A decade ago, Captain Belyn Morrow of the starship Epiphany failed to complete her mission, and the city of Verdure was destroyed. Now, grounded on the low-tech, desert planet of Loess and relegated to piloting a lumbering airship, fate drops a second chance in her lap.
Twenty-four year old Anna Verril has grown up on Loess under her brother’s gentle tyranny with only the empathic Saguin known as Jax for tutor and companion. It isn’t a bad life, but it’s all been rather well-managed, down to her engagement to her brother’s best friend—and Anna has had enough of it.
When Anna’s brother and fiancé—well, ex-fiancé—leave on a trading journey, Anna seizes her chance. Three weeks on Morrow’s Copper Dragon seem a fitting start to her journey to the Academy at Oas, but nothing on the Dragon is what it seems, from the Captain, a veteran of galactic Wars, to the cabin boy, to Jax himself. When the Dragon is hijacked by an Outside terrorist organization led by Loess’ deposed Governor, Anna must use all her skills as an artificer and engineer to uncover the secrets her Family kept from her, thwart the Governor’s scheme, and win the woman she has come to love.
The Copper Dragon takes place in a post-technology steampunk setting, against a backdrop of soft sci-fi space opera, and includes a significant f/f romance.
Ultimately, this is a book that asks: who would you be if you didn’t have to be who everyone expected you to be? It’s about that bated breath before you answer a question, that brief and endless moment when all things are still possible because nothing has been decided. It’s about finding agency and recognizing your own potential. And because I can’t resist a love story, it’s about that too: how much does one woman’s heart weigh against the fate of the world? I should note that as a queer author—and a human being—I could not write a world in which same-sex relationships were anything other than ordinary, and so while the main romance is a queer one, this is not a book about coming out or facing disapproval.