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Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan
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Midnight Never Come

by Marie Brennan

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Originally posted on The Emerald City Book Review (emeraldcitybookreview.blogspot.com)

This is a tale of two courtiers in Elizabethan England. One is on his way up, newly appointed to the Gentlemen Pensioners, elite bodyguard to the Queen herself. The other has recently fallen from high favor, and is fighting for her life in the cutthroat atmosphere that pervades the royal court.

But there's a twist: the sovereigns they serve are not the same. A shadow court exists below the streets of London, a court of Faerie known to few mortals. Is Elizabeth one of them? What does she know of Invidiana, the dark and hidden counterpart to her bright and shining reign above?

When two courtiers, one mortal and one of Faerie, find their paths intertwining in unexpected ways, they know that nothing can ever be the same again. They must risk everything to find the answers.

Marie Brennan's lush and lovely tale will draw you in at once and not let you go until long after midnight, if you're anything like me. There is no shortage of historical fiction about the Elizabethan period, including a goodly amount of fantasy -- and small wonder, given the truly fantastic personalities, events, and literature that era produced, let alone the clothing styles. Midnight Never Come is a worthy addition to the list, spinning something compellingly original out of the threads of history, folklore, and tradition. Historical personages, legendary figures, and Brennan's own inventions mingle seamlessly, each of the large and varied cast of characters depicted with conviction and strength.

Most of all, her two protagonists will captivate you with the details of their lives in court: real or imagined, it matters not. You won't want to stop reading until you find out what happens to them, how it happens, and whether (let's face it) they have a future together. Can the ancient alchemical formula "As above, so below," become a reality and not a mockery?

This is surely an entertainment, not an educational or philosophical tome, yet such deeper questions do rest at its foundations. Along with Brennan's fluent, elegant writing, this is one of the greatest pleasures to be found in reading this novel. In the halls of fantasy fiction, long may she reign. ( )
  withawhy99 | Jun 22, 2014 |
spring08,fantasy ( )
  lencicki | Aug 28, 2013 |
spring08,fantasy
  orbitbooks | May 9, 2013 |
Amazon preorder
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
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. ( )
  princess-starr | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Fitful drafts of chill air blew in through the cruciform windows of the Bell Tower, and the fire did little to combat them.
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Book description
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 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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031602029X, Paperback)

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 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the thirty years since Elizabeth I 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. And a faerie lady's courage and loyalty are about to be tested.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Orbit Books

An edition of this book was published by Orbit Books.

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