ARC REVIEW | The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Title: THE MIDNIGHT LIE

Author: MARIE RUTKOSKI

Released: 3RD MARCH 2020 by HODDER & STOUGHTON

Genre: YA LGBT HIGH FANTASY


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.


The Midnight Lie was sent to me by Hodder & Stoughton following my registry of interest in the title, which had no impact on my enjoyment of the story. I discovered it on book Twitter, where I learn about most upcoming titles, and decided I really had to have it as soon as possible. So imagine my excitement when it arrived in my mailbox! AMAZING! I had heard of Marie Rutkoski, but never read her other series. I think I’ll have to remedy that soon, as I loved her craft in this story! Which, as far as I understand, is the same world as The Winner’s Trilogy, but not directly related. Still beautifully written and so engaging.

Nirrim, our heroine, is Special with a capital s, but is classed in this world as Half Kith, which basically equates to less than… The class system is High Kith (the upper class), Middling (self-explanatory), and Half Kith (poverty level), and essentially means exactly what you expect. The two ‘better’ classes take from the Half Kith in order to have full and rich lives. Anyway, Nirrim is completely unreal – I love her. She’s kind and giving and interesting, yet lets those she cares for walk all over her. I really enjoyed her relationships with her ‘sisters’ – Morah and Annim.

Herrath (this world) is an island who has no travelers…until Sid comes seeking adventure. Sid’s meeting with Nirrim is beautiful and unexpected. I love their relationship throughout. Honestly, I’m not going to go into it because I want you to be as beautifully surprised at every step as I was – just hold on to your heart!

Then there are the dickheads who are Raven and Aden… I hated them from the off – liars and manipulators, both. But in any story, we do need our monsters. They are both the characters that hold back the MC and play on their greatest fears or weaknesses, so prepare yourselves… Aden is a gaslighter and Raven abusive. Ugh..

The Midnight Lie deserves all of your attention, friends! It was phenomenally unputdownable, and I loved every minute… I was about 75% through when I realised I needed this to continue and there was clearly not enough story left in this book!! So, for anyone who didn’t know (like me), this is a duology. Buckle up, biblios!


Thank you to Kate @ Hodder & Stoughton for this review copy.

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