For absolutely no good reason this volume was not written up by me and instead I skipped to book 9. So here it is far after the fact: The heir to the mad scientist family that at various times was loved and feared throughout Europe, has returned to her ancestral home and the (once) all powerful, mechanical castle. Unless she can use her (mad) scientific genius to get the castle to acknowledge her lineage and fix the castle's defenses, her enemies shall destroy everything. This section of the series (where Agatha is in Mechanicsburg) becomes the longest of the series as the story will continue in this setting for many volumes to come. Is that a good thing? Well, it depends. I do love the story and this one is still great and the setting still exciting and new.