Leadenhall Street, London, 1754. Raised amongst the cogs and springs of his father’s workshop, Zachary Cloudesley has grown up surrounded by strange and enchanting clockwork automata. He is a happy child, beloved by his father Abel and the workmen who help bring his father’s creations to life. He is also the bearer of an extraordinary gift; at the touch of a hand, Zachary can see into the hearts and minds of the people he meets. But then a near-fatal accident will take Zachary away from the workshop and his family. His father will have to make a journey to Constantinople that he will never return from. And, years later, only Zachary can find out what happened.