A peculiar explorer and downtrodden acrobat span the globe on a building-sized hot air balloon, in search of a precious artifact and the murderous treasure hunter who seeks it.
Beatrix, a spirited but abused acrobat in a travelling circus, seeks more than her prison-like employment offers. More than anything, she wants to know her place in the world of the halcyon 19th century, a time when the last dark corners of the map were being sketched out and travel still possessed a kind of magic.
One night in Switzerland, the mysterious Colonel James Bacchus attends Beatrix's show. This larger-than-life English gentleman, reputed to have a voracious appetite for female conquests, is most notable for travelling the world in a four-story hot air balloon called The Ox.
Beatrix flees that night to join the Colonel, and the two of them make a narrow escape—Beatrix from her abusive ringleader, the Colonel from a freshly-made cuckold. Beatrix, feeling the Colonel may have the answers to her problems, pledges to help him catch the criminal he seeks in exchange for passage on his magnificent balloon.
The criminal seeks a precious figurine, The Blue Star Sphinx, but he's not alone. The Sphinx's immense value has also drawn the attention of the world's most deadly treasure hunters. A murder in Antwerp begins a path of mystery that leads all the way to the most isolated island on Earth.
What dangers await the Colonel and the acrobat?
Evolved Publishing presents a globe-trotting adventure in the tradition of such greats as "Around the World in 80 Days."
A classic, whirlwind adventure.
The colonel is an incredibly eccentric, cartoonish figure reminding me somewhat of Dr. Who.
I loved the opening scenes involving Beatrix. She is a fascinating character but I didn't get to see enough of her life in the circus before she met the Colonel.
I felt that I was always at a distance from the characters, not getting to fully understand them.
The story is action driven interspersed with flowery dialogue, riddles and the ridiculous.
A quick, fun, charming read.
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