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The Custodian of Marvels

by: Rod Duncan


The explosive conclusion to Rod Duncan’s The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire series.

File Under: Fantasy [ Time Runs Out | The Duke’s Enemy | Open the Vault | A Union ]

The Third Book in the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire Series


You’d have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that’s what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A one-time enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick. Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels. Rod Duncan returns with the climactic volume of The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, the breathtaking alternate history series that began with the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.

Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire

Cover Art

Will Staehle ;

Release Date


The Custodian of Marvels

Paperback, Ebook

Paperback ISBN




Rod Duncan writes alternate history, fantasy and contemporary crime. His novels have been shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award, the East Midlands Book Award and the John Creasey Dagger of the Crime Writers’ Association. A dyslexic with a background in scientific research, he now lectures in creative writing at DeMontfort University.

Some might say that he is obsessed with boundary markers, naive 18th Century gravestones and forming friendships with crows. But he says he is interested in the way things change.

“The Gas-Lit Empire novels tell a great story, with a strong protagonist challenging rigid cultural norms, all in a richly built alternate history, uniquely designed.”
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and Craigconnects

“Looking for a good book? This is it: The Custodian of Marvels, by Rod Duncan. You’ll want to read the first two books in the series, but this is a series that will amaze and delight. And just like the Bullet-Catcher who tries to misdirect your attention, there’s a lot going on here and you will want to pay attention.”
Looking for a Good Book

“Rod Duncan’s writing is a joy because his pseudo late-Victorian narrative runs along the smooth rails of a framework powered by an invisible, but well-oiled word engine that hums away in the background making sure the reader gets all the thrills and spills while retaining a good sense of the story as it relentlessly barrels along.”
Strange Alliances

“I absolutely loved this trilogy, and am extremely happy with the way it ended. Hopefully Rod Duncan will provide eager readers with more tales from the world of the Gas-Lit Empire.”
Mutt Cafe

“An amazingly clever steampunk novel with a wonderfully imagined world and brilliant characters.”
A Book Drunkard

“Tumultuous and utterly wonderful series.”
Smorgasbord Fantasia

“Have you ever come to a plot twist in a book and all you could think of was wow? That happened to me. I really didn’t think that I could admire “Elizabeth’s” courage of character and backbone anymore than I already did from the 2nd book however this book(In my personal opinion) gives her and her story so much more depth and heart.”
Just Me

The Custodian of Marvels surpassed my expectations, and not in a minor way. Whereas I had anticipated an exceptional book, I instead was gifted a rather extraordinary one, filled with action, suspense, and returning characters that left me cheering. The Custodian of Marvels is alternate history done right.”

“I’m one of those people who only grudgingly give a book five stars. But when I was finished with this book, I knew there was simply no other rating for it. The Custodian of Marvels was simply the perfect book for me. Whereas I had anticipated an exceptional book, I instead was gifted a rather extraordinary one, filled with action, suspense, and returning characters that left me cheering. I sincerely endorse the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire series for your next reads!”
Victorian Soul Critiques

“Readers who enjoyed the first two books will find much more of the same strong writing and nuanced characters in The Custodian of Marvels. Duncan has created a winner here and concluded the series masterfully.”
Online Eccentric Librarian

“This is a very interesting world, an engaging story, and a pleasant read. I can honestly say, this is one of those very rare books where I can predict almost nothing.”
Purple Owl Reviews

“Well thought, well researched book, a fascinating concept of alternative history and a steady, likable heroine.”
Nocturnal Book Reviews

“Once again, Rod delivers that outstanding level of writing where every word is placed so delicately and with precision that you forget you’re reading a book. I often found myself slightly confused when I looked up and was sat on a train or the sofa rather than someone in the world of his books. It has been a true joy to experience.”
Charlotte Reads Things

“Easily give this one 5 stars. All of the escapades had good pacing and purpose balanced perfectly with that witty dialogue. They were fun and had me struggling to find places to put the book down and get back to real life.”
In Pursuit of My Own Library

“If you like kick-butt, fearless heroines determined to persevere against all odds in genre-bending novels then I predict you’ll like this series even if you’re not a dystopian or steampunk fan. I loved this trilogy and can’t wait to see what Rod Duncan comes up with next!”
Popcorn Reads

“A fitting end to an excellent trilogy – except that it’s apparently not a trilogy and not the end…”
T.K Elliot

If it isn’t crystal-clear from the foregoing, I am urging with great certainty and compulsion that you go forth on the instant and order whichever of these books you haven’t yet read. If you haven’t read any, buy the series in bulk. I waited an agonizing year before getting my copy of The Custodian of Marvels, and I don’t want others to suffer as I have done.
Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

“A very compelling alternate history story”
The Speculative Shelf

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