I love stories with strong female characters and Piper is definitely in that category. She has survived on her own after her father died, using her skills in repairing machinery to earn a living. In her world objects fall from the sky like meteors and "scrappers" who live in scrap towns scavenge for items they can sell. Piper repairs things that others find and bring to her. During one of these storms of objects, a trading caravan is destroyed and Piper rescues a girl she finds in the wreckage. Her journey to return the girl (Anna) to the city of Noveen takes her out of the scrap town and along the railway through the Merrow Kingdom and into the lands of the Dragonfly. Along the way she and Anna meet Jeyne, Trimble, Gee and other characters and we see the various cities and strangers through their eyes. There are the Sarnun who like to live underground and speak telepathically; the Chamelins who are shape shifters; and the humans who live as scrappers, miners, factory workers, etc. The tension between the two kingdoms serves as a backdrop for the action and as a motivation for the characters. Piper's father lost his job as an ironmonger because the Dragonfly king stopped selling iron to the Merrow Kingdom, the railway workers are worried about their jobs because there is a push for airships instead of trains, raiders attack the trains because their farmlands were ruined by strip mining... It's a fascinating and complex world that shows how decisions by those in power can have far-reaching effects.
If you enjoy adventure, worlds of fantasy, characters with courage and loyalty, and a plot full of intrigue and danger, then you should read The Mark of the Dragonfly.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It will be published on March 25, 2014.