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The Midnight Bargain

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  5,082 ratings  ·  1,379 reviews
From the beloved World Fantasy Award-winning author of Witchmark comes a sweeping, romantic new fantasy set in a world reminiscent of Regency England, where women’s magic is taken from them when they marry. A sorceress must balance her desire to become the first great female magician against her duty to her family.

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in sec
...more
Kindle Edition, 379 pages
Published October 13th 2020 by Erewhon
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Popular Answered Questions
Shima No! Not even a little bit.
Well, unless two people and magic can be together in a love triangle? …more
No! Not even a little bit.
Well, unless two people and magic can be together in a love triangle? (less)
Shima I think it can be read both as an adult fantasy and YA. I feel like it's a bit more sophisticated than the general YA book, but it is also really fast…moreI think it can be read both as an adult fantasy and YA. I feel like it's a bit more sophisticated than the general YA book, but it is also really fast-paced, features young characters and has a big romantic storyline. If you've read Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, I'd say it has very similar vibes. (less)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  5,082 ratings  ·  1,379 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
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
...more
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
...more
Camilla
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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☀ Kat Nova ☀
“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
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Lucie V.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you Erewhon Books). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

✅ Reminded me of Pride and Prejudice
✅ World-building / atmosphere
✅🆗 Plot / Pace
🆗 Romance
🆗 Characters

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 as seen in Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility), the only purpose of a girl is to make an advant
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Carolyn
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Juliana (Midnight Book Blog)
I wasn't sure about this book in the beginning, but I'm glad I stuck it out! ...more
Kirsty Hendry
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
CYIReadBooks (Claire)
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
✩ 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
...more
jenny✨
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
...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
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Lisa
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Came for the romance, stayed for the feminism. Full review to come shortly.
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
Sherwood Smith
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
...more
Wanda
Love needs to be free or else it's just ownership.

This book was one of the entries in the 2020 competition “Canada Reads.” As a result, I waited a long, long time for my turn for a library copy. The author lives here in my city and I wish I could invite them for coffee.

This is a world of magic, with the intricate society of Jane Austen. Women with sorcery abilities are fitted with a collar upon marriage to protect their unborn children from spirit possession, but this also suppresses the woman's
...more
Rincey
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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: https://youtu.be/B0wY0NsULUw
...more
David
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as genres go, romance and fantasy bottom out my list of likely reads so it's not without a bit of surprise that I find how much I enjoyed this read, shortlisted for CBC Canada Reads.

For a Regency romance it deftly ratcheted up the mounting tension of a fantasy world where women's lives are still curtailed, their vast magical potential cut short for the sake of bearing children and raising a family. A constraint made real in the form of a warded collar locked into place that renders the w
...more
Wendy
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feb-21, 5000-2021
I read this for Canada Reads 2021.
In The Midnight Bargain author C.L. Polk gives us a regency romance full of feminist witchy fantasy.
The characters must face life-altering decisions in this captivating story mixed with romance and suspense.
I highly recommend the audiobook!
Jane
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kathleen
Fantasy is a genre outside my comfort zone, but The Midnight Bargain by World Fantasy Award-winning author C.L. Polk is k
one of the five books shortlisted for Canada Reads 2021.

I did not know what to expect when I started reading this book, and was pleasantly surprised to find myself immersed in this magical story with Beatrice, Harriet, Ysbeta, Ianthe and Nadi.

"Responsibility. When you are married, you are responsible to your marriage," Mrs. Lavan said. "You put away selfish joys to be part o
...more
Kristenelle
May 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one surprised me. I loved it. It somehow managed to be sweet, delightful fluff reading while also being a primer for resistance. Do you love pretty dresses, fancy balls, and gossipy social status climbers? How about staring your oppression square in the face and resisting? Both? With magic thrown in?

I was impressed that a story could be both so light and serious. I mean it when I say that this is a primer for resistance. We are shown in this story to identify injustice/oppression, take a s
...more
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
...more
The Captain
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Lata
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
...more
Cori
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
This Canada Reads title is pure delight. A perfect distraction. The feminism should certainly provide some ammo for the Canada Reads debates.
Kelly
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-arcs
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
...more
Shaun Hutchinson
Absolutely delightful.
Judy
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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Diverse Canadian ...: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk 1 6 Jan 16, 2021 02:26AM  
Challenge Corner: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk -> Starting July 12th, 2020 14 9 Jul 25, 2020 07:51AM  

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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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“Harriman’s was precisely the kind of bookstore Beatrice sought every time she was in a new town: the ones run by people who couldn’t bear to throw books away no matter what was inside the covers, so long as they could be stacked and shelved and housed.” 1 likes
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