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Midnight Never Come

(The Onyx Court #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,004 ratings  ·  305 reviews
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 polit
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 9th 2008 by Orbit (first published May 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  2,004 ratings  ·  305 reviews

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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 spi ...more
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 geograph ...more
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 thi
Oct 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of faerie lore, fans of historical fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
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 aw ...more
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)
3.5 stars.

I really wanted to adore this one, because it combines two of my all time favourite things - faeries and Tudors! And while I did like it, I didn't love it quite as much as I was hoping to, which is kind of disappointing, because there needs to be more fantasy-tudor books! Just...I need them. But this was quite different from what I had thought it might be like, and although I did think it had a stunning premise, I found it a little hard to connect with the story. I wanted to fall in
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: status-borrowed
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, spinn ...more
Teresa Edgerton
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it

Set 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 t
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gemma Doyle & Wicked Lovely Lovers
Shelves: fantasy, 2008-08
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

This 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 no
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 c
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it
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 sto
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kyle
Shelves: fantasy
This is a gorgeous historical fantasy. It's so beautifully written that a couple of the scenes gave me chills.
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Miss Jools
First DNF of 2018.

This isn't a bad book - it's just not for me. When I read, I see things in full colour; but this book was black & white and just didn't spark my imagination at all.

Too many books to read to spend on something I'm not enjoying!
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
"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
Nancy Meservier
Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, fantasy
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 w ...more
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
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Raj by: Banhe
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 ...more
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 perfect ...more
Hope Reads
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Original review posted on my book blog:

I’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 to
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I have had this book on my to be read pile for quite a while. I really enjoyed the Warrior and Witch series by Brennan and was excited to read this one. I didn’t like this as much as the Warrior and Witch series; it was just kind of slow.

The whole premise of this book is that there is a fae court ruled by a Queen named Invidiana that lies beneath the English court of Queen Elizabeth. Initially it’s not all that clear what is driving the story. We basically switch between Lady Lune and Michael De
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
Mary Catelli
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An Elizabethan era tale of intrigue into two courts: Elizabeth's, and Invidiana's.

In the prologue, Elizabeth is approached by a strange fey woman while she is in prison, and they strike a bargain.

Then we go forward some years for when Michael Devon arrives to petition Elizabeth to be one of her Gentlemen Pensioners, and when Lune, disgraced since her embassy to the sea folk did result in the storms that plagued the Armada but at too high a price, watches while Invidiana receives poor country fey
Mar 27, 2009 rated it liked it
"Midnight Never Come" is mostly set in London during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, while in a hidden hall under the city of London, the faerie queen Invidiana reigns over the faerie population. The story follows two main characters: Deven, a young Gentlemen Pensioner (sort of a noble bodyguard devoted to Elizabeth), and Lune, who is a faerie lady in Invidiana's court. Marie Brennan divides her novel into five acts, according to the conventions of Elizabethan drama, and actually structures the ...more
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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)

Bam Jam
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA historical fantasy fans
"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. Brennan

After 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 nov
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Elizabethan fans
Shelves: ebook
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 th
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An intricately researched and written historical fantasy set in the time of Elizabethan England, Midnight Never Come recounts the story of two royal courts, that of the mortal Queen Elizabeth I and the fae Queen Invidiana of the Onyx Court, located directly beneath London. The two courts are tied together in a pact that allow both monarchs to ascend to power and to keep it - the politics and intrigue of the mortal court reminded me greatly of the movie "Elizabeth" with Cate Blanchett, particular ...more
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 enrichin
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Marie Brennan is the author of the Doppelganger, Onyx Court, Wilders, and Memoirs of Lady Trent series of fantasy novels. Sign up for her newsletter here! ...more

Other books in the series

The Onyx Court (4 books)
  • In Ashes Lie (Onyx Court, #2)
  • A Star Shall Fall (Onyx Court, #3)
  • With Fate Conspire (Onyx Court, #4)

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