Read Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan Online


England flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs.But a great light casts a great shadow.In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politEngland flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs.But a great light casts a great shadow.In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones. When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth's spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham's. His discovery of the "hidden player" in English politics will test Lune's loyalty and Deven's courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana's power—find it, and break it…A breathtaking novel of intrigue and betrayal set in Elizabethan England; Midnight Never Come seamlessly weaves together history and the fantastic to dazzling effect....

Title : Midnight Never Come
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316020299
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Midnight Never Come Reviews

  • Elisa
    2019-06-05 15:10

    Finally, after spending time trying to conceptualize my review of Midnight Never Come, I have come up with the perfect metaphor for how I feel about this book. I feel like a Chopped judge (I’m sorry for anyone who hasn’t stumbled upon the food network and watched the show). Not just any Chopped judge, mind you, but one who has been presented with a plate of food described as one thing and after one bite the judge knows that that description is untrue. In plainer terms: they’ve been fed a big spiel of crap.This book wasn’t crap, that’s not what I’m saying. I feel mislead, is the heart of the matter. This is why I have been scratching my head since reading the epilogue and trying to figure out what the heck happened with the final pages and my expectations. Brennan’s book is not a seamless melding of historical fiction and fantasy. It is historical fiction masquerading as a fae story, and vice versa. I know that doesn’t make a lot of generic sense so I’ll put it this way: I wanted to read a story about the fae, I got a story about Elizabeth I; had I approached this story looking for a book about Elizabeth’s court, I would have been fooled into reading a book about the fae. Instead of taking me into the Onyx Court and drawing parallels with Elizabeth’s London home, because they are essentially light and dark mirror images of each other, Brennan does the opposite. I’ve studied the Elizabethan age so I know a lot about it, Brennan knows more. And I really enjoyed those parts, except when they started taking up the whole story. Really, I didn’t need to read about Elizabeth’s court so that I could draw my own dark conclusions about Invidiana’s, I should have been shown the Faerie Queen’s so that I could reconcile it with what I know about the real world. Phillipa Gregory has made the Tudor’s old hat, I didn’t need a history lesson, I needed a mythology one. You see?I was willing to give the story, and the flaws that were ticking me off a little bit, the benefit of the doubt after the pace picked up, that is, after the entire tale was set up in 222 pages. It’s a 379 page book. Even math-challenged beings like myself can see the disparateness between those two numbers. Pretty much that left a little over 150 pages to get to the big conflict and resolution. Both were so abrupt I feel somewhat robbed. And the ending was not at all what I was expecting for this book or for the series. (view spoiler)[I thought Indiviana would be the SERIES villain, I didn’t think she’d disappear at the end of this book. Why did it take so long to get to her deal with Elizabeth when we knew about it from page 1? (hide spoiler)]Now I feel mislead in a big way. And, like many readers, I don’t really like that. I haven’t read the next book but my faith in the author is a little shaken so I’m not going to be going in with an open mind, to be perfectly frank. I’m going in because I feel that after 222 I’ve earned some more story since I do know that Deven is in the next book, the ebook, anyway. I’m just hoping that it doesn’t try to be more mysterious than it is. The Lune banishment explanation took WAY too long to be told, to the point that I didn’t even care, and I don’t see why it really really mattered. But that’s just me.The last pages saved this read for me and I feel invested. It was a very slow start though.

  • Nikki
    2019-06-11 19:07

    I actually picked this up before I ever got into the Lady Trent books, which I have loved so much, but I bought it again when Titan reissued it with a pretty new cover. Fired up with enthusiasm for Brennan’s work and knowing there’s a wait until the next Lady Trent book, I finally decided to read it. I was a bit daunted by the length, but in the end that felt perfect: just the right amount to dig into. The faerie court is interesting, and I enjoy the fact that Brennan kept it period and geography-appropriate in terms of which sorts of fae were present. Genre-wise, it feels more like historical fiction than fantasy, in the sense that I think the pacing and politicking belongs to a historical novel, and the fantasy is situated within that historical context (rather than the other way round).To me, reading it that way, the pacing was mostly really good, though some of Michael Deven’s sections were frustratingly disconnected from the main plot — partly by their mundanity, and partly because Michael isn’t a major player or even properly clued in for a lot of the book. Lune’s sections work better because she is more aware of the situation on a macro-level, and though her goal is personal advancement, at least her eyes are open to the wider implications of what she’s involved in.The only part that didn’t quite work for me was Michael and Lune’s relationship; I felt a little lukewarm about them individually, so it didn’t add up to much more with them together, and so parts of the plot which relied on their relationship fell a little bit flat for me. I was really more interested in some of the background, the history of Invidiana, the links between the courts, etc. But overall it still worked pretty well for me, and I’m excited to read more in this universe. I suspect it’ll get better as it goes along, too, knowing how much I enjoy Brennan’s most recent work.Originally posted here.

  • Margaret
    2019-05-26 13:56

    Beneath Elizabethan London, there is a hidden city, where the faerie queen Invidiana holds court. The deal she made with Queen Elizabeth long ago draws mortal Michael Deven and fae Lady Lune, each seeking to gain knowledge and power, into a deadly web of political intrigue which tangles their fates and the fates of their courts together. I liked Brennan's previous two books (_Doppelganger_ and _Warrior and Witch_, recently reissued as Warrior and Witch) a lot and have been looking forward to this one for a while -- it doesn't disappoint. Instead of using the Seelie vs. Unseelie Courts situation which is perhaps overly common in faerie-related fiction, Brennan has created a beautifully English-feeling fae court (with allusions to counterparts in other countries) which she weaves seamlessly into her excellent depiction of Elizabethan London. Similarly, she mixes her fictional characters nicely with historical people; I thought her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth especially convincing. In terms of complexity of setting and plot, particularly, I think this is a step up from _Warrior_ and _Witch_, and I really look forward to seeing Brennan's next book about the Onyx Court (which is apparently to be set around the time of the Great Fire).

  • Kim
    2019-06-22 16:14

    This is an elegantly written historical fantasy about two queens and two courts, the mortal one of Elizabeth I, and the fae, known as the Onyx Court, of Invidiana. The two courts are linked both by physical proximity---the Onyx Court is beneath the city of London---and by an arrangement between the two monarchs when Invidiana raises the young Elizabeth to the throne. There are fae spies at the mortal court, and mortal pets at the faerie court, but how the two courts are otherwise linked takes awhile to unfold. The novel concerns the adventures of Michael Deven, one of Elizabeth's pensioners, and the Lady Lune, one of Invidiana's spies. The first part of the book is devoted to these characters' struggle for upward mobility----and Lune in particular to make up for a botched deal she made with the people of the sea. At the beginning, the book is merely interesting; full of court intrigue and rich with both Elizabethan politics and British faerie lore, but the characters a bit difficult to warm up to. I found this a bit of an issue with Brennan's previous books as well, because she is better at showing us what her characters think than what they feel. This is particularly problematic with Deven, who at one point is broken hearted over a love we had little chance to see him feel. Not that the protagonists aren't likable, but more the literary equivalent of reserved, taking awhile to move from objects of interest to objects of sympathy. They do so around the same time that the plot picks up, transforming the book from interesting to compelling to unputdownable. Your intellect and imagination may be engaged before your heartstrings are, but by the end of the novel, you should be satisfied all around.

  • Juushika
    2019-05-26 13:53

    In 1588, England flourishes under the rein of Queen Elizabeth, but deep in the hidden catacombs beneath London, a second queen reins: Invidiana, the cruel, cold-hearted ruler of faerie England. Above ground, Deven enters Elizabeth's court while below ground, Lune is cast from Invidiana's court, and when the two are drawn together they must discover the secret bond that joins the two monarchs—and break it. Midnight Never Come is a historical fantasy which takes full advantage of both parts, spinning out a vivid story of faerie magic which is intimately bound by English politics. Intelligent, skillfully written, but a bit tied up in research, this is a solidly good book that never quite manages to be exceptional. I recommend it.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. Brennan's voice is somewhat distant, but it also eloquent, spelling out noble, fluent sentences which work alongside history to build the book's setting and tone. Her faeries are grounded in mythology, and have both realistic faults and otherworldy appeal. Midnight Never Come's plot ranges from historical to fantastical, a balance of courtly intrigue and faerie magic, dotted by a few character cameos from historical England. Events are pleasantly overshadowed but the plot stays a few steps ahead of the reader so that there are always twists and turns to keep it interesting. Best of all, the historical and magical elements flow smoothly into one another such that—even with an underground faerie court, even with a somewhat unwelcome deus ex machina—the book is a plausible, convincing whole.I read Brennan's journal (), but this was my first chance to read one of her books—and I'm glad I did. If the concept of faeries within Elizabethan England intrigues you as it did me, then I certainly recommend Midnight Never Come. With a lovely writing style, realistic characters, and a brilliantly imagined plot which meshes faerie and historical England with nary a seam, Brennan delivers on the potential that her book promises. It never quite manages to become exceptional and the characters are distanced, but all told Midnight Never Come is a solid and enjoyable read. I recommend it, and look forward to Brennan's other novels—especially those which combine the faerie world with human history.

  • Teresa Edgerton
    2019-06-04 17:50

    MIDNIGHT NEVER COMESet during the reign of Elizabeth I, Midnight Never Come tells of two Englands: one a realm of mortals ruled by Elizabeth, and one a realm of fairies, ruled by the heartless and exceedingly ruthless Invidiana. The two realms and the two rulers are linked by a pact which brought both queens to their thrones. But while Elizabeth has no interest in interfering with Invidiana and her subjects, the fairy queen’s agenda leads her to both help and hinder Elizabeth. She has spies in the mortal court, and has manipulated events in such a way that Elizabeth has sometimes had no choice but to act as Invidiana chooses, not as she would choose herself.Because much of the plot hinges on politics and espionage we see little of the pageantry and color of Elizabeth’s court, but we do get to see its darker corners, and meet some of history’s most fascinating characters, like Doctor John Dee.The protagonists of the tale are Lune, who hopes to better her precarious position within the cut-throat politics of Invididana’s “Onyx Court” by accepting an assignment to disguise herself as a mortal and spy on the humans, and Michael Deven, a young Englishman whose family has recently been elevated to the gentry, and whose ambitions lead him to work for Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth’s spymaster. It is inevitable, of course, that these two should meet, and that their agendas should clash over developing events The difference is that Lune knows most of what is afoot, and for much of the book Michael is ignorant. However, once he is assigned to uncover a suspected secret influence on the queen, it is not in his nature to leave any possibilities unexplored. The pacing of the first part of the story is slow, as Brennan sets up past and present events. Just as I was becoming interested in one group of characters, she would switch to another. But I have some familiarity with the period and with fairy lore and I was intrigued by the way she wove real events so cleverly with the folklore. Then, about halfway through the book, when the various strands of the plot began to come together, and when the personalities of the main characters were more established, the story itself became considerably more compelling. As well as Invidiana’s role in manipulating English politics, there is the mystery of her own origins, the creation of the vast underground Onyx Court, and her ascension to the throne, which Lune and Michael join forces to discover. There is also a developing romance, where I would have liked to see more depth of emotion, but the tragedy inherent in a mortal and an immortal falling in love are sufficiently obvious, perhaps the author decided to leave that aspect to the readers’ imaginations.Brennan is able to inject quite a bit of darkness and suspense, without resorting to much in the way of violence or gore. Vicious and ruthless as the fairy queen is, it is the subtlety of her methods and punishments that makes her the most dangerous. Overall, I found this a clever and entertaining book, and went straight to Amazon after finishing it, to order the sequel.

  • Jim
    2019-06-22 19:03

    With her latest book, Brennan has moved from more traditional sword & sorcery to intricate historical fantasy. Anyone wanting or expecting more of the same might be disappointed. I was not. 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. Brennan blends historical detail with the fantastic so smoothly I barely noticed the seams. This is a book that invites you to slow down and savor. Broken into five acts, each act builds more tension, moving from a relatively leisurely introduction toward a much more focused struggle in the final act. By the end, I had a hard time closing the book, and lost quite a bit of sleep as things came to a climax. If you're looking for nonstop action and excitement, this may not be the book for you. But if you want rich worldbuilding and a story you can truly immerse yourself in, I'd recommend picking this one up.

  • Emily
    2019-06-23 10:57

    Midnight Never Come is a tale of twos. Two Courts – Mortal & Faerie. Two Queens – Elizabeth I of England & Invidiana of the Onyx Court. Two Bindings – A Curse & A Pact. Two Identities – the faerie Lady Lune & her mortal glamour Anne Montrose; Invidiana & Suspiria. The moral court is the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. At the start of the story Elizabeth is her prime as monarch. Her kingdom is secure thanks to the defeat of the Spanish Armada, but she is plagued by the recent execution of her cousin Queen Mary of Scotland. She feels “managed” by another and dislikes it. The faerie court is ruled by the tyrannical Queen Invidiana. Her court is attended by the Lady Lune, who is recently fallen out of Invidiana’s favor. Lune negotiated a pact with the sea folk to assist the mortal court in the defeat of the Spanish, but overstepped her boundaries when she promised peace. Lune is ostracized by Invidiana, but nobly wants to regain favor. In so doing, she takes a task to infiltrate the court of Queen Elizabeth by assuming the identity of Anne Montrose.In Queen Elizabeth’s court the Lord Walsingham controls the security of the empire through secrecy and espionage. Master John Deven seeks to gain social status and courtly favor by working for Walsingham. Walingham suspects that the Elizabeth is being influenced by an outsider and he and Deven attempt to solve the puzzle. Deven is courting Anne Montrose and he benignly feeds her information regarding the mortal court. Deven is in love with Anne and asks for her hand in marriage, but is refused with little explanation. Anne disappears and Deven searches for her by using Walsingham’s contacts. Deven finds Anne (Lune) and learns of her dual identity and her mission – to spy on Elizabeth. Deven feels betrayed and is hurt Lune’s deception, but looks past it to help undo the pact that is hurting both courts. The pact between Elizabeth and Invidiana was made while Elizabeth sat in the Tower under the imprisonment of Queen Mary I. The pact binds Elizabeth to Invidiana in exchange for securing the English crown. Deven and Lune learn of Invidiana’s true identity and the curse she tried to lift by creating the Onyx Court. But the creation of the Onyx court was also formed by the pact made with Elizabeth. Undoing one would undo the other. With the help of mystical advisers, the spirit of the river Thames, angels, wise brownies, and other fae the Onyx Court is released from Invidiana and the pact with Elizabeth is broken. Lune with Deven by her side will rule the Onyx Court and coexist with the mortals of London.Firstly, Midnight Never Come is my kind of story – Elizabethan historical fantasy. And Brennan really gets it right. The detail and accuracy of this story is phenomenal. I can’t imagine exactly how much research when into this, but I bet it took more time to research the story than to actually write it. I loved the characterization of the faeries and mortal courtiers. You really feel like you get to know the characters well, but aren’t daunted by minutia. The settings are beautifully descriptive, but not overpowering. The plot is intricate, severe, and you can feel the risk. But the plot themes are loosely tied and I feel like it could have been backed up by more action and explanation. There were a couple instances where I needed to re-read something to make sure I caught all of the details. The language is a bit overwhelming and if all of the historical facts weren’t accurate I’d call it pretentious. If it ‘twere packed full of “tws,” ‘twould ‘ve been ‘twerrific (guess that movie). No really, I could stomach it, but ‘twas too much. Anyway, Midnight Never Come isn’t a simple Sunday afternoon book, but it’s enjoyable if it’s your type of book. If not, stay away.

  • Hayley
    2019-06-21 15:06

    When I first discovered this book, I honestly believed it may have been the most perfect fantasy book ever created. Firstly, it takes place during Elizabethan England, one of my favorite periods in English history. Secondly, it is about the Fey, and I feel that too few authors write truly great books about faeries.When I got hold of it, I was immediately disappointed. The protagonists of Lune (female fey) and Michael Devan (male mortal) were not particularly interesting and the stories of both courts were kept entirely separate. I actually put the book down for several days and didn't keep reading.However, the book is separated into 5 acts and, past the first act, the book immediately tightens up and becomes more interesting. It was at this point that I came to the blissful realization that this book was just as perfect as I hoped it would be. The characters are wonderful, the story well-paced, the romance touching without being cloying, and I beyond delighted to learn that there is a second book in the series. In the meantime, Marie Brennan's website has a novella, "Deeds of Men", available for download.A brilliant book. A truly beautiful weaving of history and fantasy.

  • Suzannah
    2019-06-02 10:53

    Read to explore historical fantasy.This story is set in Elizabethan England, positing a fae court mirroring Elizabeth's. The English queen and the faerie queen are bound by a pact, which in the story's present - around 1590 - is having bad effects on both realms, prompting a mortal man who spies for Walsingham and a faerie lady who spies for her own people to join forces to break the pact.This was a very easy read, and I could appreciate that a wealth of historical research had gone into the story - Brennan gives the appearance of knowing Elizabethan London like the back of her hand. All the same, it was hard to care about the characters or their stories; the book felt extremely superficial to me.Overall I was surprised and pleased by the novel's respectful treatment of religion. I was also rather relieved that apart from some mild innuendo and one or two isolated uses of bad language, the book was overall very clean.I'd call it inoffensive but bland.

  • Joey Woolfardis
    2019-06-20 18:47

    Yes, but Kindle.

  • Tina
    2019-06-01 14:57

    This is a gorgeous historical fantasy. It's so beautifully written that a couple of the scenes gave me chills.

  • Cheryl
    2019-06-05 13:50

    I found the beginning of this book hard to get into and hard to understand what was going on. As this was a recommended book, I persevered and found the last half of it much better, as the pieces of the puzzle came together for me.

  • grellian
    2019-05-30 13:56

    "Midnight Never Come", part one in "The Onyx Court" series is Marie Brennan's imaginary interpretation of the court politics in 15th century England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In this enthralling historical/urban fantasy novel, the mortal court is shadowed by its mysterious and slightly ominous counterpart led by the cruel faerie queen of Britain Invidiana. The plot follows the struggles of Lady Lune, a courtier trying to regain the favour of Invidiana, lost after negotiating a treaty during her diplomatic mission with the sea-folk (who in fact are the faeries' secret weapon in dealing with the Spanish Armada). Sent out to the mortal court, Lune crosses paths with Michael Deven, aspiring secret agent in debt of Sir Walsingham, and eventually, the spark between fae and mortal kindles in a powerful, fate-changing way. The first (and trust me, definitely not the last) asset of the novel is its authenticity. Marie Brennan has researched her novel set in the Elizabethan age exhaustingly and suffused it with plausible details. There are occasional flashbacks, hinting at the sinister deal between Elizabeth and Invidiana, which enrich the story and provide it with more depth. Moreover, the author's take on the Onyx Court is original in the complex way she opposes the conduct of the two monarchs. While Elizabeth bathes in the adulation of her subjects, Invidiana is feared and encourages backstabbing and power struggles. As a whole, as far as setting and plot are concerned, Marie Brennan has achieved the unbelievable: pages fly by as if she has set a faerie charm on her readers. And has she?! With the development of the story, the author manages to flesh out her characters by delving in their thoughts and actions, but superficially, as if she was too focused on the Elizabethan setting and missed out a few key scenes. Anyway, even though she is definitely not thorough in depicting her seconaray characters, the two house sprites in the novel, for instance, are refreshingly amusing after the menacing atmosphere of the faerie court. The author's voice is strong and eloquent, her sentences flowing in their complexity. What astounded me is Marie Brennan's ability to slightly change her style when describing the mortal and the Onyx Court from light and inspired to creepy and intense. The pace is crisp and there are quite a few unexpected twists and turns to whet your appetite for the final countdown. In conclusion, "Midnight Never Come" is an imaginative rendering of Queen Elizabeth's reign that ranges from ordinary to fantastical in its perfect balance between fae politics and otherworldly allure. The novel is rich in detail and the plot is virtually boiling with intrigue, ancient curses and a splash of magic.

  • colleen the convivial curmudgeon
    2019-06-09 17:15

    2.5This is the sort of book which should be right up my alley - a historical fantasy, with Elizabeth Tudor, no less, and fae.The book has a slow build and stuff didn't really seem to be really interesting until the last, like, 25% of the book.It's an historical fiction with only glimpses of history, and sometimes give in info-dumps. And a fae story with a different sort of faerie vibe - though that's sort of the point of the story, as it goes to some pains to point out that the Onyx Court is not typical for Faerie. (I also wished they had stuck with the bit of the lore where (view spoiler)[faeries can't outright lie. Would've added an interesting dimension to this story, but instead we have them lying all over the place. (hide spoiler)]) In general the story uses different bits of faerie lore, but in its own way.It's also an intrigue book, but one where we, the reader, seemed to know everything that was going on, and it was just a matter of watching the characters figure things out. This would be ok if the characters themselves were interesting enough to make the story interesting, though I'm not sure they were really strong enough, for me, to carry the story.But towards the end we find that things aren't quite as they seemed, and there are hidden depths going on. I also grew to appreciate the romance aspect of the story.It was the ending, really, which decided me to give this 3 stars. It was pretty much a 2 star book before then - and, as always, I reserve the right to change my rating at a future date.One thing I am glad of is that this story, despite being part of a series, does seem to stand well enough on its own. I would've been very annoyed had I come to the end only to find it be one of those stories where book 1 is really on setup for what's yet to come - especially since I'm not sure even my enjoyment of the ending was enough to make me want to continue the series.ETA: There was one aspect of the writing style which was a bit odd. We would have 'memories' sections where we saw bits that had happened prior to the story, which set up the events we saw unfolding. This would all be well and good, but the memory bits often came after Deven and Lune had themselves discovered those bits of the story. So it's like we get the story of what happened, and then we see it again from a different perspective. For a book where I felt pacing was a problem, these bits didn't really seem to offer much. Or, rather, they would've been better had they happened as Deven and Lune were learning of them - like movies sort of handle flashbacks - and not as ancillary pieces.

  • Nancy Meservier
    2019-06-24 12:54

    In 16th century England, Elizabeth has been sitting on her throne for thirty years. Beneath the streets of London there is another monarch, Invidiana, the heartless queen of the faeries. Above ground, the young Michael Devin has just gained Elizabeth’s favor by becoming one of the elite Gentlemen Pensioners. Below, the fae Lune has fallen out of favor with the court, and begins to fear for her life. When she sees an opportunity to get back in her queen’s good graces, she takes it. This mission will bring her above ground to the world of mortals, where she and Michael Devin will come face to face, and learn about a pact between two queens that has shaped both Englands for decades. Midnight Never Come is a well researched work of historical fiction that does a great job of fully immersing the reader into the time period. Having a basic knowledge of the “real life” key players will help the reader enjoy the story, but I don’t believe that it’s necessary. One thing I liked was the parallel between the two queens, the bright and the dark, and the two courts. I also liked how the author gave supernatural reasons between real life situations (for example, Elizabeth’s “celibacy” is seen as being Invidiana’s cruel work). The book is not perfect. It does start off a little slow, but when things start to pick up (during act two) it really becomes interesting. The last eighty or so pages is near impossible to put down, so I suggest setting aside plenty of time to read them so you can finish the book without interruptions. The author has quite a nice writing style that at times can be truly lovely. Unfortunately, I feel as if it also distances the reader from the characters, at least initially. Once the reader gets future into the book, they characters, such as the heroes, Lune and Michael, prove to be complex and likeable. Many of the side characters, such as the two Queens and the kind Goodmeeds, are just as interesting. I’m really glad that Midnight Never Come was recommended to me. Apparently a sequel, In Ashes Lie, came out roughly a month ago. I look forward to picking it up once I get the chance.

  • Raj
    2019-06-10 19:10

    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.

  • Rinn
    2019-06-26 18:59

    I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.Oh, what high hopes I had for Midnight Never Come. Having read Anne Lyle’s The Alchemist of Souls in October last year, I was smitten with the idea of a fantasy Elizabethan court. There’s something about that particular era that really lends itself to the idea of magic and faeries, so when I was offered a copy of this by Titan Books I snatched it up. Sadly, I found it to be lacking.I know I enjoy Marie Brennan’s writing – A Natural History of Dragons was excellent. But with Midnight Never Come I often found myself tuning out and not concentrating on the story a little too often – I just never quite got into it. The time skips were also really disorientating, jumping here and there very suddenly, and I had no real sense of how much time had actually passed in the story. I didn’t feel attached to a single character, neither fae nor human, and none of them felt particularly developed.I had two main issues. The first was the name of the faerie queen: Invidiana. I had to say it so many times out loud to work out how it was pronounced, and still I’m not sure – any way sounds weird. In-vid-ee-ana? In-vid-ee-ah-na? I don’t know, and every time I came to the name in the book, I had to pause. And my second issue: when it is revealed whom Lune, the main fae character, has been disguised as in the human court, it didn’t mean anything. I hadn’t had enough time with this human character to know anything about her or suspect what was going on.Whilst I love love love the idea of a fae court underneath the human Elizabethan one, this just did not work for me as well as I expected. I’ve given it three stars – but it’s more of a ‘disappointed’ three stars than a good, solid rating.

  • Hope Reads
    2019-06-25 15:06

    Original review posted on my book blog:’ve wanted to read this book for some time now and I new my library had this book in their collection, so I thought I give it a go. I was in a mood for a story about fearies mixed with history. I was not disappointed; this was great read. I loved the Elizabethan period, one of my favourite periods in European history, more specifically in British history. I loved how the author manages to blend history and fearies together; she managed to strike a great balance. This book had everything, mystery behind the Onyx Court and Queen Invidiana and her connection to Elizabeth. There was romance which I enjoyed; it was not in your face and insta love. But rather it slowly worked its way throughout the book. Characters were well done and developed, I was rooting for them, for Lune and Deven and others. You could feel their struggles and desires especially Lune’s struggle with falling out of favour with the Queen Invidiana and her desire to survive unfriendly and potentially dangerous environment. Deven was a very likeable character from the very beginning. Even thought he was an ambitious young man, but we can’t hold that against him, he was loyal to his Queen Elizabeth. Overall this was a great read and I enjoyed it very much. I loved the story, characters and the setting. Author managed to make me feel like I was in London or other locations where court moves with season. I could picture each of these locations. I am not sure if that is because I am familiar with these sites, or because the author did such a good job. One thing that I wished for as I was reading was for more intrigue and more twists and this is one of the main reasons I gave this books 4 stars. I give this book 4/5 STARS!!!

  • Avrelia
    2019-06-24 17:54

    1)I loved it. It's probably not a brilliant book, but I don't care – it has that magical quality of pulling me right in and not letting go until the last page. Your millage might obviously vary, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. I cannot say that I am a huge fan of Elizabethan time and fairies (I love them, but not with passion), which probably helps, since I cannot catch any historical details that might be different from reality. Nothing spoiled my fun. The language is simple and flows perfectly, the story is engaging and stays powerful throughout.We are introduced to two court in England – the court above, the court of Queen Elizabeth Tudor, and the court below London in the Onyx Hall, the court of the Fairy Queen Indiviana. We follow the fortunes of Lune, the lady who lost the favour of the fairy queen and tries to return it – or at least survive. And we follow the fortunes of a young courtier Michael Deven, who seeks fortune at the court of Queen Elizabeth Tudor, and - of course – his fortune gets entwined with Lune's. Love is the main engine for this story, and the straightforwardness of it works very well. There is a fine sense of mystery and wonder, there are intrigues and power play, and friendship and loyalty and pride, all tangled in one fine mess, and in the end, the fae world doesn't look that much different from a human one. Oh, fairies are different enough to be instantly recognizable as such, and they are immortal and cannot abide the mentions of the God and the toll of church bell's, but they are still not alien. The author does a fine job of not really describing them – we can imagine them to our taste, but she does say that the fae we are reading about are close to humans in looks and manners as fairies can. There are others, less human-like, in looks and nature. Maybe we'll see them later.

  • ambyr
    2019-06-07 18:58

    Let me start by praising this book as a physical object. The composition, the subtle blue tones, the spot-gloss filigree, the typography: there is nothing about the cover I do not love. It caught my eye on the shelf time and time again. A good cover won't make me buy a book, but it'll certainly make me read the blurb, and that's always a good start.The book itself doesn't--quite--live up to the gorgeous art that houses it. But it's a solid tale of adventure, solidly told. There's nothing in here that made me laugh aloud or shed tears (okay, maybe one or two at the end--but look, I've been known to cry during commercials), but also nothing that made me roll my eyes or sigh in exasperation. The characters felt like real people, and I basically believed their arcs and motivations, although there were one or two times when I couldn't figure out why the author decided to tell rather than show an important decision point.I know basically nothing about Elizabethan England, so I was pleased to find the politics and players mostly easy to follow. (Whether the history was accurate, of course, I can't say.) I never felt like I needed to resort to Wikipedia. I'm looking forward to reading the later books in the series, since I gather they take place during times slightly more familiar to me.

  • Kate
    2019-05-30 17:10

    I really enjoyed Warrior, and decided to try Midnight Never Come, although I usually avoid books set in Elizabethan England, and tend to be wary of books about fairy courts. Midnight Never Come was a pretty good piece of fluff. I enjoyed it, although I felt that the ending was very contrived, and so couldn't give a better review. It seemed too much of a deus ex machina, as (view spoiler)[a literal angel gives one of the main characters power, which somehow sets everything right. (hide spoiler)]Also, the book follows two main characters, Deven, an ambitous man at Queen Elizabeth's Court, and Lune, an ambitious fey in the Fey Court. I enjoyed Lune's story, but was never that interested in Deven's story, and tended to skim it. He just never seemed very likable or interesting.In the afterword, the author talks about how the book was inspired by an RPG the author ran, in which it was "about playing faeries in the modern world" and was "pretty non-standard, starting with the fact that it went through six hundred and fifty years of English history-backward." I would really like to read that book, instead of Midnight Never Come.

  • Bam Jam
    2019-06-02 11:09

    "Once we love, we cannot revoke it,' she said. 'We can only glory in what it brings -- pain as well as joy, grief as well as hope." - Lune; Midnight Never Come, M. BrennanAfter reading this book, I found myself so surprised to have ever found it in the bargain bin. Excellent storyline, good characterization, and very little plot points that caused confusion. I was very much attracted to, and at first wary of, a mix between history and fantasy. This doesn't always end up working out well in a novel. But I really felt that Brennan did a remarkable job in balancing the two genres, and interlocking the lives of the human court and the fay court, all the while sprinkling a bit of religious mythology. The characters were easy to grasp, though they had their own interesting faults, the romance wasn't shoved down your throat; you slid into it relatively with ease, and the villain was captivating. A great read! I am so glad I found it! You can find my review for this book, and others, on my blog:Sweaters and Raindrops

  • July
    2019-06-08 11:00

    Elizabethan England and the fae? Count me in. This book had a very interesting premise - that a fae court existed as a mirror to Elizabeth's court. Except in this case, the mirror is a dark one. The cruel fairy queen rules with an iron fist and becomes the villain of the tale (a very well-done villain, I might add). If you're looking for the focus to be on major players in Elizabeth's court, pass this book by. The plot focuses mainly on Lune, who is fey, and Michael, a human courtier, and how they are swept up into the intrigue of two colliding worlds. Also, if you are expecting a detailed cataloguing of various fey and their powers, this is not the book for you. Fey central to the plot are described, but for the most part, their powers/attributes remain largely unknown. Sometimes, I found the plot moved a bit slowly, but it was nothing to make me put the book down. In fact, by the end, it was a total page-turner, and I stayed up past my bedtime to finish it.

  • Katie
    2019-06-18 18:12

    If this were a dress made on Project Runway, it would fall into the category of "overworked." A great idea and good research, but the writing leaves much to be desired and often seemed self-indulgent rather than useful to the story.The idea of this book was very good and interesting, and in terms of the plot outline, I think she did well. However, the writing style and pacing were off. The writing was unnecessarily complicated and the descriptions were often dull and tedious rather than enriching to the world of the book.I'll probably check out the next book though, as this seems like something that could improve with experience.

  • Laura Martinelli
    2019-06-19 15:49

    A dark and intriguing read, Midnight Never Come takes some of the traditional fey and moves them to the Elizabethan court. I found this originally at work and fell in love with the book. I love how Brennan brings Elizabethan England to life, from the court life to the outskirts of London at the Angel Inn. While some of the plot elements and revelations seemed a little off for me (particularly the details surrounding Individiana’s backstory), the plot was deftly woven and I did not want to put it down.

  • Roxanna Bennett
    2019-06-02 18:48

    I accidentally overdosed on one of my medications are read this while I was stoned which you would think would have made the story more entertaining but sadly did not.

  • Alisa Kester
    2019-06-01 13:01

    I got only a few chapters into this book and realized I was so disinterested that I was preferring to do chores than sit down and pick it up. So disappointing, since the premise sounded wonderful.

  • S.J. Budd
    2019-06-20 17:08

    I was sold on reading this book from the first two sentences of the blurb on the back cover;"England flourishes under the hand of Elizabeth 1, last of the Tudor monarchs. But a great light casts great shadow. In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above."This is a tale of two regal courts living side by side in uneasy peace, the court of Elizabeth 1 the last of the infamous Tudor dynasty and Queen of faerie England Invidiana who resides secretly beneath the streets of Elizabethan London in the Onyx Court.Lady Lune, after falling out of favour with Invidiana after failing to negotiable agreeable terms with the sea people, is sent to Elizabeth's court to spy on Elizabeth 1 spymaster, Walsingham. She disguises herself as a mortal when she ventures above ground and soon catches th eye of Michael Devin an agent of Walsingham.They become bound to one another in a way neither could envisage but they must stick together if they are both to live and ensure the survival of their peoples.Midnight Never Come is a really magical book. Straightaway I was completely immersed in the way of life in Elizabethan London and the faerie kingdom, Onyx Court. This was a book I just couldn't put down, it was full of intrigue, suspense and just a really well written book.What's really cool about this book is that a lot of the figures in this book were real historical figures such as Walsingham Elizabeth 1 right hand man and occult figure Dr John Dee. It's really well researched because of that it feels entirely believable that there could have been a faerie court ruling alongside Elizabeth's 1.Midnight Never Come is the first book in the Onyx Court series and I'm really looking forward to reading the next installments as Midnight Never Come could almost be a stand alone book so it will be really interesting to see what direction the series takes. Marie Brennan, author of Midnight Never Come is better known for her bestselling fantasy series, The Memoirs of Lady Trent, a leading Dragon Naturalist. I've yet to read these but after reading this tale I will definitely be reading a lot more by Marie Brennan.This was a very unusual book, one that was a delight to read.

  • Carol
    2019-06-23 15:15

    Summary: There are two courts in England. One, the glorious splendor of Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. The other, its dark mirror image beneath the streets of London, ruled by a cold, ruthless and eternally beautiful tyrant. Two courtiers, one from each court, play at the Game of politics and intrigue to gain favor and advance their fortunes; but when a secret pact is revealed, they must learn to trust each other if they are to survive, let alone save their realms.Why I picked it up: I read A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, and when I found out she'd written a series based in Elizabethan England that involved fae, I decided I wanted to try it out.Thoughts: It was very slow going for the first half. It's not badly written - on the contrary, Brennan is very good with her imagery and plot organization, etc. However, while it was interesting learning just enough about Elizabethan court life for the story to make sense, and understanding the rules of magic and the faerie realm, I didn't find it... captivating. Not until partway through Act 3 did I truly start sinking into the story and felt the NEED to finish. Once I hit that point, I couldn't put it down. The story is beautiful and tragic and horrifying all at the same time. I may read book 2 at some point in the near-ish future. Maybe.Support your local library!