Midnight Never Come

Midnight Never Come

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, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316020299
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 06/09/2008
Series: Midnight Never Come Series , #1
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About 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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Midnight Never Come 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Oneira More than 1 year ago
To start with, the concept is brilliant. A faerie queen who rules beneath London acting as a parallel to Queen Elizabeth I. They formed a pack so that they could both rise to power and become queens. The story, except for the flashbacks, takes place in the 1580s - 90s. Lune is a faerie who has fallen from Queen Invidiana's favor in the faerie court. Devon is trying to rise among the ranks serving Queen Elizabeh and Walsingham. In their quests they both discover the truth behind Invidiana and the pact made between the queens.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Three decades have past since Elizabeth became Queen of England, ushering in an age of Gloriana. However underneath in the bowels of the catacombs, ruthless Invidiana rules the fae with an iron hand.-------------- Working as a courier under the tutelage of his mentor spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, Michael Deven meets bewitching Lady Lune, an undercover fae wearing a mortal disguise. Lune fears her dark Queen Invidiana so in order to avoid her rage and worse, she infiltrates Walsingham's network. She plans to use and discard Michael who obviously wants her. However, to Lune¿s trepidation and dread she is as attracted to the bewitching human as she thinks he is to her. However, she knows he could not survive in her realm while she cannot remain in his as her Queen would never allow her or him to live. --------------- MIDNIGHT NEVER COME is an intriguing Elizabethan romantic fantasy in which Marie Brennan makes her two realms seem real by using historical events via flashbacks to anchor the Tudor reign and enabling the darkness to grow stronger in the shadows. Fans will enjoy the star-crossed love between the Fae and the mortal as honor and loyalty war with ambition for power in a Faustian age of deceit.---------------- Harriet Klausner
jchines on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
KathyWoodall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Tower of London: March 1554Elizabeth, 21 years old, is visited on night in her prison cell. A beautiful woman stands in front of her offering not only to set her free but to rise her to the throne where her sister now sits."And in return? What gift- no doubt a minor, insignificant trifle- would you require from me?""Oh, tis not minor." The faintest of smiles touched the stranger's lips.The pact that is borne that night will rise 2 women, one mortal and one fairy, to power.Michael Devon, a courtier for Elizabeth I, and Lune a courtier for Invidianna, will soon try to figure out what is behind the power of these two women and break it.Very, very interesting story. The plot keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end.I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical novels with a twist of fantasy added. I would suggest readers have some knowledge of the Elizabeth I time period. Can't wait to read other books about the Onyx Hall fairies.
slpenney07 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Summary: Two kingdoms in England are intertwine in a vicious circle. Who aids who? Where is the balance of the scales? And how can the pact be broken?The Take Away: As in her first two titles, Brennan tells an enthralling tale. I loved how she entwined history with faerie lore, without changing the history. Lune, the outcast fae and her human consort Michale are fabulous characters drawn together by circumstances and kept together through commitment and fidelity. Both promise to serve their respective queen. One breaks the promise to aid the other but only to destroy one of the greatest evils done to England.Brennan u yses the history and structure of the fae to tell a marvelous story without changing either side. Quite remarkable.
macygma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book surpassed all my expectations! After borrowing it from a fellow LT member I thought it was a tad on the dull side but soon got caught up in the drama and political issues it brought forth. Lune, a member of the fae is undercover for her queen in mortal London.. She meets and falls in love with Devon, a member of the Queen's Gentleman Protectors. She soon is in over her head with her spying and the Queen of Faeries, Indiviana; casts her out of the Onyx Throne hall to beg for food and a place to sleep. Devon and Lune, along with many supporters, see that it is time for Invidiana to give up her throne. Easier said than done! A tale of loves lost and found in merry old England.
craso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of two courtiers; a young man, Michael Deven, and a fae woman, Lady Lune. Deven is a mortal who is in the Gentlemen Pensioners in Elizabeth I court and Lune is a faerie in the Onyx Court of Queen Invidiana. Both courts mirror each other with the Onyx Court lying beneath the streets of London. Deven is on the rise in his court while Lune has fallen from her queen¿s grace. They eventually work together to break Invidiana¿s power so that both courts will survive.This book was a fast enjoyable read. The beginning is about courtly life with politics, spies, and plotting. Near the end, the story becomes a fairytale with curses and lost loves. Invidiana is dark and evil like a classic wicked fairy or witch. She has a hand in the history making events of Elizabeth¿s reign. It was this mix of fantasy and history that made the book and interesting read.
AprilFollies on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm new to writing reviews, but "Midnight Never Come" certainly inspires me to write one. It's not often that a book intertwines historical figures and fantastic personages with such elegance. Oddly, the author manages to make both the mortal and immortal characters come to life with what I can only call a startling realism. Considering that more than half the major characters are mythical by nature, that's quite an accomplishment.These are not the poetically spoken dewdrop fairies of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", although they do rise from the same folk tradition. (It's helpful that the author is proficient in both folklore and history.) Somehow, without sacrificing the poetry or sense of magic, the author makes her inhuman characters quite easy to relate to. For "great shadows", they're remarkably three-dimensional. Then too, the author has a gift for deftly blurring the lines between what's natural and what's not; there are very earthy fairies, and an unearthly human wandering their halls with mad forays into prophecy. Playing with the concept of just what it means to be human - or not - makes for vivid characterizations.The plot is every bit as intricate - which does, admittedly, make it a bit tricky to follow in places. We shift between the story as told by different characters, and the focus shifts from events past to events present, sometimes without warning. Fortunately, it's easy to become immersed enough in the story that one picks up the trail each time the plot doubles back in a new direction, until it all comes around quite nicely with the ending.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had been searching for this book for years. I would see it, and defer purchase and then forget the author and title, and be unable to find it again. I wanted it because I like SFF, and historical fiction.This book is set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in England. It moves as the court moves, so sometimes it is in London, and sometimes at other nearby locations. There is a prolog that depicts Elizabeth in the Tower where Mary had placed her ostensibly for her religious beliefs, but really because she was afraid Elizabeth's supporters were going to overthrow her. The premise is that Elizabeth was definitely slated to die, but she made a pact with one of the Fae. Invidiana, was a woman who also wished to be Queen, but of the Fae. She makes Elizabeth an offer she can't refuse.The story jumps then to a mature Elizabeth who is secure on her throne, and to Invidiana being the Fae queen. It is implied that the poor weather caused the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and that the weather and other combatants were supplied by the Fae.The POV character for the human court is a poor, socially low level young man who comes to court, Michael Deven. He did some good work for Walsingham, and has been sponsored to become a member of the Gentlemen Pensioner's, Queen Elizabeth's bodyguard. He is loyal to the Queen but he also wants to make his fortune and advance in social rank.The POV for the Fae is a character named, Lune. She was a lady in waiting for her Queen Invidiana in the Onyx Court. The court was created under human London and protects the Fae from the charms and religious injunctions that humans use against them. The Fae are not open about their existence, they sneak around humans and go in disguise.Lune is in disgrace because she was responsible for negotiating the deal that had the sea folk helping the English and destroying the Armada. Her Queen felt she gave up too much. In royal disfavor, Lune has become a target in the court. Life in the Onyx Court is dangerous, because the Queen is vicious, capricious and likes to play games. Even living out in the countryside is no protection from the Queen's machinations, so there is no safe place. Because the Queen is that way, her courtiers emulate her, and are very cut-throat.Deven and Lune do end up together, when Lune is sent to the human court to spy on them. She goes in disguise at the start and latches onto Deven for his inside knowledge. Of course, Lune's plans fall apart, and Deven becomes aware that she is Fae and that they exist.The story is mostly about how he finds out about Lune, and what they do together to fight Individiana. Her evil influence is felt at Elizabeth's court, and Walsingham instructs Deven to find the secret actor pulling the strings. Walsingham suspects a human agency dabbling in the politics of the realm, not a magical one. He dies before Deven learns of the Fae.I enjoyed the book. I thought it was well written and gave a good picture of the time period. Brennan is able to balance the past with enough modernity to make it understandable to us, without being jarring or anachronistic.The characters were very well done. They all seemed believable and real, and like people I want to know more about. The construct of the Fae and their world was interesting, as was the politics and history of the various realms.The story was good, though a little light on the influence of the Fae on Elizabeth's court. Something more dramatic than meddling in Ireland would have been better. Much of the story of the Onyx Court is told towards the end when they are trying to overthrow Individiana. More information about how and why the court became evil sooner would have been better, since the explanation at the end was not really shown in the story.Finally the structure of the story is a bit odd. There is a human who has been sucked into the Fae world, and is trapped there. He is a seer, and he has strange passages that describe his dreams, sights and experiences, but he isn't r
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A nice, fairy-filled urbanish fantasy that takes place in two worlds, with two Queens of England. It's part historical fiction and part fantasy. The fairy Queen of England and the human Queen of England are about to come to blows, while a human and a fairy must find a way to save their two worlds. Fun, exciting and more than a little dark.
Artaxastra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I very rarely read a book that I can't put down, but Midnight Never Come delivered all the way! I literally devoured it at one sitting long after I should have been sleeping, and the next day passed it on to a friend with an emphatic "You have to read this!"I had high hopes for this book, and it surpassed them all. I have loved for years Melissa Scott's Armor of Light, a story of magic and Queen Elizabeth's court, but Midnight Never Come was even better. Imagine mixing A Midsummer Night's Dream with a healthy dose of Christopher Marlowe, a soupcon of the Faerie Queen, and a big dose of urban fantasy. This would be the result, and what a glorious mixture it is! Highly recommended!
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Well written and holds your attention throughout.
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Meliai More than 1 year ago
I loved this book enough to have read it three times now. Marie Brennan is a great writer, and I think this is the best book she's written so far.
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