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What: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1) by Marie Rutkoski

Who: Hodder & Stoughton

When: March 10th 2020

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Hachette Australia for review.

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.

The Midnight Lie seemed to pop up out of nowhere: a new book set in the same world as The Winner’s Trilogy but this time with a queer heroine. I was excited to say the least! I absolutely adored The Winner’s Trilogy so to dive back into the world but with a queer girl at the helm this time was the dream!!

Have you ever read a book where the romance between two characters is better than both of the characters involved? I very much felt this way about The Midnight Lie. I loved Nirrim and Sid together but Nirrim and Sid as individual characters… not so much. I found Nirrim very hard to connect with and even though this book was told in first person I never felt like I got to see much of who she was. If I’m being quite honest she was very bland. Sid on the other hand felt like the rogue love interest that I have seen far too many times except this time that love interest was a girl. However, for me that didn’t detract from her stereotypical nature.

But together Nirrim and Sid were vastly more interesting and captivating versions of themselves. I just waited for Nirrim to be with Sid again so that she could break out of her shell. And maybe that was the intention! Maybe Sid was supposed to be that instigating factor that made Nirrim realise that she was more than what the people around her had led her to believe. That she could be interesting and daring and romantic when she had been none of those things before. But even so, those parts where Nirrim wasn’t any of those things were disengaging.

If you’re looking for a high stakes dystopian fantasy then The Midnight Lie is most likely not for you. There are elements of both genres within its pages but The Midnight Lie is really a romance book with a side serve of fantasy and dystopia. Which suited me fine because I love romance! I am interested to see whether these aspects are more prevalent in the second book, though, given that quite shocking ending.

If I’m being entirely honest I’m not sure whether I will read the sequel to The Midnight Lie because for me it was one of those books that I enjoyed enough but ultimately was not anything special.

© 2020, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning

queerphobia, animal abuse, classism, blood and gore, torture, police brutality, child abuse (physical and emotional)

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Posted on: May 8, 2020 • By: Chiara

2 Responses to Review: The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

  1. I haven’t read any of these books, so while I’ve seen this around, I didn’t really know much about it. That’s great the relationship is done really well, but bummer to hear the individual characters aren’t so wonderful when they are on their own!

    -Lauren

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