A novelization of the second major Story Arc
of the award-winning webcomic series Girl Genius
. It follows the webcomic very
closely, often having a distinct 1:1 mapping between panel and paragraph, but it does have a few interesting departures, omissions, and expansions.
- Adaptation Expansion: More than in Agatha H. and the Airship City; for example, Agatha and Lars' relationship is given more time to develop.
- Aroused by Their Voice: Agatha finds Lars' "madboy" voice rather appealing. Also part of her attraction to Tarvek seem to be connected with liking the sound of his voice.
- Author Avatar: Professor Phil Folgio appears in the book.
- Bottled Heroic Resolve: Lucrezia indulges.
- Curious Qualms of Conscience: Wooster can't figure out why he feels guilty about alienating Agatha and Gil when it's obviously for England's benefit.
- Dirty Business: Wooster realizes this after the fact.
- Footnote Fever: Footnotes explain on points and backstory.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Jägers take up human hobbies to reconnect with their lost humanity. Oggie tries to set up his descendants on dates (which has led to Phil being the last of his line), while Dimo apparently knits multicolored socks.
- I Want Grandkids: Oggie in fact wants great-great-great grandchildren.
- Love Epiphany: Tarvek has one, when he sees that Agatha is ready to give herself up to the Baron to keep the Other from taking over Europa.
And seeing her there-seeing the fear in her eyes, alongside the simple raw courage, Tarvek realized that he would do anything. Move mountains, crush cities, toss all of his carefully laid plans into disarray, if that was what it would take to help protect this young girl who was willing to sacrifice herself in order to save Europa, who was standing there alone and helpless before him.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: The footnotes — and Folgio's own appearance — treat this as a history the authors are compiled.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Inverted when Agatha is invited to dinner with Prince Aaronev. Her circus friends make her look as plain and unappealing as possible to make sure she doesn't have to worry about any unwanted advances. Tarvek (being an expert on fashion) is initially mildly put out and thinks they tried to send the wrong girl... until he realizes that it was completely intentional, and is impressed by the genius of it: Perfectly neutral, too ugly to attract attention, but not so much that the prince would take it as an intentional insult.
- The Farmer and the Viper: A variation is told with Baron Wulfenbach and two snake-like constructs. Klaus was wearing body armor under his coat, and chose to spare the life of the construct who was able to go against her nature and not try to kill him.
- Vagueness Is Coming: The Storm King's Muses were very specifically programmed to never tell him what to do, just give him general advice. This leads to them being frustratingly vague, which is why he is happily surprised when they come into his chambers one night and simply explain the Heterodyne's plans. Because it is too late to stop it.
- Whatevermancy: In the prologue, the Storm King refers to Sparks as Thinkomancers.