Progress has transformed Queenston, capital city of Argonia. Once the land of witches, wizards, fairies, and other magical people and animals, since the Great War, the country has changed. Queenston, particularly, is now the city of contraptions and conveyances, including a modern international railroad.In the Great War Argonias dragons allied with the armies to push back an invasion. For their assistance, the beasts shared what food remained as the country rebuilt itself. But with the war won, the allies came to "recover" the war-torn country, bringing with them new ideas and inventions, most of which only needed a supply of iron and a reliable source of heat for their boilers. The dragons were again recruited, tamed, altered and virtually enslaved to power Progress.Verity Brown is a modern girl. The magic of her witchy foremothers has become, if not actually illegal, highly unfashionable. The only magic that matters to Verity is her own curse, forcing her to know and tell the truth regardless of convenience.On Veritys 16th birthday, a hot-air balloon crash kills her father. The balloons dragon and wrangler rescue Verity, but are blamed and sentenced to be put to death. Her honorable quest to save them and find her fathers murderer takes her straight into the den of the wild and ferocious Dragon Vitia.