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A Star Shall Fall

(The Onyx Court #3)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The Royal Society of London plays home to the greatest minds of England. It has revolutionized philosophy and scientific knowledge. Its fellows map out the laws of the natural world, disproving ancient superstition and ushering in an age of enlightenment.

To the fae of the Onyx Court, living in a secret city below London, these scientific developments are less than welcome.
Paperback, 595 pages
Published September 2016 by Titan (first published January 1st 2010)
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Alison Ellipsis is actually the historically accurate term, which has since fallen out of fashion. The prologue is set in 1705, and the OED shows the term…moreEllipsis is actually the historically accurate term, which has since fallen out of fashion. The prologue is set in 1705, and the OED shows the term "ellipse" first used in 1753.

This level of attention to historical detail is characteristic of the entire series.(less)
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  394 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Blodeuedd Finland
I read book 1, but I did not read book 2. But for me it worked excellent like this anyway. Book 1 took place 200 years before this one and book 2 100 years before this one. And the main character was not born back then. Though there is this other big POV that they do mention was around in book 2, but I really can't say how much. I got to know her here and that was fine.

Haley's comet is approaching and with it a dragon that wants to destroy London. This London is the normal London and fairy Londo
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"From the celestial heights the arbitrary acts of life seem patterned like a fairy-tale landscape, populated by charming and eccentric figures. The glittering observers require vital doses of joy and pain, sudden reversals of fortune, dire portents and untimely deaths. Life itself proceeds in its unpredictable infinite patterns — so unlike the measured dance of stars — until, for the satisfaction of their entertainment, the watchers choose a point at which to stop."

That’s a quote from Ellen Kush
Sherwood Smith
I really enjoyed this third installment of Marie Brennan's Onyx Court series. Though I love the eighteenth century enough to have wished for a bit more of the vocabulary of the time, I suspect I am pretty much alone in that (I have a weakness for the 'prodigious' idiom of the time) but the prose is clear and there are passages of real beauty.

The real strength of this book is how deftly Brennan wove together the various scientific theories of the mid 1700s and the magic. I also loved how the fae
This is the fourth Brennan book I've read, and I have to conclude that her writing and I just don't quite mesh. I always feel a degree removed from the action; emotions are muted, settings feel more like static theatrical scenery than real places. I enjoy the stories she's trying to tell more than the way she chooses to tell them.

In this case, though, I'm willing to forgive quite a lot of emotional distance, because the story is So Very Relevant To My Interests. Every time the fairy court and th
Moira Russell
This dragged a lot, but it had the best ending of the three - about the last 1/4? or so was really, really good, and I think it has the best ending of any book in the series so far. Not as well-written as the first book, not as well-plotted as the second, but this has the most heart - and three great female characters. This was also a great example of a writer really developing a character - for about 3/4 of the book I wanted to drown the male lead in a bucket, and yet at the end he's a deeply d ...more
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Disclaimer: I happen to know the author of this book. I don't think that this much changes my opinion of the book, and I don't think any of my readers are expecting journalistic standards of objectivity from me anyway, but I feel like I should note it.

So, there were actually a couple of reasons why I almost didn't read this book. First, I hadn't actually read the first two volumes in the series, Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie. I intend to remedy this inexplicable omission quite soon, but
Jul 13, 2010 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosu Aquabutts
"It was amazing."

Holy fucking shit. Can I give six stars? Can I give seven? What the fuuuu

Okay so the first two books in this series are like, they're okay. I enjoy what they were trying to do and I learned a lot about history and folklore and was generally fond of the characters. Midnight Never Come was uneven as shit but had a strong, epic ending, while In Ashes Lie was sort of disjointed and incomprehensible but I liked them enough to keep going so I got this one and WHAT THE FUCK IT'S AMAZIN
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf-for-adults
A beautifully written fantasy novel. The magic is perfectly interwoven with 18th-century British history and scientific theory, and the characters and their emotions are wonderfully complex.

I loved Book One in Brennan's Onyx Court series (Midnight Never Come, which was really fun), and I admired Book Two (In Ashes Lie) for how ambitious it was, but A Star Shall Fall is my favorite of Marie Brennan's novels so far, and it stands alone perfectly - you definitely don't need to have read either of t
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won an advanced reader copy from Goodreads. I had been holding out on reading this as it is third in a series, but I decided to give it a go. So far, although I have only scratched the surface (pg 47 of 491) it seems to be able to stand on its own. Time will tell.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
This book has a bunch of stuff that I don't normally like - a faerie court, including toxic court politics, a damsel in distress (actually, more than one distressed damsel), plus both(view spoiler). Plus it's chock full of white people (and white faeries) who are generally oblivious to racism, and all but one of the characters of color in the story show up in the context of an awful pseudo-scientific display of curiosities.

But someho
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ari by: Cosma Shalizi
I liked this one quite a bit; it was at least as good as either of its predecessors. I liked the genre-blending, I liked the characters, and I liked the setting.

It's another of Brennan's genre-blending novels about the fairies under London. To illustrate that, let's consider the plight of the protagonist. Galen St. Clair is a young man with many problems. For one, there's a dragon hiding on Halley's comet that might destroy the city when it arrives in 1759. For another, Galen's family is running
Abi Harvey
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
I preordered A Star Shall Fall at the end of August, so that I would have it as soon as it came out, as I knew my local bookshop would not stock it in the store. I wanted to know as soon as possible what happened after Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie. I do feel that it is better to have read the previous two books, otherwise you will be left a bit behind on what is happening.

Read more at:
Allie Riley
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favourite in the series so far. Perfectly paced, great character development, exciting plot - everything you could wish for. The ending was just right and I can't wait to read the next instalment. I haven't felt this excited about and author & series of books since I discovered Lila Bowen and her Shadow series last year. Highly recommended - these novels are great fun and very well written.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rich, vivid... I was still thinking about the significance of the dragon this morning.
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A Star Shall Fall picks up the storyline very nicely where Ashes Fall left off, even though there is a bit of a time gap - but because of the continuation, it makes more sense to review the two together.

In Ashes Fall, Lune's court is dealing with both problems internal and external; internally, Lune has power struggles for her court taking up much of her time. Externally, London above is being attacked by one of its greatest enemies of all - The Great Fire of London is raging. And with horror,
George Straatman
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marie Brennan has fast become one of my favorite fantasy authors. This particular novel, A Star Shall Fall, is the third segment of her Onyx court series, which revolves around the notion that a Fae (fairie) court exists beneath the city of London. The Fae court mirrors the mortal court above and the intermingling of the two has profound effects on the great junctures in British history. This specific novel is nowhere near as fraught as its immediate predecessor, which dealt with the period of h ...more
Nancy Meservier
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A Star Shall Fall is the third book in Marie Brena's Onyx Court series, which follows a fairy queen's reign and how it impacts (and is impacted) by the history of England. Taking place in the mid 1700s, A Star Shall Fall is highly concerned with the dragon that was banished during In Ashes Lie. When faerie methods alone cannot stop the dragon, the court turns to the great thinkers of the Royal Society to try to find a solution.

It took me a while to pick up A Star Shall Fall. This is mainly due t
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy and fae
Recommended to Bob by: email acquaintance of Bryn Neuenschwander
Shelves: fantasy
A Star Shall Fall is the third novel in Marie Brennan's Onyx Court tetralogy and by far the most cerebral. The novel lacks the rich historical interplay of Midnight Never Come and is not nearly as action packed as In Ashes Lie; instead we are treated with an intriguing array of characters trying to cope with the impending disaster of the return via Halley's comet of the fire dragon that nearly destroyed all of london and the Onyx Court in the second novel. Ms. Brennan continues to evolve nicely ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
(3.5 stars) The third book in the Onyx Court series has the court running out of time to deal with the consequences of banishing the dragon that nearly destroyed London to Halley's comet which is now due to return in 1758. Lune's human prince, Galen, is young and is in love with her, which complicates both his human and Court life. His father is pushing him to find a wealthy wife and he is conflicted on this. Galen is also working on the scientific angle, hoping to find a solution to their probl ...more
Yvonne Boag
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
Halley's comet is about to return and while this may have little impact on the humans of London is the Onyx Court it holds a different significance. After the great fire of 1666, which was caused by a great dragon, the fey had imprisoned it in a star. With Halley's comet returning there is a real possibility that the dragon will escape and burn London and the court to the ground. Lune has a new Prince of the Stone, Galen who will scour for the greatest scientific minds to find an answer. Not for ...more
Aug 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received the latest book from Marie Brennan on a Goodreads "first-read" giveaway, and found this instalment the best of the three. The books of the Onyx Hall have been great so far, with the plots closely linked to historic events, yet with the capacity to stand on its own. However, particularly in the second book, the constant flashbacks and flashforwards, and the rigidity to link the story to 30 years of English history, through the Civil War, the plague and the Great Fire, hindered the cont ...more
Jenny T
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
In this historical fantasy, the Great Fire of London in 1666 was caused by a great Dragon. It was banished to Halley's Comet by Queen Lune and her Faerie Court, and London and her people were saved for many years. But the comet's on its way back towards Earth, and this time the Dragon wants revenge....

Meanwhile, a young human man, Galen St. Clair searches for a bride to save his family's failing fortunes. Unfortunately, he's the Prince of the Stone, the Faerie Queen's human consort, and he's de
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun bit of fluff. It is about London and the Fey court beneath London; the Onyx Court. I enjoyed the second book of the series the most, though (In Ashes Lie). The premise of A Star Shall Fall seemed a bit contrived.

In the previous book, In Ashes Lie, (view spoiler)
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fell into this series in the middle, so there's an extra star for some benefit of the doubt. The Onyx Court premise is a sort of Fae-in-London alternate history, and Brennan does a good job of tying her story to the place and time and of tying worlds together. The plot has good complexity and pace for the most part, and yet I struggled a bit to want to get to the end. Maybe it's down to characterization--there are interesting, well-motivated characters who nevertheless are all a little bland. ...more
Neil McCrea
I'd say that the Onyx Hall books are a guilty pleasure, except that isn't quite right. I'm not particular taken with the characters, but i have no major complaints about them either. Brennan is not much of a stylist, but her prose doesn't irritate either.

My enjoyment of the series comes entirely from the primary plot conceit. The Onyx Hall is a series of novels that documents the influence of the faerie court on the royal court of England throughout various historical time periods. Brennan's gra
Erica Leigh
I was not disappointed with the third installment in the Onyx Court series. This is a weighty book but it held me in sway from page one and it was difficult to take pauses from reading the story. Marie Brennan is a wonderful author – she weaves history and folklore and fantasy seamlessly together and she has developed characters with depth, for whom you can feel both compassion and frustration in turn. I especially liked that this book centered more on the Prince and Irrith than on Lune, though ...more
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
Firstly I would like to thank Goodreads and Marie Brennan for the opportunity to read and review, "A Star Shall Fall". Marie Brennan artfully weaves her story, blending 18th century scientific theories and discussions with the folk lore world of faeries, and dragons. Well done Ms. Brennan!
A "Star" is falling to earth and will spell doom to all of London if it is not stopped. The story follows quirky characters who are banding together to avoid the calamity that this star will bring. Using bot
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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!

Other books in the series

The Onyx Court (4 books)
  • Midnight Never Come (Onyx Court, #1)
  • In Ashes Lie (Onyx Court, #2)
  • With Fate Conspire (Onyx Court, #4)