Filled with evocative period detail, adventure and suspense, Passarola Rising is a fabulous historical tale of two brothers who build the world's first airship and escape from the intellectually stultifying climate of eighteenth- century Portugal into the colourful salons and bordellos of the European Enlightenment.
Forced to flee by the Spanish Inquisition, Bartolomeu Lourengo and his brother Alexandre seek asylum in Ancien Rigime Paris before launching themselves to the far reaches of the North Pole on a quest for scientific truth. They encounter some of the most colourful characters of the European Enlightenment, from the loquacious Voltaire to the irascible King Stanislaus of Poland. When the brothers arrive back in Paris, they are threatened by Cardinal Conti, who views their quest for knowledge as heresy. Bartolomeu is determined to continue to fly the Passarola. As he takes to the sky again, Alexandre begins to contemplate his own life's journey, and whether his and his brother's destinies might lie in different realms.