1828. Robin Swift is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, in preparation for the day he'll enroll in Oxford University's Royal Institute of Translation - also known as Babel. Babel is the world's center for translation and magic. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the Hermes Society, an organization dedicatedto stopping imperial expansion. Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?