Midnight Never Come Onyx Court #1 by Marie Brennan
Publisher: Titan Books
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
Taking place during the time of Elizabethan England a the court of Queen Elizabeth 1st, there is another ruler, Queen Invidiana of Faerie England and her world is beneath the one we know. It has been heard that both worlds have been in alliance though betrayal and deception have also reared their heads even more so that as Invidiana has sent Lune, a faerie to try and infiltrate the Elizabethan royal court. There, an agent, Michael Devon wants to find out what is behind the dark queen's power so Elizabeth can be the only one reigning supreme.
The last novels I read of Brennan's were the Lady Trent series which I thoroughly enjoyed. Here, her love for all things past has come along once again, though
with two queens as rulers of different lands. Brennan has written several novels in the Onyx Court series, this being the first, and Doppleganger, with six novellas and thirty short stories she has already won two Isaac Asimov Awards for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Award prizes.
Marie Brennan's Elizabethan drama has chapters made into acts, very much like in a play. In the Prologue, the princess Elizabeth is imprisoned in the Tower of London, a woman comes to free her from her imprisonment, Invidiana who offers her the throne that originally was hers by birth. The first of the Onyx Court series; In Ashes Lie, A Star Shall Fall and With Fate Conspire are others that will no doubt dazzle those who like reading novels with an historical setting and fantastical elements thrown in. This is a perfect what if novel where historical figures romp with the fantastical in a cleverly woven drama of a novel.
For Brennan this is a different story, unlike A Natural History of Dragons of the fantastical past, faeries play a large part in her new series. She describes the settings with expert knowledge and it does a great deal to convey the historical atmosphere. Buildings, scenery and people are highlighted here. Rarely have I ever red a novel that contains such vivid imagery, each chapter a jewel in a gold setting. The general story is enough to give the reader a problem to solve as who has the right to rule as two lands are at stake. Deven, Walsingham and Lune are colourful figures who blend into the story well and with several short chapters and flashbacks for the characters, the first in the Onyx Court Series is an enchanting fantasy with strong elements of literature.