At first glance, the world has not changed: the trams on the boulevards, the grand hotels, the cafes abuzz with conversation. The street kids still play on the two great bridges that divide the city, and the smart set still venture down to the Morgue Ship for an evening's entertainment.
Yet it only takes a spark to ignite a revolution.
For young Dora, a maid at the university, the moment brings liberation. She finds herself walking out with one of the student radicals, Robert, free to investigate what her brother Ambrose may have seen at the Institute for Psykical Research before he died.
But it is another establishment that Dora is given to look after, The Museum of the Worker.
This strange, forgotten edifice is occupied by waxwork tableaux of miners, nurses, shopkeepers and other disturbingly lifelike figures.
As the revolution and counter-revolution outside unleash forces of love, betrayal, magic and terrifying darkness, Dora's search for the truth behind a mystery that she has long concealed will unravel a monstrous conspiracy and bring her to the very edge of worlds.
In The Curator, Owen King has created an extraordinary time and place - historical, fantastical, yet compellingly real, and a heroine who is courageous, curious and utterly memorable.