Read With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan Online


Marie Brennan returns to the Onyx Court, a fairy city hidden below Queen Victoria's London. Now the Onyx Court faces its greatest challenge.Seven years ago, Eliza's childhood sweetheart vanished from the streets of Whitechapel. No one believed her when she told them that he was stolen away by the faeries.But she hasn't given up the search. It will lead her across London aMarie Brennan returns to the Onyx Court, a fairy city hidden below Queen Victoria's London. Now the Onyx Court faces its greatest challenge.Seven years ago, Eliza's childhood sweetheart vanished from the streets of Whitechapel. No one believed her when she told them that he was stolen away by the faeries.But she hasn't given up the search. It will lead her across London and into the hidden palace that gives refuge to faeries in the mortal world. That refuge is now crumbling, broken by the iron of the underground railway, and the resulting chaos spills over to the streets above.Three centuries of the Onyx Court are about to come to an end. Without the palace's protection, the fae have little choice but to flee. Those who stay have one goal: to find safety in a city that does not welcome them. But what price will the mortals of London pay for that safety?With Fate Conspire is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Science Fiction & Fantasy title. ...

Title : With Fate Conspire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765325372
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 528 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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With Fate Conspire Reviews

  • Laura Martinelli
    2018-12-12 04:02

    As much as I love the middle books of the Onyx Court series, I don’t think I’ve had as much fun while reading an installment since I originally picked up Midnight Never Come. When I first read the premise for With Fate Conspire, I was a little apprehensive. While the Victorian aspect (and technology) appealed to me, there was only so much that could be done after the first three books.What grabbed me right from the beginning is that Brennan throws us right into the middle of the plot, and the first thing that’s spelled out is that this is not the Onyx Hall of the past three centuries. One of the big plot points in A Star Shall Fall is that the widespread use of iron in London, as well as Lune’s own injuries are contributing to the unknowing destruction of Onyx Hall, and as this book opens up, we see how far it’s really fallen. There’s a few mentions of courtiers and former court members who still put on the masquerade of the former days of decadence, but most of the focus of the book lies with the grim, dirty, back-stabbing setting of the Goblin Market. It’s a definitely dark side to the faeries that hasn’t been seen since the first book. Even our two focus characters, Dead Rick and Eliza, aren’t members of the upper class. Dead Rick (a minor character up until this point) is literally someone else’s dog; he’s doing as much as he can to get himself out of Nadrett’s grasp. Even though he steals humans and kills others, there’s this sense of nobility about him as he tries to set things right.Eliza is a much different character than any other main mortals from the previous books. (I don’t mean just the fact that she’s a girl.) She knows what she’s looking for—evidence of faeries and who stole her childhood sweetheart, Owen—and will do almost anything short of murdering another human to achieve it. She’s coarse and to-the-point. I like that while Eliza knows a lot about faerie lore, she doesn’t know everything, and recognizes the fact that if she admitted the truth behind her actions to anyone, they would lock her away.I also liked that the plot didn’t solely revolve around the Prince of the Stone. The second and third books had the position—namely, someone fulfilling that role—as a major plot point, and the fact that it’s not the sole focus of the book made it a lot more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Hodge (again, someone who’s not from the upper class. Yay!), but it was nice to get out of the inner circle of Lune’s court and see the events from the lower faerie and human classes and how things affect them. At the end of A Star Shall Fall, there was a glimpse into the future of the Galenic Society, and I liked seeing how it progressed up to the present point; specifically, how the faerie and mortal scientists came together to use technology to save the Onyx Court. (Case in point: my complete squee-fest when you learn that the faeries want to build a computer, based on Charles Babbage’s designs and help from Ada Lovelace. And when it’s put in action, it’s essentially a magical, steampunk 3-D printer. I have no words about how awesome that is.) However, I do have a nitpick that there really isn’t much more done with Galenic Society, nor does it feel like it’s as influential and widespread as the characters comment. There’s only two new faeries who’ve joined outside of London (Ch’ien Mu and Yvoir), and I really wanted to see more of how both sides were working together.The one thing Brennan does brilliantly in this is her set-up of the reveals. There’s at least three or four major plot points throughout the course of the book, and the lead up is handled really well. She manages to fake out the reader once or twice, and while there’s no real “CALLED IT!” moments, there’s a much stronger growing realization of “OMG, this is what’s happening.” It’s handled well, and doesn’t treat the reader like they’re idiots.My major compliant with the book is the reveal of Nadrett’s plans and his backstory. While it makes sense that we don’t know what’s going on, because Dead Rick doesn’t remember anything from his previous life, there’s still no set-up or mention about what Nadrett is. It comes out of left-field and feels like a convenient way to get rid of him. Also, I wasn’t a fan of the epilogue to this book. Knowing that it’s officially the last book (Marie Brennan has said she may have a few short pieces in mind), there’s still a sense of the series not being finished in the epilogue. It’s a double-edged sword, as I want to know what next for the Onyx Hall and it’s residents, but part of me doesn’t really want to keep following the series up until the modern day. Despite the ending, the rest of the book is utterly FANTASTIC. It brings a whole new level to the Onyx Court canon while drawing back on its roots and previous events without overshadowing the present story. There were several points when I just didn’t want to put the book down, and the writing kept me on my toes and guessing at every development. Highly recommended to fans of the series.

  • Blodeuedd Finland
    2018-11-27 05:41

    This was a sad one, ok now you think omg am I gonna cry? Haha, no, I do not mean SAD, just you know melancholic. The Fae have lived and loved London, but the iron has poisoned Father Thames. The railway is destroying more and more. The Onyx court is dying, iron is everywhere. And I do like the Fae, even if they have their share of rotten eggs too. And the Court is desperately trying to find a way to survive....But this book is not about the court for once. It is about Eliza, who is looking for her love that was taken by fairies. Also, she is in trouble with the law cos of the Fenians. I liked her story, her struggles, and how she never gave up. She really wanted to find Owen again.The second big POV was Dead Rick, a fae, and honestly, eh, I did not care. He was not doing a lot, he was not doing the nicest things. And I just liked Eliza much more.I guess this was the end then. A good conclusion to the series, and honestly, they do work as standalones cos there are new characters and the last one took place 150 years before.A nice end to this series. Intrigues and a dying land.

  • Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin
    2018-11-24 03:57

    NOTE: This review was first published at The King of Elfland's 2nd Cousin on September 27, 2011. If you enjoy this review, please come take a look!A while back, I received a review copy of Marie Brennan's With Fate Conspire, the fourth in her Onyx Court series. Now, let me start with a confession: before receiving my copy, I hadn’t read any of the earlier books. I know, I know – alternate/secret history set in various periods in London’s history? Liking historical fantasy as much as I do, one would think I had devoured this series from the first book up to now. But for whatever reason, I missed it until finding its fourth volume in the mailbox. Holding the book in my hand, I faced a choice: I could either catch up on the previous three books, or I could just dive into the fourth. Doing so would be a risk: would I miss vital backstory or world-building? I didn't know. But I justified my decision with the fig leaf of “someone else might pick up the fourth book first, right?”With Fate Conspire is set in an exceedingly well-researched late nineteenth century London. It features two primary viewpoint characters: the mortal Eliza O'Malley, a poor woman of Irish descent living in the London slums and Dead Rick, a faerie skriker (a Lancashire name for a lycanthropic faery who is an omen of death - more commonly known as a Black Dog) living in the Onyx Court's Goblin Market. When we first meet Eliza, we quickly learn that she is desperately seeking a way to track down the faerie who kidnapped her lover seven years prior. When we first meet Dead Rick, we find him brutally forced to work as a slave, enforcer, and errand-boy for Nadrett, a criminal kingpin in the Goblin Market. Connecting both perspectives is the accelerating industrialization of London: the rise of iron-based industry and the development of the London Underground Railway are destroying the faerie city.When we first meet both characters, they already have interesting pasts. Eliza's lover was kidnapped by faeries and she foiled a faerie terrorist attack on the London underground. Dead Rick's past is more mysterious, but it somehow put him at the mercy of Nadrett. At first, I assumed that these histories were the backstory that I had missed by not reading the earlier books. But then I realized that A Star Shall Fall is set more than a century before With Fate Conspire - which means that their backstories could not possibly have been in the pages I’d skipped.When I picked up the fourth book in the series, I risked missing out on vital backstory. But writing the fourth book in the series, Brennan took a similar risk: she placed the moment of displacement – the point where Eliza and Dead Rick's adventures start – off-screen. This is a particularly risky approach: by not allowing us to participate in her protagonists' displacement, Brennan risks our investment in the characters and their world. I really enjoyed the structure and courage that this showed, but I found that the risk was only partially successful.Dead Rick is modeled as a hero (see my post on A Theory of the Hero). We are shown his desperation to survive the Onyx Court’s imminent collapse, and his willingness to commit violence, but there remain lines he refuses to cross. He is a moral character, despite the self-loathing we see. He is an aspirational hero who wants to survive while still doing what he feels to be right. He may not always succeed, but he continues to aspire. He is used to show us the lawless underbelly of the Onyx Court, and the amoral brutality of some faeries. The challenges he face are existential: will Nadrett kill him? Will he survive the imminent destruction of the Onyx Court? Will he become like Nadrett to do so?The portrayal of Dead Rick and faerie society were the high points of the book for me. First, I always enjoy well-drawn heroic characters. The challenges which Dead Rick faces are packed with drama. On an individual level, the unflinching depiction of Nadrett's brutality and Dead Rick's desperation make him particularly sympathetic: I cringed to see his experiences and wanted everything to work out for him. At the same time, his story becomes a microcosm of the Onyx Court's story. Dead Rick's experiences concretize the drama of the Onyx Court's collapse by showing us the little guy's perspective. Dead Rick is no chosen hero, capable of saving the Onyx Court from London's industrialization. He can barely keep himself alive, let alone save the faerie city. But it is his courageous struggle against insurmountable challenges that makes his story a page turner. In Dead Rick's case, Brennan was able to successfully skip his backstory: the sympathy he engenders, his emotional stakes, and his relationship to the Onyx Court's broader struggle were enough to earn my investment.By contrast, I found Eliza to be the far weaker character. If Dead Rick is defined by his rough moral code, then Eliza is defined by her obsession with tracking down Owen Darragh. This is not an existential challenge. The worst-case scenario for Eliza is that she never finds him. But because we did not get her backstory, we are not as invested in her quest as she is. Brennan tries to make Eliza sympathetic using tools parallel to those used for Dead Rick: Eliza is a poor costerwoman of Irish descent. Her experience of London is that of the down-trodden and the discriminated. While this works to make Eliza somewhat sympathetic, her story lacks the emotional tension of Dead Rick's. The dilemmas she faces are not moral in nature: she rarely needs to choose between right and wrong, or the lesser of two evils. Short of killing innocents, she's happy to cross almost any line in her quest. Her challenges are almost always tactical, and they fail to mirror or concretize those of broader mortal London. In Eliza's case, skipping of the backstory did the character a disservice. It made it impossible for me to really invest in Eliza's travails. This problem is especially apparent when compared against Dead Rick's storyline. Eliza's difficulties and choices are inconsequential when set against Dead Rick's primary problem (the catastrophic collapse of the Onyx Court).That the faerie perspective is more compelling than the mortal one probably should not be a surprise. The Onyx Court is the primary constant throughout the (surprise surprise) Onyx Court series - which in and of itself is an interesting structural feature. Most contemporary fantasies that deal with the world of faerie tend to be either portal or intrusion stories where the focal lens is a human who finds themselves caught up in the magical world. In those stories where a human isn’t our lens, we often see through the eyes of a faery who – for all intents and purposes – tends to be indistinguishable from a super-powered mortal.When writing a series, most authors take the safe approach of following one set of characters as they progress through events that can be encapsulated within a mortal lifetime. But Brennan takes a different path. Rather than give us characters to follow over the course of a single escalating adventure, she instead opens a window onto a particular time in the history of the eternal Onyx Court. The effect is like tuning into a long-running TV series mid-episode, mid-season. By nailing the faerie perspective – and lending it continuity throughout the series – Brennan is able to diminish the impact. Yet the relative weakness of her mortal character (Eliza) underlines the fact that the faeries – and how the Onyx Court deals with the challenges it faces – are the author’s primary concern. I am curious whether the mortal characters in the earlier books are as weak as Eliza.Despite Eliza's weakness, With Fate Conspire remains a very good book. Dead Rick's story is – in my opinion – enough to carry it, and ultimately make it a satisfying experience. The world-building and research stand out for the level of detail and the skill with which they are woven into the story. The book's pacing was fairly solid, providing moments of rising tension and breaths where I could assimilate the plentiful skulduggery and intrigue. Fans of "London Above / London Below" fiction along the lines of Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift novels (see my earlier review), Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, or China Miéville's King Rat will likely enjoy With Fate Conspire, as will fans of painstakingly researched and imagined alternate/secret histories like Bruce Sterling and William Gibson's The Difference Engine, Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, or Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy.Perhaps the strongest recommendation I can offer is that after finishing With Fate Conspire, I went out and bought the preceding three volumes. Brennan took a significant risk structuring this book as she did, and while she may not have succeeded as well as I might have liked, neither did she fail. I applaud her courage, and her skill for getting it more than half right. I'm looking forward to the preceding three books.

  • Fellshot
    2018-12-10 00:53

    When I pick up a book set in Victorian England and purporting to have fairies in it I come to it with a few expectations regarding the social class of the people involved, the nature of the fairies, and the setting of the story involved. I have to report that With Fate Conspire managed to overturn each and every one of those expectations and I couldn't be happier about it.So the story centers around Eliza, Irish and living in the poor parts of London, as she hunts for her childhood friend who was stolen by fairies. While this is going on, the Underground is in the process of construction and since there's I lot of Iron that goes into train tracks, this is causing some serious havoc with the local fairy court. Dead Rick is looking to take advantage of the uncertain atmosphere to get away from his master, Nadrett. Stuff happens.I really liked this book. I loved how the factions of the fae kept undermining each other and that Dead Rick kept getting stuck in the middle of it. I found the technological links between the fae and more understood sciences interesting in how the fae aspect would play off some misconception of how a technology works in the real world. Actually the photography line that kept popping up was rather indicative of the story itself. All these layers upon layers that simultaneously reveal and obscure, tell the truth and lie through their images. The character's perception of reality and their memory of that perception was something that I thought could have been played with more, but that might be straying a little too far into the weird. With regards to the characters, I liked Eliza's drive, but I was disappointed that she shut herself off from everyone else as much as she did. Dead Rick with his missing memory was a lot better in that respect. Even though his memory had been stolen, his friends from his old life didn't forget him and didn't abandon him once they found him in the first place. Actually overall, I was somewhat disappointed with the main-ish characters themselves, as I found the ideologies from the different political fronts far more interesting overall. It wasn't so much that they were terrible as much as there were other things that interested me more.I enjoyed the solution immensely and found it an interesting use of technology, art, and their accessibility according to social standing. Since I fall rather firmly into the camp of “art should be accessible and legible to most people and outdoor sculpture is rubbish unless you can climb on it,” I found the solution sound and far more stable than their first draft.Since there was a major focus on how the age of industrialization treated the working classes in both Faerie and in London it made for a nice change of pace, but because of that class division (or a character's perception of such) some characters would just end up stonewalling each other and nothing moved, particularly with regards to Eliza. This was less of an issue with the fae characters overall but then again they also had an obvious streak of gaming the rules and finding interesting and unexpected ways of bending them. Besides, steal-your-baby elves are universally more fun than hippie elves.For the most part I really enjoyed what With Fate Conspire tried to do, enough that I was able to overlook the persistent boredom I had with some of the characters.

  • Jim
    2018-12-07 22:44

    With Fate Conspire s the fourth and final (at least for now) book in Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court series. These are meticulously researched historical fantasies set in London over various time periods. This one takes place in the late 1800s (the industrial revolution) as the spread of iron rail lines threatens to destroy the hidden Onyx Court of the fairies.Brennan and I both wrapped up a fantasy series this year, and it’s fascinating to see some of the similar choices we made. Much as I did with Snow Queen, Brennan wrote a darker story, raising the stakes for all involved. We both wrote about a formerly good character twisted to dark purposes. In Brennan’s case, that’s Dead Rick, a wonderful character trapped in a horrible situation, his memories torn from him by– Well, I won’t spoil that bit, but I loved the technique used here.Brennan and I are working on a discussion about ending our series and the choices we made. More on that later, assuming I get off my ass and finish my part. (This was supposed to be posted already. It was not, on account of the fact that I suck.)So, back on topic. Oh yes, Dead Rick rocks, and the blending of magic and technology that Brennan began in earlier books has progressed to fascinating ends. I remain in awe of the way Brennan so seamlessly intertwines history and fantasy.She also does a nice job of portraying a society in decline, a magical kingdom on the verge of disintegration. Lune, Queen of the Onyx Court, has vanished, devoting herself to holding the court together through the sheer strength of her will. I missed her character, and I think that loss is a major contributor to the darker tone of this book. Some fairies are searching for a way to escape, while others seek to find a way to heal the court, and the darker fae work to take advantage of the chaos.In the human world, a girl named Eliza has devoted herself to finding her lost sweetheart, stolen by the fairies years ago. But it was Dead Rick and the plight of the fairies that really sucked me into the book. Their desperation, the urgency of their quest to save themselves and their home … it’s powerful stuff.While I think you can read this book on its own, I’d definitely recommend reading them in order. And if you’re a fan of richly detailed and vivid historical settings, full of old-school fairy magic, then I’d definitely recommend reading them, period.

  • Julia
    2018-12-04 02:00

    If Steampunk redraws the old familiar world with threads of industry and alchemical magic, Marie Brennan has recreated that same world with faery where the gears should be. Gritty, intimately detailed, her London is a fascinating blend of historical novel and fantastic tale, where the fae mug people on the street for scraps of bread, where goblins bomb trains and Irish revolutionaries are blamed, and where the industrial revolution is as exciting when applied to the magical world of faery below ground as it is on the surface. Full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.

  • Elin
    2018-12-07 04:05

    A wonderful and absorbing finale to a series, that seems well researched and will please readers of historical-fantasy and classical fantasy. It captures the dualistic spirit of London and its human and fae setting, and creates an alternative fantastical history from Elizabethan England and to Victorian London.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-11 21:48

    Due to a soon-to-arrive baby, my review is scheduled to post on my blog on August 30. I'll try to remember to come back on here and post a paragraph from my review when I have time, but there are no guarantees. As it is, remember to check my blog on August 30 to read my full review.

  • Lindsey Autumn
    2018-12-11 21:44

    Recommended for ages 17+*Rating based on the first half of the book. I wasn’t able to complete the book.*Language - Heavy. F*** used over ten times. D***, S***, H*** used less often but pop up throughout the book.Violence/Gore - Fighting/squabble scenes throughout book. Most prominent gory scene has section talking briefly about a dog ripping a young girl’s throat out and pleasurably watching blood pour out.Drug/Alcohol Use - Very minimal use of chewing tobacco. Characters getting drunk/drinking alcohol/visiting bars. There is a room dedicated to Opium use called “the Opium Room”. Characters using and talking about Opium. Descriptions of characters who have been using Opium. Witchcraft - Heavy. Discussions about alchemy. Lucid Dreaming. Ghost Manifestation. Telepathy. Psychic Mediums. Faeries, Goblins, sprites, shapechangers, and other creatures discussed throughout book.*See rest of the review for more detailed discussion.* I was cleaning my living room a few nights ago and found this on our coffee table. My brother had checked it out from the library a few days before unaware of the content of the book. I ended up sitting down and reading half of it then skimming through the rest just to check out if it was okay for him to continue reading. It has been a very long time since I’ve picked up a book with so much blatant witchcraft intertwined in it. I knew I should expect some when I looked at it, but I was honestly a bit shocked this was on the shelf for impressionable young readers. Writing and Overall Composition This book was amazingly written. I could tell Marie put a lot of historical research and thought into the story. She definitely did a spectacular job of writing the book. The descriptions were quite detailed which made it easy to imagine the surroundings and characters. I found the slang used by the characters made the conversations interesting and more historically accurate. I would recommend this for a higher level reader because of the large words and slang throughout the book. Younger readers or people with weaker reading skills might struggle to keep up.WitchcraftI guess I will start with the title of the book series, “The Onyx Hall”. In the book we hear a lot about “The Onyx Hall”, which is basically an underground haven for faeries, goblins, sprites, and many other mythological creatures. The Hall protects them from the mortal world above them (London). The fact that the writer would use onyx stuck out to me a little bit. Here’s why: After a little bit of research I found some interesting things about onyx. The gem stone onyx is commonly associated with spirituality and enlightenment. It symbolizes and is associated with the Buddhist’s religious belief in chakras. People who are into crystal spiritual healing claim onyx is an extremely popular stone to protect from negative energy and empower oneself. Onyx is sometimes associated with astrology. I also found through my research that in Hindi religions, onyx is the way to open the door to the goddess ‘Saraswati”.Just doing a Google search on onyx gave me all kinds of dark images of people dressed as the grim reaper, many gothic websites, and lots of “spiritual enlightenment” websites. So this specific stone seems to have a lot of witchcraft and dark themes tied to it.Other than onyx, there was a huge amount of witchcraft in this book. There were many sections talking about characters meeting with psychic mediums, trying to contact lost loved ones. There were scenes of mediums bringing ghosts into the room, then people touching the ghosts. There was a group of characters that met together who called themselves “The Fairy Society”. These people got together and discussed fairies and their existence. In the fairy realm there’s mention of characters practicing alchemy. There were discussions about “The Oriental Elements”. I didn’t know what this was so I looked into it. After doing research on this I found that this could be a nod to the Chinese teachings of the five elements Earth, Wind, Fire, Metal and Water. I found a lot of New Age Enlightenment websites associated to “the oriental elements”. All of which go against the teachings of the Bible. Of course since this is the fifth book in a series, and I haven’t read the other books, I don’t know if this is in fact what it is referring to. But according to research I did on “Oriental Elements” and looking around, almost everything that I found was linked to some kind of Buddist, New Age, or Spiritualist website.While we’re on the subject of New Age teachings, I thought I would mention that there is a section where a character is lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is something that is possible for anyone to do and many people do it. For those who aren’t aware, lucid dreaming is when you have a dream and suddenly become aware that you’re dreaming which enables you to control everything that happens in your dream.Lucid dreaming can be very harmless, or it can be dangerous. I’ve done research and heard through word of mouth about lucid dreaming. Many people claim to have had encounters with demons while lucid dreaming. Many people say they have gone into sleep paralysis while attempting it as well. So this is not only kind of scary spiritually, but it can be hard on your health as well. The fact that this book has a character lucid dreaming in it only perpetuates the behavior and leads young children to try things they should not be getting into. There were many more small things throughout the book that were a bit too trivial to put in my review. But witchcraft was very prominent throughout the entire book.Bashing ChristianityOn the inside cover there was a blurb about the book. In the blurb I read something similar to this: “faeries are battling against the powers of iron and Christianity…”On page 115 of the book I came across this section: “… She held fast to the conviction that Spiritualism was the cure for Christianity’s ills, that it vindicated instead of disproved the Bible…”The first quote isn’t too much of a big deal. The second quote however, is complete blasphemy if I’ve ever heard it. I was quite perturbed. Spiritualism and Christianity do not mix in the slightest. They are night and day. The fact that this writer is trying to sway people to think that Spiritualism will fix all the supposed problems or "ills" in Christianity is a testament to her motives and beliefs. To conclude, I thought that as far as the writing and story line, this was a great book. Interesting read. It had interesting and unique characters. The historical parts of this book were amazing also. However, the content and amount of witchcraft references, cursing, and to top it all off that there was sections bashing Christianity, I wouldn’t recommend it to a Christian reader. I wouldn’t recommend it to a young impressionable reader either.

  • Bob
    2018-11-17 02:51

    Marie Brennan's final book in her excellent Onyx Court tetralogy proved to be an intense page-turner that really propelled the reader from one scene to the next almost without respite until Nadrett, one of those rare totally evil characters, is finally caught and dealt with. His was a character you truly could hate. And the art of character development is what separates Fate (whose title is taken from a line in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) from the other three novels in the series - not that Brennan's characters were underdeveloped, far from it. but in the finale, the development of protagonists Eliza O'Malley and her fae ally, Dead Rick (a skriker) really provides the reader with a gamut of emotions from numbing resignation, to hate, fury, grudging admiration and finally a love and self-respect rarely found in many novels.As is always the case with Brennan's writing, her historical research is solid. As a retired computer engineer, I especially enjoyed the minor but significant part the works of Jacquard, Charles Babbage and Ada, Countess of Lovelace and Byron's daughter - yes THAT Byron - played in being adapted into a steampunk version of the Difference Engine, called here, The Ephemeral Engine.For those who are curious to read more from this emerging author, her series recently completed, featuring Isabella, Lady Trent, a 19th century dragon naturalist, may be for you. Brennan continues to use her academic background in archaeology, anthropology and folklore to craft fiction that is both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. (less)

  • Fiona Hurley
    2018-12-12 22:55

    Excellent end to the Oynx Court series. This time we're far from the glamour of earlier years, with the court threatened by the iron underground railway and the main characters being a working-class mortal girl and an underling faery man. Touches of steampunk in the ending (Ada Lovelace & Babbage get a shout out).

  • Neil McCrea
    2018-11-26 01:00

    I've just returned from a lengthy Goodreads hiatus. The reviews for books I've read during that time are likely to be even shorter than usual.My enjoyment of Marie Brennan's Onyx Court series has relied almost entirely on the strength of the basic premise, the diplomatic relations between the English Court and the Faerie Court over the course of several generations. The star-crossed romances and individual schemes left me cold. The ample evidence of well researched folklore and history was pleasing but not engaging on its own. What drew me in was the larger picture, the clever revelations of how the faerie court influenced the Tudor court, the English civil war, and the founding of the Royal Society. Reading of the effects of human accomplishment on Faerie society was also an engaging endeavor.With Fate Conspire has all of that, but in moving into the Victorian era I found myself enjoying the characters and the minutiae of the story a great deal more than I had in the earlier volumes. I was puzzled at first, but the reason for this is fairly clear. In the previous three volumes the protagonists were primarily Queen, courtiers, and aristocrats of various stripes, and for all the difficult challenges they faced I often found myself yelling at them to quit their bitching, as the lives of virtually all of the lower classes around them were many orders of magnitude worse. In With Fate Conspire, the Faerie court is all but destroyed by all the iron in industrialized England and the English royals have a great deal less power than previous generations. Our two protagonists are Dead Rick and Eliza O'Malley. The former is a skriker, a shape-shifting, black dog psychopomp from Scottish/northern English folklore, in servitude to a faerie crime lord. The latter is a working class Irish woman w/o friends or family in London. The stakes feel higher than in the previous novels (yes, even with the city destroying Dragon of the 2nd and 3rd novels), and the protagonists' low born milieu keeps them from bouts of affected melancholy, mopery and other eye-rolling behavior. Brennan has really come into her own with this novel, and I greatly look forward to reading her series about Victorian scientists studying Dragon biology.

  • Jules
    2018-12-02 02:02

    Fantasy set in Victorian era with only a hint of steam punkI enjoyed this book for a number of reasonsI liked the way the action switched between the crumbling world of the Fae and Victorian London above. The tie-ins with events in London's history reminding us that bombing as a means of protest wasn't just a twentieth century thing. The contrast between the poor of the slums and those higher up in society, echoed by the contrast between the different areas of the world below. Not all Fae are good and the others not all bad, they just want to survive the situation they are trapped in.And Eliza, a poor Irish lass from Whitechapel, is caught in all of it as she searches for her lost love who disappeared almost seven years before.PS thank you to the Good Read giveaway scheme for this book

  • Abi Harvey
    2018-12-03 02:02

    I had seen that With Fate Conspire was being re-released in March/April, but I went onto Goodreads for something, decided to double-check the release dates for this year and found out that it had just come out! So I sent Matt to get it for me. I knew I had to see what happened to the faeries after the previous books (Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie and A Star Shall Fall), I do feel that you need to have read them, otherwise you will probably get a bit lost.Read more at:

  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    2018-12-04 22:51

    Just as steampunk re-writes familiar history with mechanical bones and a clockwork heart, so Marie Brennan has used some fantastic alchemy to insert the world of faerie into London’s DNA. While on the surface this nineteenth century city embraces the industrial revolution we’ve all read about in textbooks, under the cobblestones a very different society is wracked with growing pains as iron spreads across the land.Amidst this setting, WITH FATE CONSPIRE follows two separate stories: a mortal girl, Eliza O’Malley, is search of the lost love who was stolen away by faeries and seven years gone, and a faerie himself, Dead Rick, struggles to get out from under the heel of the mob boss who holds him hostage. While I often struggle with books that follow disparate story lines and characters, WITH FATE CONSPIRE unfolds with such a steady rhythm that I never felt out of step. The story clicks back and forth between Eliza and Dead Rick, with glimpses of the queen and consort who fight to hold their crumbling world together, all building tension and momentum toward an ending that took my breath away.As fantastic as that ending was, I barely needed to start WITH FATE CONSPIRE before I ordered the rest of the Onyx Court series. These books more or less stand alone (like Robin McKinley’s Damar books, they inhabit the same world in different eras, with some long-lived characters in common), and I am eager to see other periods of history re-imagined through Brennan’s lens. And as for the future, as complete as WITH FATE CONSPIRE felt, I can’t help but wonder what the next century in this fantastic world would bring.Sexual Content: None.

  • Esther
    2018-12-03 03:49

    The Onyx Court is in danger. The building of railways means the under-side of London is filling up with iron and this is tearing the home of London's fae apart. The queen hasn't been sighted in years and the cockney Prince of the Stone maintains only a thin veil of authority.I love how each of the Onyx Court books speaks so powerfully to the themes of its era. One of the key characters of this novel is Eliza, an Irish girl born in London whose love has been kidnapped by the fae. Her story is really evocative of the upstairs/downstairs-type stories that are often typical of the Victorian period. Appropriately, the other major character is Dead Rick, a down-and-out skriker whose memories have been stolen from him by one of the gang bosses of the goblin market. This is a story about the underworld.I struggled a bit with the early part of this novel and didn't sink into it as quickly as the other Onyx Court books. This is probably the biggest break in central characters and so even though each book has shifted focus, this shift took a bit longer to adjust to. But once I was a third of the way in, it really swept me up and pulled me in. More so than in any of the other books, I really didn't know what was coming until the end.I love how Marie Brennan manages to combine history, the legends of the fae and the particular peculiarities of novels set in different periods so seamlessly. There must be a huge amount of work behind each of these books but the stories themselves read so fluidly.

  • Nancy Meservier
    2018-12-05 23:53

    With Fate Conspire is the fourth and final book in Marie Brennan's Onyx Court Series. Admittedly, I didn't find With Fate Conspire to be as strong a read as the third book in the series (my favorite, A Star Shall Fall). This is mainly due to the fact that some character storylines are stronger than others, which can make the novel a little slow at times. Fortunately, the majority of the book was quite enjoyable. I loved meeting Dead Rick, and following him on his quest to find his lost memories, and the I found the tough, working class Eliza to be a very likable heroine. After following the series for four books, it's really fascinating to see how much the Onyx Court has been transformed by time. No longer an elegant and enchanting palace, the Court has now been skewered by the iron-laced underground. There's a grittiness to this book that wasn't there before, from the dog-eat-dog world of the Goblin Market, to the foul mouthed Cockney Prince of Stone, which gives us a very different glimpse at the faerie world. Lune, once the focal point of the series, barely appears in this volume, as she is spending all of her concentration keeping the palace from collapsing outright. In truth, I missed her a bit, but the moments where she did appear were very effective.I'm kind of sad to see this otherwise enjoyable series come to an end, but I know that Brennan is continuing to explore this world through short fiction. An e-novella (Deeds of Men) has already been released, along with some short stories. I look forward to reading each and every one.

  • Michelle
    2018-12-05 05:06

    (3.5 stars) The concluding (4th) volume of the Onyx Court series takes place in Victorian times. The court is greatly deteriorated, with the Goblin Market openly selling humans, and with Luna seen only by her current Prince. All fear that the deterioration that began with the breaking of the London wall will be completed when the Underground completely circles the kingdom with iron. The court is desperately searching for a solution to save them, while others pursue more nefarious means of saving themselves. In the human world, Eliza has been searching for her stolen sweetheart for almost seven years. She is wanted for questioning by the police over possible involvement with the Irish bombings, but Eliza pursued them because of the Faerie who were involved. She is convinced that if she can find those responsible, she can rescue her lost love. Being a medium, she knows that he is not dead. Another key character is Dead Rick, whose memories have been stolen by his master and he must perform unsavory tasks for him in order to stop his memories from being destroyed. His master has his own plan for saving the Faeries, at a high price. As time begins to run out for the court, they must reach beyond their inner circle to try desperate measures to save them all. As the tension rises, the stories converge into a fateful conclusion.

  • Wendy
    2018-12-14 03:54

    Probably the best of Onyx Court series yet, although my personal favorite will probably always be A Star Shall Fall just for its even greater emphasis on faerie science. I think this book may have the most engaging set of POV characters yet. I've felt like some of the previous books in the series took a little while to really get going, but I was interested in Eliza and Dead Rick's problems pretty much from the start. And the narrative does a really nice job of tying in these characters' individual problems to the larger fate of the Onyx Hall. Another interesting thing I noticed while reading this book is that the previous books have left a very vivid picture of the setting in my mind, to the extent that it's almost a character itself. When I was about 50 pages into the book, someone asked me what I thought of it. I replied, "The Night Garden is all overgrown. I am so sad!" (Pause) "Also, I miss Irrith." I feel bad that I thought of the garden before poor Irrith, but I did. (Anyway, Irrith turns up eventually, but I can't tell you what happens to the Night Garden without being horribly spoilery.) Like the other books in the series, you could probably read this book and enjoy it perfectly well without having read the previous ones in the series. However, you really should read the previous books first, so that you, too, can be sad about the Night Garden.

  • Kate
    2018-12-03 22:10

    My least favorite of the Onyx Court books. I really liked the premise of this book, that of visiting the darker, seedier underside of both London and the Onyx Court, but I felt that the book fell flat. I was also surprised by how much swearing was in this book, because there is quite a lot, and I don't remember any in the previous books.The main reason I didn't care for this book was Lune. I thought she was (view spoiler)[very passive. She spends the entire book in pain, meditating, just to keep the Onyx Court in existence, but never really acting. At the very end she sacrifices her life for something that isn't even the Onyx Court anymore. Lune is the main character of the first three books, and I didn't understand why she was relegated to such a passive role in this last book. Further, I was disappointed by the ending, as it entirely changed the Onyx Court to something else entirely. (hide spoiler)]I was also a bit distracted by the metaphysics in the book, as it doesn't make sense to me that (view spoiler)[faeries' souls and bodies are the same thing, and composed of aether. I don't think it makes logical sense, even within the world that Brennan has created. (hide spoiler)]My least favorite of the books, I think, much as I wanted to like it.

  • Rosu Aquabutts
    2018-12-06 21:51

    3.5 "I liked it."/"I really liked it."Solid ending for the series! The dark turn the Onyx Hall took surprised me as it got into the Goblin Market stuff, but it was really solid, interesting, awesome, and I enjoyed reading it. I was expecting more of the usual from the Victorian era. The focus on the working poor, Whitechapel, factory work, the Fenians... it was entirely unexpected and awesome.In fact the whole book was a solid 4/5 until part 3, where it started just... losing steam. It developed a bit of "last book syndrome," where it was trying to conclude the arcs of everything rather than just the arcs of its principle characters. There was no real solution to Owen and Eliza, Maggie Darragh, and even Lune, ostensibly the main character of this whole thing.The ending through me for... a loop, too. Because up until this point, these books have been almost TOO loyal to history. The sudden jump over to things that never really happened was a weird choice.Anyway, it's a solid series. The weakest is DEFINITELY the second and the strongest is DEFINITELY the third. I enjoyed reading these! Marie Brennan is definitely an author I'm going to follow.

  • Liza
    2018-11-16 06:07

    With Fate Conspire is a wonderful wrap-up to a wonderful series. Set in the late 1800s, the Onyx Court has changed dramatically from Midnight Never Come, as it's being torn apart by the iron subways (the underground, to the British) are being built throughout London.The book starts out slowly, introducing us to the two main characters, Eliza and Dead Rick, by dropping us into the middle of their normal--ish--lives. It's a slow build-up to explain why Eliza and Dead Rick are leading the lives they're leading, and therefore to understand what the point of the story is. As ever, Brennan immerses the reader in the London of the period, while riffing on how fairies would have fit into London without dramatically changing history as we know it.I was thoroughly satisfied with the ending of the book. It felt like an actual ending, and yet leaves open the possibility for more stories set in the world.(P.S. I want more stories in this world!)

  • Kristin Lundgren
    2018-12-06 04:55

    This is I think the third book in the loosely connected series about a group of faeries living beneath London in a failing Hall, due to the influx of a large amount of iron, and in particular, the inner circle underground railroad, that is creating a band of iron around the court that is weakening the Hall, and the places that the faeries live. The other books take place in earlier times of London I believe. This one is deep, engrossing, with a fascinating cast of various fey, with a good mix of legend, but mostly new. How the court is staying together is inventive, and the alchemy and Babbage-like machines they are inventing to try and slow the destruction is fascinating. A great look at fey London below, and both the slums of London of the mortals, and the upper classes, upstairs and downstairs. A great, grand read.

  • Yvonne Boag
    2018-11-19 22:09

    The Onyx Hall's life is coming to an end. Iron is everywhere fracturing the hall with the railways being built. Lune has disappeared and the remaining fae are scrambling to try and save their way of life. In London proper, Eliza is still searching for her childhood sweetheart who was stolen from her by fairies. Her search is going to bring about the end of the Hall or it could be their salvation.Marie Breenan's wonderful writing once again grabs you and pulls you headfirst into a London that never was but makes you wish it could be. The characters are intriguing with their motivations behind behaviours both good and bad and everything in between. I don't want this series to end. I have loved reading every last book and I will jump at reading anything Brennan writes with both hands.

  • Clare
    2018-12-13 04:54

    The first thing that grabbed me about With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan was the cover of eerie green and black. A train rushes out from the artwork, beneath the gaslamps of a London street, all suffused with shadows and sparkling wisps of power. This is a Victorian novel set in 1884 during the industrial revolution when the city of London is being riddled with tunnels for the expanding network of railroads. This is an immediate threat to the Onyx Court, an underground (literally and figuratively) faerie realm, for iron is poison to the fae.See the rest of my review at:http://sciencefictionmusings.blogspot...

  • Tal
    2018-12-12 01:07

    Three centuries of the Onyx Court are about to come to an end. Without the palace's protection, the fae have little choice but to flee. Those who stay have one goal: to find safety in a city that does not welcome them. But what price will the mortals of London pay for that safety?quite definitely part of a series, i was glad i'd read some of Ms Brennan's other Onyx Court books.saying that, as a stand-alone, it did work and was a fun read. i like Eliza and Dead Rick, who powered the book, and the detailed intricate London of the 1880s.

  • Steph
    2018-12-09 00:05

    I have actually stopped reading this book. I enjoy books about the fay as much as the next person. But no matter how hard I tried I could not get into this book. It keeps jumping between people before you can get into a character. I have been trying for 2 weeks to read it and just not working. The book should also come with a warning as by the look on the cover you could think young kids. The book was actually bought for my 11yr old son at local dollar store. But I am glad I decided to read it before him. It has a lot of cussing and other content in it.

  • Debbe Tanner
    2018-11-30 21:43

    Beautiful prose that captured my attention from the first paragraph and kept it to the end. I am still not certain, however, that I like the author's conception of faeries although I am certain that the young crowd would disagree with me. I also would be happier to read fantasy books with fewer wicked characters and less violence like the first of the Potter series. Nevertheless, in spite of my preferences, I still give this a four star rating and hope to read more by this writer who is as talented, in my opinion, as Gaiman.

  • Foggygirl
    2018-12-03 04:05

    A phenomenal series! I finished all four books within a week and now the inevitable let down sets in when I realize there are no more books to read. This series had a Dr. Who like vibe in that there is a powerful being in the form of the faerie queen character of Lune who lives just outside the normal human world protecting it from a variety of otherworldly and mundane threats with the assistance of a series of human companions/Princes over the course of a 300 year reign.

  • Penin
    2018-11-15 04:08

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book! While I found the characters a little difficult to keep track of in the beginning, especially with the chapters titled "Memory", the story transcended this problem, and I was able to relax into the flow very quickly. Such a neat little fairytale! Looking forward to reading more from this series.