The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkoski has a gift for sweeping readers away with her richly imagined fantasy worlds and captivating characters. She’s done it yet again with her newest book, The Midnight Lie, in stores today.

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.

While The Midnight Lie is set in the same world as The Winner’s Trilogy, you don’t have to be familiar with those books to dive into this one at all (although fans will love the little references sprinkled though out — and this book certainly made me want to go back and re-read the trilogy).

I’ve been in a major rut when it comes to reading YA and fantasy these days (I mostly just want to read contemporary adult romances), but I was easily sucked into The Midnight Lie and Nirrim’s world. It’s beautiful and brutal, and harshly unfair to so many people in it’s society. She weaves together this world so deliciously, that I couldn’t help but be enchanted. I wanted to know everything about this world, and these characters, and uncover the mysteries behind the “why” of their society.

Nirrim is a spectacular protagonist to follow. In some ways, she feels entirely innocent, but in other ways we know she is far from it. And all throughout the story, we get hints that she really shouldn’t be underestimated — and the follow-through on that tease is so divine. But I loved getting to know more about Sid, and even some of the smaller, more peripheral characters. They all lend themselves to the unfolding of this story, and the truth behind their world’s harshly divided social groupings and isolation from the world at large.

Plot-wise Rutkoski keeps readers on their toes with plenty of tension (both romantic, and mystery-wise) — and then, to really up the ante, she throws in a killer plot twist and a doozy of an ending that left me loving this book even more, and eagerly lusting after the sequel.

This is the way to do YA fantasy, folks. It’s diverse and captivating; immersive and seductive. It swept me away from my life and let me live in another world for those 300-some odd pages, and that’s exactly what I want from a good fantasy book. Look for The Midnight Lie in stores now.

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