England flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs.
But a great light casts a great shadow.
In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.
Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones. When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth's spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham's. His discovery of the "hidden player" in English politics will test Lune's loyalty and Deven's courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana's power -- find it, and break it . . . .
A breathtaking novel of intrigue and betrayal set in Elizabethan England, Midnight Never Come seamlessly weaves together history and the fantastic to dazzling effect.
In general, it is much more beneficial to the author to buy from a bricks-and-mortar store (see this note for why), though a sale of any kind is always good.
"Stunningly conceived and exquisitely achieved [...] Brennan's myriad fantastical creations ring as true as her ear for Elizabethan and faerie dialogue." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Like John Le Carre if he was obsessed with faeries [...] Brennan's plotting is stronger than Gaiman's" -- SFX
"Brennan ably combines elements of danger, romance, and individual moral choices that could affect the fates of great realms, for a tale that's rich in plot and character" -- Locus
"ripe with palace intrigue, Machiavellian double dealing and star-crossed love" -- Romantic Times
"What sets Marie Brennan apart, then, is the quality of her writing, the complexities of her plot, the characterisations, the world-building . . . everything" -- Chris Hyland, The Book Swede
"Returns the fairies to their roots: terrifying, alien, yet captivating at the same time" -- Mervi Hamalainen, CurledUp.com
"[A] skilful and confident book [...] an engrossing read" -- Mark Yon, SFFWorld
"A historical thriller with a fascinating twist." -- Myfanwy Rodman, The Bookbag
"A highly-enjoyable mix of Elizabethan and faerie politics and intrigue" -- Darren Turpin, The Genre Files
"An amazing, moving, murderous, magical tale" -- Debbie Chapman, Waterstones bookseller
"Brennan's ability to maintain historical accuracy while writing an exciting and fast-paced novel filled with elves, fairies, the Wild Hunt, and brownies makes this story worth reading" -- John Ottinger, Grasping the Wind
I owe a great debt of gratitude to the many people who helped me research this novel. During my trip to England, I was assisted by the following wonderful volunteers: from the Shakespeare's Globe Library and Archives, Victoria Northwood; from the National Trust, Kate Wheeldon at Hardwick Hall; and from Historic Royal Palaces, Alison Heald, Susan Holmes at the Tower of London, and Alden Gregory at Hampton Court Palace. (The rooftop scene is his fault.)
I'm also grateful to Kevin Schmidt, for the astrology in Act Three, and to Dr. William Tighe, who taught me everything I know about the Gentlemen Pensioners, and mailed me his dissertation to boot. He is not to be blamed for anything I got wrong.
Finally, I have to thank Kate Walton, for needing someone to keep her awake on a late-night drive to the airport back in June of 2006. It was the first of many fruitful midnight conversations about this story, and it wouldn't have been the same without her.