This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
After nearly a year as a boatman on the stinking, crowded canals of Dunsgow, Fireboy’s great skill with boats and engines has earned him barely half of the money he needs to pay off his mother’s bond fee. Only then can he return to the River Slow, reunite his family, and work his own boat on clean water. A chance meeting with a seer inspires him to trade in his boat for a new steam launch expressly designed for shallow waters, and to take a commission on the Wynde River for Baron Miner – the man who holds his mother’s bond. If Fireboy has figured it right, the Baron’s commission plus the money he’s saved will free his mother in one trip.
What Fireboy can’t calculate are the changes wrought on his plans by Jake, a wily young juggler on the run from Baron Miner’s men. By Lucide, half human, half water sprite, trying to break free of her own bonds of duty and love. And by the binding lies of Karl Tinker, the Baron’s mastermind in a campaign to find and destroy the source of magic on all of the Five Rivers.
Fireboy’s journey takes him from the rivers he knows to the tangled, bemagicked forests of the highest reaches of the land – to make and lose new friends, his new boat, and even his own free will – before he can discover which bonds and talents really matter.