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The Midnight Bargain

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,910 ratings  ·  718 reviews
Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women o ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 13th 2020 by Erewhon
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Shima No! Not even a little bit.
Well, unless two people and magic can be together in a love triangle? …more
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  1,910 ratings  ·  718 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Hmmm stuck in my inner evaluation purgatory: Another book gave me mixed feelings and I couldn’t decide if I hated it or loved it.

There are so many things I truly enjoyed: having equal rights between men and power to hold and use magic, to have rights to be Magus parts are thought provokingly well established.If you are a woman, you have to sacrifice your potential to have and hold the magic because when you get marry, you may put your unborn children’s lives into danger( they may be corrupted by
Melissa ~ Bantering Books
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

Let’s see if I can build some buzz. (Cracks knuckles.)

C.L. Polk’s latest offering, The Midnight Bargain, is a Young Adult Fantasy Regency Romance that, for some reason, hasn’t received much attention in the bookish community. And the minor attention it has received has been somewhat mixed and unenthusiastic.

But I hope to change all that. I want to give it a little love. Shower a little praise upon it. Because The Midnight Bargain is
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
I requested the ARC because I loved the cover, but unfortunately this didn't work for me. The author's writing style is very similar to Renée Ahdieh and Naomi Novik, so if you enjoy those two, you might like The Midnight Bargain better than I did.

The story follows a seemingly historical world, in which women have way lesser rights than men. The magic consists in summoning spirits and only men can be mages. The protagonist, Beatrice, wants to study magic and stay away from the society patterns fo
☀ Kat Nova ☀
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: standalone, arcs
“The talent for sorcery in women is a curse when it ought to be a blessing.”

Basically, in a world that doesn’t allow women the freedom of sorcery, there are secret grimoires that Beatrice learns magic from. She plans to make a deal with a great spirit to live her life as a mage and not have to get married.

Knowing that alone made me so excited to read this. I was ready for some magical badassery, but unfortunately, I was not feeling the magic. I really liked the story, and I believe a lot of re
Beatrice Clayborn lives in a patriarchal fantasy world where most people have some magical talent. However, only boys are trained in magic and inducted into a magical society. Girls are allowed to learn charms and minor childish magic but are never taught higher skills. When they marry they must put on a collar that blocks their magical abilities in order to protect their unborn children's souls being taken by a spirit. Beatrice, however, has taught herself magic from grimoires that she found an ...more
Kirsty Hendry
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley for an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Beatrice is a young sorceress,who dreams of becoming a mage. Only one thing stands in her way, she is a woman. Women are only permitted to practice magic after they have produced heirs for their husband. Until then, from their wedding day, they are required to wear a collar which suppresses their magic. Beatrice practices magic in secret and is determined to remain unwed. She has been hunting for a grimoire which hold
✩ Yaz ✩
3 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you NetGalley and Erewhon Books for sending me a free e-Arc of The Midnight Bargain in exchange for a review.

I liked this book it had some interesting elements and it’s set in a fictionalized regency-era England and many of you probably know how much I love anything that has to do with the regency era.

The story as the synopsis hints at follows Beatrice, a young Sorceress dreams of becoming a full-fledged Mage, however.. women in Chasland “Fictional England” as it was perceived a
CYIReadBooks (Claire)
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A gorgeous book cover so appropriate for the beautiful fantasy romance novel it contains. In The Midnight Bargain, Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress that yearns to become a full-fledged magus; but she needs a special grimoire to accomplish this.

Because women practicing magic is frowned upon in her country, Beatrice must secretly search for the coveted grimoire in the various booksellers of Bendelton. Once she finds the grimoire, she is swindled out of it by another sorceress.

Desperate to get the
Juliana (Midnight Book Blog)
I wasn't sure about this book in the beginning, but I'm glad I stuck it out! ...more
Kenzie The Dragon Queen
I was given an ARC (advanced readers copy) of The Midnight Bargain by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars

The Midnight Bargain was an interesting historical romance fantasy novel, with themes of feminism and choice at its core.

I found the magic system intriguing and unique. The world building from that perspective was well constructed and written in my opinion. I thought the way magic was used in this book was original and creative, but still easy to understand, which is a strong
10/13/2020: PUBLICATION DAY!

“The talent for sorcery in women is a curse when it ought to be a blessing.”

This is a beautiful Regency-era fantasy that tackles female empowerment with more gusto (and explicit passion) than any speculative OR historical fiction I’ve read in a long while. Also, C.L. Polk is a Canadian author of colour—my favourite kind of writer!

“But no one is looking for another way,” Beatrice said. “The current system lays all of the restriction, all the responsibility, a
Lucie V.
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you Erewhon Books). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

3.5 stars.

Beatrice is a young girl with an affinity for sorcery who longs to be free and to be able to become a sorceress. Alas, in Chasland (a land that reminded me a lot of England seen in Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility), the only purpose of a girl is to make an advantageous marriage and to bear children. Even worse, to prevent any malevolent spirit from inhabiting a baby
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Came for the romance, stayed for the feminism. Full review to come shortly.
Sherwood Smith
Sep 01, 2020 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Polk takes the popular Regency-romance-with-magic trope to another world, in order to give a reason why women are kept from becoming mages, while preserving all the fun trappings of a Regency romance social life. That gives our heroine, who wants to flout the system and become a mage in spite of the laws and limitations on women--until she falls in love, and is torn between two desires.

Meanwhile she forms a friendship with her heartthrob's sister, who also is desperate to become a mage, while be
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author
3.5 stars

C.L. Polk writes books that completely enrapture my attention while I'm reading them but I wouldn't say they will stay with me. But they are breezy and light and fun to read

Watch me discuss this book here:
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Beatrice Clayborn has a problem. In a world where sorceresses are valued for their womb instead of their magic, she's in the middle of Bargaining Season. She wants out. She has a Plan, but it involves finding a Greater Spirit and convincing her father she's worth more as a spinster mage instead of a bride. But when she finds the right grimoire she needs, it's ripped from her hands by two of the most wealthy people in the country: the Lavan siblings. As Beatrice becomes more involved with the sib ...more
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books.

This is another good fantasy novel from the author. The great thing is that this is a stand alone, which is rare to find in fantasy books.

Beatrice Clayborn is a young sorceress that practices magic in secret. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus like men and practicing magic full-time. Women are not allowed to practice magic other than simple charms once they are married. They are collared and their magic is suppressed to p
❀ Alex ❀ (The Scribe Owl)
Come see this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl.

4/5 stars!

Thanks to Edelweiss and Erewhon for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! This is a review of an uncorrected copy, so anything could be fixed in post.

This book was the epitome of a rollercoaster! We had a rocky start, with a slow plot, instalove, and thick writing, but I gradually warmed up to it and I couldn’t put it down near the end! I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it, because it has so many flaws, but in th
The Captain
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

Title: the midnight bargain

Author: C.L. Polk

Publisher: Erewhon Books

Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback & e-book)

ISBN: 978-1645660071

Source: Edelweiss

The Midnight Bargain

This book is a lite Regency romance type book with magic. In it, Beatrice is about to have her “coming out” season but she really wants to be a mage. Magic – no women allowed. Women are supposed t
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Huge thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader copy of this book. All opinions and views are my own.

The Midnight Bargain pleasantly surprised me. The best description I can conjure is part magic system, part political system, part regency inspired, and two parts romance.

My brain kept nagging at me that there is an immense amount of subtext layered beneath the story; while that gave me pause from time to time, in the end this book just succeeded in reminding me of the blessings I have liv
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting story of magic set in a fantasy England. Many people are born with inherent magical abilities. Men are allowed to develop theirs fully, but women are placed in a collar when married which keeps them from using their magic - because if they can use their magical abilities while they are pregnant, their children will have destructive magical abilities. When this happens occasionally, both the woman and child are put to death.

I enjoyed the story and it was well written. Beatrice was
Shaun Hutchinson
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely delightful.
Lauren James
This was everything I hoped it would be! There were a few logic issues in the decisions the characters made that had me perplexed, but I love the world-building and this genre of regency fantasy, so I was very happy.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I wish this was a new favorite book. With that cover, I would have loved to buy myself a physical copy once it's published. However, while it's not a five stars book, this was still a good fantasy romance standalone. Not one I'll remember down the road but one I enjoyed. I don't really agree with all the tags saying this is historical fiction but that's okay.

In The Midnight Bargain, you will meet Beatrice Clayborn, a young sorceress who is about to start her first bargaining season. It
This was such a great melding of Regency romance and magic, and more importantly, a lovely interrogation of power and autonomy.
Chaslander main character Beatrice Clayborn and her family are in town from their home in the country so she can make a good marriage (“bargain”) and save her family’s fortunes, which are underwater. Beatrice doesn’t want to marry; she’d rather grow her already strong magic further, and function as her father’s financial advisor (their father is near bankrupting them aft
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Thank you Erewhon Books and NetGalley for providing me an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. My review is my own and not influenced by others.

I just finished reading The Midnight bargain. The cover and the description drew my attention when I saw it on Netgalley so I requested it and was glad I got the opportunity to read this e-arc.

The topic of this book is not something very original; there are more writers who write books with the same topic. It is however a topic I find very interesting
Bookish Selkie
The Midnight Bargain was a delightful read! Beatrice, a woman who must marry to save her family from debt, secretly wishes that she could openly learn about and use her magical powers. In her society, Beatrice’s role as a woman is to marry and produce as many children as possible. When a woman marries, her husband gains control of her magic. To save herself, Beatrice attempts to access a grimoire that may grant her the power she needs to avoid her fate. When she meets siblings Ianthe and Ysbeta, ...more
Laura ☾
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review *

3.75 stars

Beatrice is sorceress. Sorceresses in her time and country are locked into 'warding collars' once they are married, to avoid any unborn babies being possessed by spirits, and women remaining unmarried and pursuing sorcery is very unusual, and frowned upon. She, however, wants to pursue the magical path, and when she meets the Lavan siblings, one becoming her ally in trying to find a way t
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-sf-for-adults
Elegant, stylish and sparkling, with a fantastic and fascinating magic system, great characters, and a really nuanced look at how different people choose to maneuver (and what's worth sacrificing - or not) in a glittering but unjust society. ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fromtbr, netgalley
I requested and received a copy of this book for honest review, thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author.

A heavy dose of Austen, a dash of magical tomes and summoned spirits, wrapped up in a very feminist package. This book was so many things I never even knew I needed in my life.

It's bargaining season for Beatrice Clayborn, a whirlwind of luncheons, games, and balls in which the most eligible young men and women solidify their courtship whether for love, money, or power. For Beatrice, all
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Fresh off the success of her World Fantasy Award–winning novel Witchmark comes a standalone romantic fantasy from author C.L. Polk. In The...
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