Midnight Never Come (Onyx Court, #1)

By Marie Brennan

Rating: 3 stars

As Elizabeth I takes the throne of England, so another monarch ascends the throne in a different court, below London. Thirty years later, Michael Deven, a young gentleman joins Elizabeth’s personal bodyguard also joins Francis Walsingham’s rank of spies and gets enmeshed in a web of intrigue that draws him to the faerie Onyx Court and it’s terrible Queen Invidiana. He and Lady Lune of that court must penetrate the web of deceit, intrigue and danger to the pact that threatens both courts and both Englands.

It took me a long time to warm to this book. For the first few chapters in particular, I had to stop on a fairly regular basis to look up names and references (thank you Wikipedia!) and try and distinguish historical personages from invented ones. That didn’t help my attention, which wavered until nearly half way through the book, when it suddenly started to click, as the various strands of the story started to come together. Deven is a likeable enough character, although he doesn’t really have a huge amount of personality. Much more interesting is the faerie Lady Lune who gets more development and an intriguing mystery to her background.

The story was well weaved into the historical narrative, with the fantastic emerging at major points in Elizabeth’s rule, as the Onyx Court interferes in Elizabethan politics and diplomacy while also mirroring it below the ground.

I was interested in this following recommendation from a friend and because I adore the Lady Trent books by the same author. However, while I enjoyed it, I’m not that desperate to pick up the next book in the series (unlike the Lady Trent books!). Thankfully, for readers in my situation, the story is entirely self-contained. You might want to find out what happens next to the Onyx Court, but even if you don’t, you’ll certainly not feel short-changed at the end of this one.

Book details

ISBN: 9781785650734
Publisher: Titan Books
Year of publication: 2008

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