The book opens with glorifying descriptions of war machines fighting during The Great War (this book’s steampunk/biopunk version of it). The reader is tricked into thinking the scene takes place on a battlefield but the descriptions are merely the imagination of main protagonist Prince Alek, playing with model tanks and soldiers in his bedroom. Right away the reader is given the idea that Alek fantasizes about fighting in the war. The book goes on to explain that Alek had been reading up on military tactics in his father’s study while him and his mother were away watching military maneuvers. “He’d begged to be taken along, to see the mustered ranks of soldiers striding past in real life, to feel the rumble of massed fighting machines through the soles of his boots.” (2) All of is contributes to the idea that Alek fantasizes about fighting in the war. An unknown character sneaks into the room and Alek hides under his bed. “His father’s warning echoed in his ears… You have had enemies from the day you were born.” (4) The mysterious character turns out to be a servant named Otto. The book mentions Alek’s father again, explaining that he was the royal blood of the family. Alek also recounts his father’s tales of how Mozart’s mentors would wake him up in the middle of the night for music lessons, much like how Otto was waking him up. Otto leads Alek out of the castle and the mentioning of a walker (basically a tank with legs) widens Alek’s eyes. The first chapter is short but it does a good job summarizing Alek’s character and his personal struggle. Alek is a prince with challenging parents (especially his father) who dreams of being a walker pilot in The Great War.