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Midnight Never Come

Midnight Never Come

4.2 19
by Marie Brennan

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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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Stunningly conceived and exquisitely achieved, this rich historical fantasy portrays the Elizabethan court 30 years into the reign of the Virgin Queen, often called Gloriana. Far below ground, her dark counterpart, heartless Invidiana, rules England's fae. Brennan (Warrior and Witch) pairs handsome young courtier Michael Deven, an aspiring agent under spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, with bewitching fae Lune, who attempts to avoid Invidiana's wrath by infiltrating Walsingham's network in mortal guise. History and fantasy blend seamlessly as Deven and Lune tread their precarious tightropes between loyalty and betrayal. Brennan's myriad fantastical creations ring as true as her ear for Elizabethan and faerie dialogue. With intriguing flashbacks to historical events and a cast of deftly drawn characters both real and imagined, Brennan fleshes out the primal conflict of love and honor pitted against raging ambition and lust for power in a glittering age when mortals could well be such fools as to sell their souls forever. (June)

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Library Journal

Princess Elizabeth allies with Invidiana, aspiring fairy queen, a partnership that allows both to gain their thrones in parallel Englands. Thirty years later, Michael Devan seeks to rise to the rank of gentleman among the mortals. Resolved to regain the status she lost among the fairies for ceding too much to defeat the Spanish Armada, Lady Lune returns to the mortal court to spy on English spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, who is also Devan's master. Lune takes the form of Anne Montrose, Devan's fiancée, while he searches for the "hidden player" taking a role in mortal politics. But will their love survive the deception and their conflicting duties to both realms? A deft blending of Elizabethan court intrigue and high fantasy, this debut novel will appeal to fans of Sarah Hoyt's Ill Met by Moonlight and All Night Awake. However, unlike Hoyt's works or Elizabeth Bear's forthcoming Elizabethan fantasies Ink and Steel(see review above) and Hell and Earth, which focus on Marlowe and Shakespeare, Brennan eschews making already-famous figures the protagonists. Instead, she foregrounds the fantasy aspect of alternate history by following original characters as they are pulled into great events and forced to grow into their difficult choices.
—Jackie Cassada

Kirkus Reviews
From Brennan (Warrior and Witch, 2006, etc.), a Tudor fantasy mingling real and imagined characters. Young soldier Michael Deven, bored with dull, routine service to Queen Elizabeth as a Gentlemen Pensioner, finds additional work with the queen's spymaster, Francis Walsingham. He meets and falls for Anne Montrose, a lady who serves at Hampton Court Palace. But then Anne declares that she cannot marry Deven and vanishes. Devastated, Deven tries to trace her background and whereabouts, but comes up short. Sickly Walsingham, meanwhile, suspecting the meddling of an unseen player in English politics, orders Deven to investigate. What neither Deven nor Walsingham know is that beneath Elizabeth's Hampton Court lies the Onyx Court, ruled by the faerie queen, Invidiana; and that a pact between Elizabeth and Invidiana has preserved England against Catholic usurpation for nigh 30 years. But even in the unforgiving world of the fae, Invidiana's ruthlessness and cruelty is extraordinary, and her subjects grasp that the pact benefits only Invidiana-whose chief concern is to protect her own dark secrets. Finally, after half the book has crawled by, Deven learns that Anne is really Lady Lune, an unwilling tool of the Onyx Court. What nobody knows is the source of Invidiana's power-certainly no ordinary fae magic is at work. Can Doctor John Dee, Elizabeth's fabled astrologer, help?A hardworking, sanitized Elizabethan backdrop frames a tortuously passive yarn populated by lifeless characters: Mediocre stuff at best.

Product Details

Publication date:
Midnight Never Come Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Marie Brennan is an anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material. Her short stories have sold to more than a dozen venues. Find out more about the author at www.swantower.com

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