"A Conspiracy of Alchemists" http://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Alchemists-Chronicles-Light-Shadow/dp/0345545079by Liesel Schwarz is another in a recent spate of alternate history steampunk fantasies in which characters are able to do magic in a world similar to our own, but set in the past. I have not been disappointed with these offerings.
Elle Chance, a pilot of an airship, raised by her famous inventor father, is swept up in the war between the Light and the Dark. Her father has been kidnapped by agents of the Shadow. She wants him back. Of course, it is not chance that Chance is swept up in events, as she, unbeknownst to herself, has a magical birthright of immense power. Her dead mother could enhance the magical abilities of Alchemists who fight for the Shadow and Warlocks, who fight for the Light.
Marsh Greychester, a Warlock accompanies Chance on her journey to find her father, but also to persuade her to join his colleagues on the Counsel of Warlocks and help them regain their power. But its a fate that no one would choose. Chance is not interested. But fate and chance will battle in this book to decide Chance's ultimate destiny.
Meanwhile, Eustace Abercombie is a dark alchemist in league with a vampire, who wants to use Chance's father's engineering talents to build something dangerous. But it also needs a power source.
Can Marsh and Chance stop Abercombie before his creation comes to fruition? Will Marsh persuade Chance to become the perfect servant for the Counsel? Will Chance forge her own path? Who besides Abercombie and his pet Vampire is arrayed against Marsh and Chance?
The world building in this alternate history novel is impressive. The novel is action packed. There is a battle between an airship and a gyrocopter. Elle Chance is a very likable character, a woman in the male world of flying, daring, romantic, courageous and a quick thinker. Unwilling to allow old men to use her.
Its a good read, there are plenty of adventures, cool situations and the final scenes are exciting.