Friday, May 15, 2020

Book Review: The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 358
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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.

It has been quite awhile since I read the Winner's Trilogy and absolutely fell in love with its world and characters. When I heard that Marie Rutkoski was releasing a new book set in the same world I was eager to dive back in! Alas, the world began to end and this beautiful book sat on my shelf for two months before I finally picked it up. When I did, though, I couldn't put it down!

The Midnight Lie is the story of Nirrim, a girl living in the Ward where the the lowest class on the island are contained within a wall. Nirrim's people are not allowed outside the wall - ever. Nirrim has learned to be content with her life working for Raven, the woman who has raised her since she was abandoned as a baby. But when her paths cross with Sid, a traveler from far away, everything begins to change in more ways than one.

Like in The Winner's Trilogy, the romance is absolutely the standout of this story. Don't get me wrong! It's amazing in several other ways, but the majority of this book explores the relationship with Nirrim and Sid, as Nirrim comes to terms with her feelings. Although I sometimes have issues with fantasy that's romance-heavy, I was absolutely here for it! The relationship between these two was so sweet and heartbreakingly real. Both characters made me fall in love with them by the end and I am dying to get my hands on the sequel to continue their story!

But the rest, the rest! The Midnight Lie is technically set in the same universe as The Winner's Curse, but this island is something different and new. There's magic on the island and a whole new mythology that I can't wait to explore more. The island is divided into three distinct parts and each one is interesting in its own way, but the High Kith's world was especially fascinating. The way magic is interwoven into their society was unique and terrible and amazing.

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book, but it has earned a spot on my favorites shelf! The ending was perfect, but brutal, and I can't believe I'm going to have to wait so long to see what happens next! I'm hoping the two series intertwine a bit more in book two. This is definitely a book you don't want to miss!