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New Year’s Eve. A new century is about to begin. At a ball, Estelle Meadowvane runs into Jack Ember. Their eyes meet. For a moment everyone else is forgotten. There’s no mistaking that spark, and maybe there’s always a little magic in the air when you’re young. But it can’t last, because this is the Victorian Age and socially the two of them are poles apart.

Estelle is an aristocratic amateur astronomer, the only daughter of eccentric Lord Deerdand. Jack is an orphan who’s just joined the army as his only hope of escape from a gruelling life of poverty in the London slums.

A glance, a few words spoken, and Estelle and Jack go back to their separate lives. And there it would end, except that the green comet is coming and everything is about to change.

Under the influence of the comet, people and creatures of folklore, myth and fiction begin to appear in the real world. The magic is returning, and what lies in store for our two heroes is a Year of Wonders that will alter their destinies forever.