The Grand Ellipse by Paula Volsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book takes Around the World in 80 days and turns it into a race not only to see who can complete the Grade Ellipse first, but also to see if anyone can stop a brutal empire is on the road to enslaving the world.
While the point of view shifts between characters, Luzelle Devaire, adventureress in a mock Victorian world is the heroine. Volsky does a fantastic job of showing us a woman in a man's world who will just not give up. If she wins, she has a shot at saving her country and is guaranteed control over he own life.
The exotic world that mixes gas light technology with the fantastic is the backdrop of Luzelle's race for freedom. Among her many competitors there are two men who she is attracted to, each from opposite sides of the war that is about to engulf her nation.
Great fun, with high stakes and a character you come to know better than she knows herself.
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