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In Ashes Lie

(The Onyx Court #2)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  483 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The year is 1666. The King and Parliament vie for power, fighting one another with politics and armies alike. Below, the faerie court has enemies of its own. The old ways are breaking down, and no one knows what will rise in their place.

But now, a greater threat has come, one that could destroy everything. In the house of a sleeping baker, a spark leaps free of the oven -
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published 2009 by Orbit
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3.65  · 
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Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Ashes Lie continues the story of the Onyx Court, a faerie city situated just below London, and the Court's dealings with London's mortals. Lune, who became queen of the Onyx Court in Midnight Never Come, reigns still. Her mortal consort, Michael Deven, is long dead. Lune has chosen another man to act as her official consort and liaison with the mortal world, but the role is political only.

In Ashes Lie follows Lune and her allies through the end of Charles I's troubled reign, Oliver Cromwell's
In this sequel to Midnight Never Come, Brennan moves forward from the end of the Elizabethan era to the middle of the seventeenth century. As the book begins, the Great Fire of London is just starting, and humans and fae alike are battling its flames. But it isn't just the fire that threatens: Brennan flashes back to earlier in the century, when King Charles I fought with politics and soldiers against the Roundheads, and Queen Lune of the fae Onyx Court struggles for her throne as well.

_In Ashes
Allie Riley
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would prefer it if the action were a little more linear, but otherwise I have no criticisms of this fine instalment of the Onyx Court series. By virtue of crosschecking with information on line, I learnt a great deal of history of which I would otherwise have been ignorant. Lune's development as a character was particularly pleasing. Looking forward to the next in the series, which I am just about to start, and highly recommended. Do read the first novel beforehand, though.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looking forward to continuing reading the series. This author's fine, thought-provoking and fun work does not disappoint...
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
It is 1636, the reign of Charles I and a time of upheaval in the English Parliament. With pressure from the Puritans, pressure against Charles Stuart's spendthrift ways and his requests for more money to fund his war in Scotland, the Commons is being manipulated by a few to put Charles on trial.

Sir Antony Ware, an alderman with a seat in the Commons, toes a fine line between Royalists and Puritans, trying to keep his seat long enough to do some good. For it's not just the mortals of London who
history with a very thin veneer of novel, and i prefer *not* to have faeries with my history, thanks.
Jim Carleton
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The middle of the 17th Century was not kind to England. Charles I Stuart was a poor king; Scotland was in turmoil; Ireland threatened to revolt; Civil War tore the country to shreds over (mostly) religious differences, leading to the execution of Charles and the fleeing of his son to the Continent; The Cromwellian Protectorate led the country further into ruin; the Plague killed thousands in 1665/6; wars with the Dutch waxed and waned; and then the Great Fire of 1666 destroyed 80% of "inner" Lon ...more
Having enjoyed the first book in this series ‘Midnight Never Come’, a chance find in the library, I was delighted to see that subsequent books continue to take the reader through different eras of British history. The second book ‘In Ashes Lie’ moves the reader forward to the 17th Century: the time of Charles I, Oliver Cromwell and ultimately, in an exciting finale of which we have regular glimpses as the novel moves backwards and forwards in time, the Great Fire of London.

I could not understan
feux d'artifice
Dec 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec, on-hold
The biggest crime of this book was that it was too dull and long for a story about a dragon setting London aflame.

I remember having patience for the politicking and meandering in the first book, but I think all that dried up for me in this sequel. Sighhhhh.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well plotted, thoroughly researched, skillfully written. It's just a shame there wasn't as much depth of character and description of the world as I would have liked.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Onyx Court series by Marie Brennan except that now I find that there's a book (Deeds of Men) that falls between the first and second books which I haven't read. Never fear: I shall remedy this.

The first book dealt with the realm of Queen Elizabeth I who lived from 1533 through 1603.

This books deals with King Charles I (1600 - 1649), the Great Fire of London (1666), and the Great Plague of London (1665-1666). Note that the Fire and the Plague overlap. Coincidence? I
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite liked the first book, but I am finding this one really heavy going: The writing's hardly scintillating and I find the random jumping about in the time-line really disorienting, especially as, so far (p.334) it seems to no great effect. I WILL plough on, but prob won't bother with any sequels...
... Some weeks later: and, frankly, it WAS a plough.
Nancy Meservier
In the mid 1600s England stands in peril. Above ground King Charles and Parliament fight for power. Below ground the faerie queen, Lune, struggles against dangerous adversaries. Together with Anthony, her human consort and The Prince of Stone, both hope to find peace for both the human and faerie England. But what will both sides be able to do when London is is suddenly set ablaze by a deadly and magical fire that consumes the city?

In Ashes Lie is the second book in the Onyx court series, follow
There was, I think, a pretty good 300 page book buried in here somewhere. I enjoyed the historical fiction sections, although I'm not sure trying to throw the rise and fall of King Charles, the plague, and the Great Fire of London all into one book was a good idea. Unfortunately, the faerie sections were much weaker, lacking both a sense of the numinous and the complex politics of the mortal court. It's a bad sign when this devoted fantasy reader is skipping past elves to read more about Parliam ...more
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set a hundred years after Midnight Never Come in seventeenth century England, book two follows Lune, now queen of the Onyx Court, and Antony Ware, the human who rules at her side as Prince of the Stone.

As England falls into civil war, Lune must face enemies both from other faerie realms and within her own court. Her enemies attack the Onyx Court and London above. Intrigue and betrayal and would-be assassins, all leading to the release of a dragon who threatens to burn them all.

The historical det
I did not like this one as much as the first in the series. The author is trying something clever with the order of narration, intercutting a narrative of the Great Fire with several other narrative strands that lead up to it. I found it unnecessarily confusing and think it would have been better to keep more things in order, or at least to somehow signpost things better for the reader.

As in the first book, the gimmick is "English history from a mixed human/fairy perspective, with the humans as
Rosu Aquabutts
"It was okay."/"I liked it."

This is pretty much a 2.5 and I went to 2 instead of 3 because I rated Midnight Never Come a 3 and I definitely liked this less than Midnight Never Come.

The problem with this book is the same problem I have with most historical fiction: history has bad pacing. It just does. These books are FANATICALLY historically accurate, never changing the date on a single event, to try and create the illusion that this all could have really happened that way. It works really well
Marie Brennan's Onyx Court books make me love London and I'm not even a Londoner. I also lose a great deal of sleep staying up finishing her books. In Ashes Lie, the sequel to Midnight Never Come, was a rich weaving of history and fairy tale and also something of a story about a monarch's loyalty to her kingdom turning out to be more like love.

I really enjoyed the way that politics and history and fantasy intertwine. The narrative was woven in an interesting fashion that made the story more comp
The second book in the Onyx Court series jumps ahead in time from the Elizabethan era to 1666 and the initiation of the Great Fire of London. The story flashes back and forth between this momentous event and the events occurring during the reign of Charles I up to the Fire. Political unrest plagues both London and the Onyx Court and Lune is shown with her two consorts after the death of her human lover. Each is a political relationship, filling her promise to have a human by her side. The flippi ...more
George Straatman
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, my review of this novel will be brief...this is the second segment of the Onyx Court series and derives its central concept from the notion that a fae court mirrors the historical British court and the farie queen exerts a tremendous influence over the many critical junctures that were formative in creating the British Empire. That is a rather simplistic overview, but the notion is fundamentally sound. This is the fourth novel by Marie Brennan and I enjoy her writing more with each succes ...more
Laura Martinelli
While Midnight Never Come was very much a “talky” book—a lot of the action and tension came from the dialogue and backstory—the follow-up was a much more action-packed and exciting read. While the sections switching off between the Protestant Revolution and the Great Fire of 1666 are a bit jarring at first, they seemed to flow better as you learned more about what was occurring in the previous chapter. One of my favorite things to read about in faerie books are the workings of the various courts ...more
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic-n-dragons
I liked the first book in this series a bit better. This one starts rather slow, but gets really good in the last fifth of it. I struggled through most of this book to finish it, but the end actually makes me consider checking out the next one.

The dated entries style makes for a hard read as the writer gives almost no help outside those dates for the passage of time. Sometimes entries are on sequential days, the same day but different locations, or months later. I found I had to keep notes of t
Nov 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, series
I didn't finish this book. Today is just the day I gave up on it.

It meanders slowly, and without a hint of me wondering what comes next. Brennan tries to do something complicated and tell a story of two times. And unfortunately, she fails to pull off this difficult feat, I'm not sure what she should have done better - made things more directly interact between the two ages; showing us how the decisions of 15 years ago led to the acts of today, but instead there are two stories here, and perhaps
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a little too political for me but very interesting. I always enjoy stories that incorporate real life history with some sort of twist to it. She does it really well. I don't mind politics and royal court goings on but this one was very into it. It felt like I was in Congress at times. Also, Lune really got on my nerves. Another things was the way time passes in this book. The author has dome this in her other books but it distracted me in those as well. She marks the time period she is ta ...more
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually enjoy books about the fey, but this was a nice bit of fluff. It deals with the fire of London, the Cromwell years, and mostly from a fey perspective. The Onyx court is a court that mirrors the English court, being situated under London. While I don't think Brennan's fey are particularly what I think of as fey, they are still interesting characters, and it makes a nice fantasy bit of fluff. In many ways, I enjoyed this more than the first book, as I found the human characters more ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
I thought a long time about why I didn't just love this book. It has a beautiful historical setting, political intrigue, and a fairy court, all things that I usually like. But I just wasn't ever able to care about the characters. I knew that Anthony's efforts were doomed, so I didn't feel any tension for him. Also, the fay were just too human. There didn't seem to be anything to set them apart from the humans, and I found that irritating. This is the second time I have started and not finished t ...more
Abi Harvey
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even before reading Midnight Never Come, I knew that I wanted to read the entire series, thanks to The Memoir of Lady Trent Series (A Natural History of Dragons, The Tropic of Serpents, Voyage of the Basilisk and In The Labyrinth of Drakes so far). So when Marie Brennan was selling some books due to moving house, I went and bought the copy of In Ashes Lie that she was selling! Obviously, once I finished Midnight Never Come, I started In Ashes Lie pretty much straight away.

Read more at: http://ab
Yvonne Boag
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
In Ashes lie tells the story of the London fire of 1666 and the circumstances that led up to that. As above, so down below and while King Charles battles the roundheads, Lune, queen of the fey of London battles her own rebellion.

Marie Brennan is a brilliant writer who lures you gently in with her gifted ability and doesn't let you go until the end. She takes on one of the most famous events in history and gives it a fantastic twist. If you haven't read this series and you love historical novels
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time finishing this one. Book 1 was a little more interesting, focusing more on the interplay with the human court of Queen Elizabeth. Book 2 has an entirely different human political ground and a slightly different fairie court. And the author bounced around from 1 time period to another without really explaining - so I had a hard time following. If there is or will be a 3rd book, I won't pick it up.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bell curve is the best way to describe this book. It started off very slow and bogged down by the political history of the reign of Charles Stuart but then gained momentum and interest as it built up to a rather anticlimactic resolution and ending. Lune is a little more distant and less interesting in this sequel and I actually found myself missing the evil machinations of Invidiana. I probably won't read the third book in the series.
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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)
  • A Star Shall Fall (Onyx Court, #3)
  • With Fate Conspire (Onyx Court, #4)