Title: With Fate Conspire
Marie Brennan returns to the Onyx Court, a fairy city hidden below Queen Victoria’s London. Now the Onyx Court faces its greatest challenge.
Seven years ago, Eliza’s childhood sweetheart vanished from the streets of Whitechapel. No one believed her when she told them that he was stolen away by the faeries.
But she hasn’t given up the search. It will lead her across London and into the hidden palace that gives refuge to faeries in the mortal world. That refuge is now crumbling, broken by the iron of the underground railway, and the resulting chaos spills over to the streets above.
Three centuries of the Onyx Court are about to come to an end. Without the palace’s protection, the fae have little choice but to flee. Those who stay have one goal: to find safety in a city that does not welcome them. But what price will the mortals of London pay for that safety?
Just as steampunk re-writes familiar history with mechanical bones and a clockwork heart, so Marie Brennan has used some fantastic alchemy to insert the world of faerie into London’s DNA. While on the surface this nineteenth century city embraces the industrial revolution we’ve all read about in textbooks, under the cobblestones a very different society is wracked with growing pains as iron spreads across the land.
Amidst this setting, WITH FATE CONSPIRE follows two separate stories: a mortal girl, Eliza O’Malley, is search of the lost love who was stolen away by faeries and seven years gone, and a faerie himself, Dead Rick, struggles to get out from under the heel of the mob boss who holds him hostage. While I often struggle with books that follow disparate story lines and characters, WITH FATE CONSPIRE unfolds with such a steady rhythm that I never felt out of step. The story clicks back and forth between Eliza and Dead Rick, with glimpses of the queen and consort who fight to hold their crumbling world together, all building tension and momentum toward an ending that took my breath away.
As fantastic as the ending was, I barely needed to start WITH FATE CONSPIRE before I ordered the rest of the Onyx Court series. These books more or less stand alone (like Robin McKinley’s Damar books, they inhabit the same world in different eras, with some long-lived characters in common), and I am eager to see other periods of history re-imagined through Brennan’s lens. And as for the future, as complete as the ending of WITH FATE CONSPIRE felt, I can’t help but wonder what the next century in this fantastic world would bring.
About the author
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