Prudence "Rue" Alessandra Maccon Akeldama is the daughter of Alexia Tarabotti Maccon (preternatural) and Conall Maccon (werewolf), and the adopted daughter of Lord Akedama (vampire).
Like her mother at a similar age (though of course Alexia would never admit it to her daughter), Rue is a high-spirited young woman of quality with little to keep her occupied. Thus, seeking excitement, she often manages to get herself into predicaments.
In order to give her something constructive to do, Lord Akeldama tasks her with acquiring a new type of tea. Of course, Rue would have to travel to India to do this. To facilitate her travels, her adoptive parent gifts her with a dirigible. But, not just any dirigible.
The hull is made of a golden-hued wood, which prompts Rue to dub it The Spotted Custard. The spots in its name come from the black spots dotting the balloon, which she has painted bright red, resembling a large ladybug.
Once Rue has found assistants and loaded it with all the necessities of an intercontinental voyage, they are off.
Much like flights today, an airship voyage requires a good navigator. And like long, intercontinental flights, refueling stops are necesary. Rue being who she is, hilarious and horrific complications and adventures ensue.
There are a lot of characters in this book, and though the e-galley doesn't include a list, it's to be hoped that the finished product will.
Like Carriger's Finishing School series, this is aimed at a young adult audience, but it will still be gobbled up by those who have only read the Parasol Protectorate books. Be prepared to read Prudence in one sitting!
FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the digital galley.