book reviews

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Rating: 3/5

Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020

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.


I did a buddy read with my good friend Rae (@blvdofbooksanddreams on insta!)!

This review took me ages to just sit down and write it and by the time I sat down I really thought about what I was rating it. While originally I was going to round up to 4, this was just an average okay book. The whole time I was reading it I just didn’t connect with any character (in fact, I mostly hated every character). I personally only finished it because it would have bugged me to not have any answers because Nirrim was a very lost narrator.

Personally, the romance felt lacking and the fantasy wasn’t really intriguing to me. I don’t know if I would have felt differently if I had read her other books but I haven’t read them yet. I hated the manipulative nature of the characters and how answers weren’t being given. Up until the end, this wasn’t even a 3 star book (or just barely).

What did intrigue me was the slight turn of events near the end. That’s probably the only reason I was originally going to give this a 3.5-4. Nirrim was just not a character I enjoyed reading the POV from. She was too sheltered and too trusting and too easily manipulated which given her circumstances made sense but just made me not connect at all and made me angry. Sid not giving any answers and just sort of functioning as a “manic pixie dream” type didn’t appeal to me at all and I honestly didn’t feel any chemistry between the characters.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants a bit of a more manipulative and mysterious book. If you like a bit of an unreliable narrator, mystery and intrigue with magic and a bit of a love story, this might be a book you would like! I would say this is a bit heavier and darker because of the nature of the politics and manipulation in the book so if you’re into a bit of a darker story this will be for you!

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