Ingrid is a special snowflake, the only female who can feel the magic of earth’s tremors. She isn’t going to storm the castle, um, the academy, to make it a place where women can take part. No, she has super mysterious parentage: Mom is blond, hence the name ‘ingrid’, and Dad was Polynesian who won’t tell who his parents were. (I sense a sequel here, lol) Because of her circumstances, Ingrid has to be a servant, not a scholar, and everyone expects her to be dumb. And barely literate. Why, it’s amazing that she can speak English at all.
Japan had the magic to help make America’s civil war over very quickly, but there is still plenty of racism under the Pan Pacific dominion. Britannia is also a world power, but China is everyone’s stomping ground, and the Chinese in America are terribly abused. (Author’s afterward: many of these incidents came from contemporary California newspapers, not author imagination.)
Ingrid has never been in love, but this fellow is really hot. And he treats her nicely. And then the academy blows up, and who can she trust? The handsome, the ugly, the upper class accent, the lower class accent, the right or wrong skin color – none of these are reliable indicators.
Nice plot twists. Are earthquakes caused by restless dragons? They are in Japan…. but in Ireland there’s a earth-horse. So what is there in California?