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The Midnight Bargain

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  540 ratings  ·  404 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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Average rating 3.93  · 
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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
☀ Kat Nova ☀
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, standalone
“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
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
✩ 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
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
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.

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 before it is born, married women need to wear a collar that ca
❀ 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
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
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
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
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
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, I'm giving it four, after enjoying a good fantasy romance standalone. I don't really agree with all the tags saying this is historical fiction but that's okay, tags aren't always right.

In The Midnight Bargain, you will meet Beatrice Clayborn, a young sorceress who is about to start her first bargaining season. It means she's about
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
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, fromtbr
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
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I received a free ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

If you are looking for a charming short (at least by my standards) read with a compelling magic system and enjoyable characters, this is an amazing book. I loved reading it, and I was constantly reading to learn more. Ultimately, I finished this book in less than 24 hours.

I want to start this (more critical/cynical) review by saying that I have many thoughts on this book. I will separate different components of the book into sections whe
Sep 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Full review on my blog! // Bookstagram

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Release date: 10/13/2020

2,5 rounded up to 3

The Midnight Bargain is an upcoming Fantasy novel that tells the story about a girl named Beatrice, who lives in a patriarchal society in which young women must put on a collar to control their magic powers in order to conceive healthy children. Beatrice's family has larges debts so is mandat
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, september
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
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.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Came for the romance, stayed for the feminism. Full review to come shortly.
julia ☆ [owls reads]
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, arc
3.5 stars!


The Midnight Bargain was a surprisingly engaging read, if a bit rough in the beginning, with quite a bit of tension and a writing style that was easy to get into. The world-building was really intriguing--the questions it raised and the answers provided were some of my favorite things about the novel.

The characters were all pretty interesting, but some of them could have been more fleshed out. The novel was told entirely from Beatrice's perspective and, in the first 25%, it was a bit
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
Definitely a 3.5 but I can’t make myself round up to 4.

I haven’t read any of the author’s previous books even though Witchmark has been on my tbr for a while now and I really wanna get to that trilogy. But when I saw the gorgeous cover of this book, I couldn’t resist and I was so happy when I got the ARC. And while I did find it entertaining, it also let me down a bit.

The writing is easy to breeze through, and the descriptions are quite beautiful, and once I put my mind to reading it, I could
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
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I saw the description of this book, I was instantly on board. I am a big fan of Regency romance, but I also quite like books with magical elements. That this combined the two was an instant yes.

There's so much about this book that I really loved. The world building is great. The writing itself is beautiful. I haven't read anything quite like this before, and that's a tough thing in both the paranormal and Regency genres, which are heavily saturated with versions of the same story over and
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
↠ 4 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review. The Midnight Bargain is a regency inspired fantasy-romance that follows our main character Beatrice as she attempts to maintain control of her magic in a world determined to tear it from her. To do so she will summon a spirit Nadi, to aid her, and form an unlikely alliance with the wealthy Lavan siblings who have the means to help her change her fate.

The strongest component of this book was
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.
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Midnight Bargain was a roller coaster for me. It started off okay-ish but then the pace would just go up and down throughout the book. It wasn't steady enough for me so I will admit that I got bored in a few chapters.

Then there's the romance. Eh, it was okay. I mean, Beatrice was no Elizabeth Bennet.. but she also wasn't blind to Ianthe's feelings towards her. Heck, they even said special words to one another at a cert
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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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