Review: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1) by Marie Rutkoski

RATING: 7/10


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


“It’s a midnight lie… a kind of lie told for someone else’s sake, a lie that sits between goodness and wrong, just as midnight is the moment between night and morning.”

Thank you Definitely Books and Pansing Distribution for sending me a review copy of the Midnight Lie. This story is set in Herrath, whereby a rigid class system is employed by the Lord Protector to rule the city. Essentially, we have the High Kiths who exist at the top of the social system and live a life of pleasure, freedom and decadence. We then have the Half-Kiths who are at the bottom of social system and they are forbidden to travel out of the Ward. They were also treated cruelly by the High Kiths and are required to pay tithes (such as offering their blood, hair and etc.) as punishments for slight wrongdoings. Middlings are sort of like the middle class in the social system.

We follow the protagonist of the story, Nirrim, a Half-Kith with some talents, who yearns for an adventure and something new or exciting in her life. She then met Sid, a traveler, who managed to persuade her to seek out the “magic” and secret of Herrath, which seems to have been buried by the Lord Protector. They then sort of fall in love with each other. The problem of this story starts here. The plot is interesting, world building is well executed, but the problem with me, is the romance element in this story. I have no issues with LGBT romance, but the romance element takes up more than half of the book! As mentioned before, i generally dislike romance elements in a story, especially when such element overtakes the plot!

The story is very intriguing for the first 100 pages and last 100 pages of the story. And the cliffhanger at the end of the story makes me want to read the second book immediately. But for the romance element, the rating for this book may go up slightly. For now, its only a 7/10 star rating (rated for the plot and world building) from me. For those who really enjoy LGBT romance, you may opt to pick this up!

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