1865. Former slave and active abolitionist Harriet Tubman is on a mission from one John Wilkes Booth to rescue Booth's daughter Margaret from kidnappers demanding a ransom. With her incredible fighting skills, the little girl is rescued in no time. But Harriet has a new problem: Margaret has never heard of Booth and claims her father is Edwin M. Stanton instead.
Soon after, Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by the treacherous Booth, and Harriet's life becomes a lot more complicated when Secretary of War Stanton comes looking for her, convinced that Harriet kidnapped Margaret, and bringing a squad of superpowered assassins to take Harriet down. Harriet has superpowers of her own though, and her fantastic allies are more than willing to lend her a hand.
One of the first stories of what author Balogun Ojetade calls Steamfunk, Steam Punk from an African / African-American perspective. Currently consists of two novellas, Kings and Judges, with more planned.
This novel provides examples of:
- Alternate History: The US (and presumably the rest of the world) has Steam Punk technology, Functional Magic, werewolves, and ghuls.
- Body Surf: The Gift of John Brown, allowing him to survive in John Wilkes Booth's body long after his hanging in 1859, in turn leaving Booth when he's no longer useful.
- Cool Airship: Baas Bello's Nefertiti.
- Evil Brit: Mr. Enthwhistle, one of Stanton's hunters.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Baas Bello. It's said his Gift is simply knowing how to build anything.
- Gaslamp Fantasy: The Steam Punk machines are specifically created by combining magic with machinery.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: In a series full of historical figures, only a few avoid this trope, namely Lincoln, his friends and family with him when he's assassinated, Andrew Johnson, and Fredrick Douglas (although the real Douglas has yet to appear).
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Harriet Tubman, now with a Healing Factor, lethal fighting skills, and a Master of Illusion.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Take your pick! We've got Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, actor John Wilkes Booth, chemist Louis Pasteur (a physician in this world instead), voodoo queen Marie Laveau, inventor Benjamin Banneker, abolitionist John Brown...
- Never Mess with Granny: Mama Maybelle, a villainous example. She tears the limbs off innocents hiding in a church for getting in her way.
- Stealth Pun: Warrior-One, a subterranean locomotive commissioned by Lincoln that can travel undetected anywhere in the US, making it a literal underground railroadnote .