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With Fate Conspire

With Fate Conspire cover

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?

Read an excerpt from the novel

Discussion thread on LJ

Novel news

The UK edition of A Star Shall Fall, published by Titan Books, will be out in 2016!


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.

Reviews | Music | Images | Text | Research


Brennan's grasp of period detail is sure, as the Dickensian squalor of most mortal sections of the city has its mirror in the teeming desperation of the Goblin Market. Despite the cast of thousands, many of the characters have real presence, and after a slow start the plot coheres and swirls forward into a series of tense and surprising conclusions. An absorbing finale to a series that has grown richer with every installment. -- Kirkus Reviews, starred

Brennan's research is impeccable, and her pictures of a London not too well known on this side of the pond are first-class, as is the weaving of the human and fae settings. Her characters, both major and minor, are well drawn and memorable. Brennan's own fans, historical-fantasy fans, and lovers of classic fantasy will find this a must-read. -- Booklist Reviews

Gifted storyteller and world-builder Brennan returns to the Onyx Court [...] Series readers and fans of the Tam Lin myth will be captivated by this complex and vibrant depiction of a magical Victorian era. -- Publishers Weekly

With Fate Conspire is a very enjoyable read. It captures the dualistic spirit of Victorian London and creates an alternative fantastical history that the reader grows to care about just as much, if not more, than the real world it shadows. The rounded characters and intricate plot create an absorbing story. This novel would be well suited for a steampunk fan who likes their alternative histories with lashings of faerie fantasy. -- Sophie Playle, Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders

With fantastic characterisation and a keen eye for the depth and detail of historic London -- a London of faeries and Fenians, dockworkers and costermongers, philosophers and peelers -- With Fate Conspire lives up to expectations. -- Liz Bourke,






Like its predecessors in the series, With Fate Conspire owes a great deal to the people who assisted me in my research. During my trip to London, this included: Josephine Oxley of Apsley House, Lin and Geoff Skippings of Carlyle's House, and Shirley Nicholson of the Linley Sambourne House, all for answering questions about the furnishings and daily life of the period; Helen Grove and Caroline Warhurst of the London Transport Museum Archives, for helping me research the progress of the Inner Circle Railway; Donald Rumbelow, my guide on a Jack the Ripper tour (which may eventually result in a short story); and Paul Dew and Philip Barnes Morgan of the Metropolitan Police Service historical archives, for opening their filing cabinets and display cases to me so that I might research the Special Irish Branch, and also for showing me Inspector Abberline's personal scrapbook. (Irrelevant to this novel, but still very cool.) Regrettably, I do not have the names of the dedicated librarians at the Guildhall Library and London Metropolitan Archives who helped me unearth an 1893 map of London's sewers, but they have my thanks. And a very special thank-you to Sara O'Connor, who waded through one of those sewers on my behalf, and also to the folks at Thames Water who helped arrange that visit.

Then, of course, there are the e-mail queries. Jenny Hall of the London Museum answered questions about the destruction of London's city wall; Jess Nevins pointed me at a variety of Victorian resources; Sydney Padua of the excellent webcomic "2D Goggles" gave me assistance on both Ada Lovelace and the Analytical Engine; John Pritchard was invaluable on the history and occupancy of various houses in London. Dr. William Jones of Cardiff University provided me with references on Irish nationalism, Sarah Rees Brennan advised me on Irish dialect, and Erin Smith answered questions about Irish Catholicism. Rashda Khan and Shveta Thakrar advised me on Indian folklore, and Aliette de Bodard did the same for Chinese. Christina Blake translated things into French on my behalf. Finally, I thank all the readers of my LiveJournal who answered questions along the way, and most especially everyone who suggested possible titles for The Novel More Commonly Known As "The Victorian Book," during the long and arduous quest to find one that would work.

This book was more complicated than most to write, so I owe a large debt of gratitude to those friends and family who let me talk their ears off about it: Kyle Niedzwiecki, Adrienne Lipoma, Kate Walton, Alyc Helms, and Kevin Schmidt, the last of whom made the very excellent and timely suggestion of ectoplasm.

Finally, I must thank all the historians and scholars whose research I relied upon to keep my facts accurate.