After getting caught being deceitful, young servant Christa is cursed to lie when she means the truth and tell the truth when she means to lie. But that won’t keep her from her dreams of airship adventures, especially when the Clockwork Star arrives in town.
Christa runs away and boards the ship in disguise, only to become a suspect when someone tries to kill the king. To maintain her innocence and stay aboard, Christa must beat her curse and catch the assassin—before they strike again.
Christa was pretending to battle dragons when the invitation came. Chores dragged unless she made them adventures, so her broom became a sword and the attic cobwebs a dragon swooping to devour her.
The mail bell dinged and excitement flurried through Christa. She dropped her broom and raced downstairs, colliding with her mistress.
“How many times have I told you not to run in my house?” Dame Griselda snapped. She was a woman made up entirely of angles, from her pointed nose to her jutting chin to her sharp glare.
“Seventeen,” Christa said as she dashed outside. “Sorry, my lady.”
In the mail bin sat a bronze message cylinder with a rotor sprouting from its top. Engraved across the front was a falcon, the seal of the royal Aldercott army. Her heart pounding, Christa unscrewed the top and pulled out the invitation.
Cursive wound across the page like ivy:
The royal army humbly invites you aboard the Clockwork Star.
Christa had been waiting for the famous airship to reach Tannersville ever since the army had announced its recruitment tour weeks ago. She peered at the clouds above, but the sky still sat empty. She’d known all summer that when the Clockwork Star left Tannersville, she’d be on it.