Magic works, and therefore all of history is different. Magic stalled the progress of science and culture, so Europe went stagnant somewhere in the sixteenth century: even in 2010 they wear Elizabethan garb and duel in the streets. Triumff was an explorer for her majesty, Elizabeth XXX, but then he found the glittering skyscrapers and magnificent technological and cultural advances that Australia had achieved by leaving behind magic for science. Now Triumff is not so sure where his loyalties lie...but at precisely the same time plots against Queen Elizabeth arise. Triumff and his friends must foil these dastardly schemes while keeping their own secrets hidden.
Abnett owes a great deal to Pratchett's Ankh-Mopork series. Mother Grundy is clearly Granny Weatherwax, for instance, and Abnett's paragraph-long sardonic asides are classic Pratchett. Alas, Pratchett has had years and dozens of books to build up both his style and the Discworld--by comparison, Abnett's characters and worldbuilding feel thin and flimsy. That said, I've always got room for more dry British humor, even when it's as self-conscious as this, and swashbuckling is always fun. Plus, there's an unexpected thread of eldritch horror running through this that set it apart from, say, Peter David's [b:Sir Apropos of Nothing|558833|Sir Apropos of Nothing (Sir Apropos of Nothing, #1)|Peter David|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1290121683s/558833.jpg|1128509] series.