of throwing away any opportunity. When offered an apprenticeship (in werks of purpose, not destruction, of course) at Noordeinde Palace, he takes it. Mayhaps he can use it as a chance to improve with the old twist and bend while he tracks down the father who abandoned him. Say what you will of the palace toffs: they suit his purpose.
When Mina and Kian are thrown together, everything changes. Mina has to discover why the Council is pushing the alliance. Kian must learn the real reason his father left. Then there is the pesky business of how they feel about each other: an undeniable attraction despite the unsuitableness of the match. Really, the whole thing is becoming quite a bother!
All the while, attacks from werks of destruction grow more frequent, threatening the country, their relationship, and their very lives.
Copyright Katharine Owens, all rights reserved.
Finalist, Tassy Walden Award, Young Adult Novel, 2018 https://www.shorelinearts.org/tassy-walden-award-announcement
Cover art is my own drawing! Also copyrighted.