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Midnight Never Come (The Onyx Court, Book 1) Paperback – June 9, 2008
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Brennan has done a remarkable job researching and conceptualizing her England, where human and faerie courts mirror each other--but thorough research is at once a strength and a weakness as Midnight Never Come becomes somewhat tied up by history. Infrequent flashbacks, many of which recount real events, seem like welcome historical background--but most of them are unnecessary deviations that carry the reader away from the book's plot and towards a greater historical arc. The omniscient narrative voice is already rather distant and cold; compounded by these deviations, Midnight Never Come drifts further and further away from the emotional heart of the book: that is, the characters. As a result, the historical setting is authentic and the faerie court is realistically conceived within it, and so setting and plot are strong. But these large aspects eclipse local aspects, and so the characters remain underdeveloped.
Limited emotional impact aside, Midnight Never Come is an intelligent, enjoyable, and constantly strong book.Read more ›
Midnight Never Come is a "what if" kind of book. What if Elizabeth's decisions and entire political career were influenced by a Fairy Queen? A fairy queen who rules Fae London in the Onyx Hall, which exists just below the streets of London itself.
Invidiana is the Fae Queen in question who strikes a deal with Elizabeth that is supposed to aid both of them in their quest for the throne and their reigns as Queen. But something goes wrong, and the pact they make isn't all it is cracked up to be. Lune, a courtier of Invidiana, is assigned the task of living as a human amongst the mortals to gain knowledge of the goings on in Elizabeth's court. During her stay she meets and falls in love with Michael Devin, a human. Together with the help of some very interesting fae creatures and very unique mortals, they discover the origins of Invidiana & Elizabeth's pact and the trouble it is about to bring to both of their worlds. Their mission is to set things right.
What I liked: The characters were very well developed and the descriptiveness of old world England and Fairy England was wonderful. I felt like I was right there in the book while I was reading. I have a special appreciation for Queen Elizabeth and Elizabethan England, so I enjoyed reading a supernatural spin on the story. Amongst the history and politics resides a love story.
What I didn't like: The beginning of the book was a little slow, but once things picked up, I couldn't put the book down.
Last word: If you like reading historical fiction as I do from time to time, this book is for you. It blends all the majesty of Queen Elizabeth's England with the fantastical, beautiful and sometimes mischievous fae.
Reviewed by Christel
Set in the late 16th century, Midnight Never Comes opens with a pact between two women who will soon become the most powerful rulers in England: Elizabeth the Virgin Queen, and Invidiana, faerie ruler of the Onyx Court below London. The Onyx Court is a dark shadow of the city above, a secret place of cruelty and deception. One member of Invidiana's court, a faerie named Lune, struggles to regain the favor of her queen by spying on events above. Lune's counterpart is the human courtier Michael Deven, who has been tasked by spymaster Francis Walsingham with finding the hidden player influencing Queen Elizabeth. As Lune and Deven discover the secrets behind Invidiana's power and the true nature of the faerie queen's pacts, they must choose whether to work together, risking everything to try to break Invidiana's rule.
Lune was a more appealing character to me, in part I think because her stakes were higher. Whereas Deven starts out trying to secure a position in Elizabeth's court, Lune serves a more temperamental and dangerous ruler in a court that makes human politics look as simplistic and straightforward as the squabbling of preschoolers. Watching Lune navigate that court, seeing her fall and struggle to rise again, leaves Deven feeling a little bland by comparison.
I confess to being a poor historian, but even to my eye it's clear Brennan has done a great deal of research for this book. Every detail is meticulous and precise, evoking not a generic English fantasy setting but a very real and concrete place and time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
WOW, a historian who can write! This is one of my favorite books this year. I am NOT a fan of Brennan's other genre (Warrior, Witch etc.) but THIS book is excellent. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Genuine Redhead
This was an interesting story of a parallel existence of the fairy world under London. It made me think this could be possible. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
An opening into an alternate reality. As above, so below. Who knew we were so close to the fae world?Published 13 months ago by Brenda Penepent
Marie Brennan does not disappoint. This first book in the Onyx Court held my attention all the way through.Published 15 months ago by sher rhein
Elizabethan England with a secret fairy court beneath the heart of the monarchy? Count me in! In Midnight Never Come, Brennan creates a wildly imaginative world about a fairy... Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by SherdNerd
Interesting premise! Really glad that I read it and can't wait to get into the sequel. Strong historical detail and characters.Published on July 11, 2013 by kari
I have to admit it took me at least 200 pages before I was actually hooked on the book. I had put it down for a few weeks, because it was tedious and slogging along. Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by Susan Wade
Set in the time of Elizabeth I, the story unfolds around a second, underground Court of the Fairy Queen, Invidiana. Read morePublished on February 24, 2013 by Michelle Boytim
... And I'm finding it hard to put my finger on what. I was interested enough to keep reading Midnight Never Come, I wanted to know what would happen, I hoped things would turn... Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by Hatbox Dragon