The Midnight Lie
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski's The Midnight Lie is an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.
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 Kith possess 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.
Rutkoski returns to the world of the Winner's Trilogy with elaborate descriptions and lush worldbuilding. Nirrim, a Half Kith, has lived with the Ward's motto, "It is as it is," never questioning the harsh rules that govern her kind or the walls that separate her from the Middling and High Kith grounds. She keeps her head down, justifying the forged passports she makes for her caretaker, Raven, through "midnight lies," falsities "told for someone else's sake," meant to help those seeking to escape the Ward. When turning in a magical bird lands her in jail and Nirrim meets Sid, an attractive traveler avoiding an impending marriage, Sid questions why no one remembers the city's history or its gods. The harder Nirrim falls for Sid, the closer she gets to uncovering the truth about herself and her city, a truth that many are desperate to keep hidden. Despite uneven pacing, Rutkoski offers a captivating LGBTQ love story, atmospheric in the vein of Bardugo's Six of Crows. Charismatic characters and compelling chapter cliffhangers build intrigue throughout. Ages 14 up.