by J. Gregory Keyes
A dazzling quest whose outcome will raise humanity to unparalleled heights of glory--or ring down a curtain of endless night . . .
1681: When Sir Isaac Newton turns his restless mind to the ancient art of alchemy, he unleashes Philosopher's Mercury, a primal source of matter and a key to manipulating the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Now, as France and England battle for its control, Louis XIV calls for a new weapon--a mysterious device known only as Newton's Cannon.
Half a world away, a young apprentice named Benjamin Franklin stumbles across a dangerous secret. Pursued by a deadly enemy--half scientist, half sorcerer--Ben makes his fugitive way to England. Only Newton himself can help him now. But who will help Sir Isaac? For he was not the first to unleash the Philosopher's Mercury. Others were there before him. Creatures as scornful of science as they are of mankind. And burning to be rid of both . . .