The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: Folks I am hammered. Do you need to know what I drank? Yes? Ok fine, you expect a certain quality from me and you have every right. I’ve had a shit day in the middle of quarantine so i’ve had a whole bottle of wine and a gimlet. OK?! TRUST ME NOW?! I’m sure you did, sorry…
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.
Drunk Overview: This is a weird story where there’s this world in which the poor live in this enclosed neighborhood. Our main lady Nirrim accidentally gets herself arrested and she meets Sid, her cell neighbor. She also has this “mother” named Raven who’s the actual worst. Nirrim wants more so she ends up having to figure out a few mysteries and… yeah.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I really liked this story. It was SO FUCKING SLOW. Like… literally a slog… but the story was good. It just didn’t need the fluff.
Characters: Nirrim is a great character. She was so incredibly naive at the beginning but smart enough to know what she wanted. She wasn’t however, smart enough to know that she was being abused. Her matron, Raven, is so incredibly manipulative. It’s wild to me how the author just… gets it right. I say that not as a victim but someone who grew up next to one. I can’t say for sure, so please don’t think I’m saying its accurate but by the end of the first 20 pages I was uncomfortable and Nirrim had no clue and that’s a whole damn thing. Then there’s Sid, our romantic interest. She is FAB and I love her. She is so gentle and kind and loves her some consent and I love her for it. Lastly ther is the asshat Aden. We as outsiders see him as an Asshat but it’s really really easy to see how his behavior is accepted. Really REALLY well done with the characters.
Plot: …was there a plot? I’m sure there was, but I feel like it took 87 years to get there,
Writing Style: The style was stunning. Absolutely stunning, but it’s hard to appreciate it when it gets in the way of the story.
World Building: I loved how the world was built. I recognize that it’s the same world as her others, but it’s a country we don’t have much knowledge in to. Love it.
What to pair it with: It’s a wine cooler. It tastes good but takes FOREVER to get there and leaves you with a headache in the morning.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,