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Since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, he proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.
Now, one century later, a plantation in a flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young lady who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian Nanny is not the behavior of a proper lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.
However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars; Arabella decides that saving her family is far more important than behaving as expected. She decides to disguise herself as a boy and join the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company with a mysterious Indian captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations. Now, Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learning how to sail, and a mutinous crew if she hopes to save her brother from certain death.