Simeon Runciman is a fireworks maker with dangerous ideas; he's a difficult man with a mysterious past. For years he and his son, Casimir, have led an itinerant lifestyle, eking out a living by putting on fireworks displays and selling fireworks at fairs and markets.
Casimir has always had the feeling that his father has been running away from something, but when Simeon decides to settle down and his past finally catches up with him, Casimir finds himself ill-equipped to cope with the reality behind years of unanswered questions. Such as, why did Simeon forswear magic, and what happened to Casimir's mother when she walked out of their lives during a cataclysmic magical confrontation ten years ago?
Natalie Jane Prior has spun the most intriguing and mysterious tale for teens against a historical backdrop that seems as unpredictable and dangerous as Simeon's own explosive mix of magic, gunpowder and politics.