My interest in the 'Steampunk' genre of fiction was 'encouraged' by my recent reading of H G Wells 'The War in the Air'. It lead me to download the free Kindle edition of The Angel of the Revolution: A Tale of the Coming Terror by George Griffith.
This is a wonderful book, billed as science fiction rather than steam punk when first published in 1893, and posits a nihilist 'revolution' coordinated by a crippled Jewish master and his daughter who have organised an underground movement called 'The Terrorists'. Their machinations are finally enabled when a British inventor 'masters the intricacies of controlled flight'. The resultant air machines enable the 'Terrorists' to establish dominance over Europe. To say more would be to give away far too much of the plot.
The book has intrigue, action, love and adventure in abundance, with air ships sweeping the skies as they battle against ballons or aeronefs. Despite being one hundred and twenty years old this is a ripping good yarn that rewards reading. Thoroughly recommended.