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With Fate Conspire [Kindle Edition]

Marie Brennan

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Review

"An absorbing finale to a series that has grown richer with every installment."--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) on "With Fate Conspire""[A] complex and vibrant depiction of a magical Victorian era."--"Publishers Weekly" on "With Fate Conspire""Enchanting, fearsome faerie vistas and pinpoint character delineations make Galen's absorbing quest one to savor and remember."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) on "A Star Shall Fall""Splendidly mixing historical and fictional characters while carefully depicting the spirit of an age, Brennan's latest novel should delight fans of historical fantasy.""--Library Journal" on "A Star Shall Fall"

Product Description

Marie Brennan returns to the Onyx Court, a fairy city hidden below Queen Victoria's London. Now the Onyx Court faces its greatest challenge.

Seven years ago, Eliza's childhood sweetheart vanished from the streets of Whitechapel. No one believed her when she told them that he was stolen away by the faeries.

But she hasn't given up the search. It will lead her across London and into the hidden palace that gives refuge to faeries in the mortal world. That refuge is now crumbling, broken by the iron of the underground railway, and the resulting chaos spills over to the streets above.

Three centuries of the Onyx Court are about to come to an end. Without the palace's protection, the fae have little choice but to flee. Those who stay have one goal: to find safety in a city that does not welcome them. But what price will the mortals of London pay for that safety?

With Fate Conspire is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Science Fiction & Fantasy title.


At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 785 KB
  • Print Length: 527 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0765325373
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (30 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V9O50W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #604,342 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic alchemy of history and magic. 2 Oct 2011
By @Julia_ATUF - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
[...]

Just as steampunk re-writes familiar history with mechanical bones and a clockwork heart, so Marie Brennan has used some fantastic alchemy to insert the world of faerie into London's DNA. While on the surface this nineteenth century city embraces the industrial revolution we've all read about in textbooks, under the cobblestones a very different society is wracked with growing pains as iron spreads across the land.

Amidst this setting, WITH FATE CONSPIRE follows two separate stories: a mortal girl, Eliza O'Malley, is search of the lost love who was stolen away by faeries and seven years gone, and a faerie himself, Dead Rick, struggles to get out from under the heel of the mob boss who holds him hostage. While I often struggle with books that follow disparate story lines and characters, WITH FATE CONSPIRE unfolds with such a steady rhythm that I never felt out of step. The story clicks back and forth between Eliza and Dead Rick, with glimpses of the queen and consort who fight to hold their crumbling world together, all building tension and momentum toward an ending that took my breath away.

As fantastic as that ending was, I barely needed to start WITH FATE CONSPIRE before I ordered the rest of the Onyx Court series. These books more or less stand alone (like Robin McKinley's Damar books, they inhabit the same world in different eras, with some long-lived characters in common), and I am eager to see other periods of history re-imagined through Brennan's lens. And as for the future, as complete as WITH FATE CONSPIRE felt, I can't help but wonder what the next century in this fantastic world would bring.

Sexual Content: None.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preferred the politics over some of the characters and enjoyed it just the same 27 Mar 2012
By E. Ambrose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I pick up a book set in Victorian England and purporting to have fairies in it I come to it with a few expectations regarding the social class of the people involved, the nature of the fairies, and the setting of the story involved. I have to report that With Fate Conspire managed to overturn each and every one of those expectations and I couldn't be happier about it.

So the story centers around Eliza, Irish and living in the poor parts of London, as she hunts for her childhood friend who was stolen by fairies. While this is going on, the Underground is in the process of construction and since there's I lot of Iron that goes into train tracks, this is causing some serious havoc with the local fairy court. Dead Rick is looking to take advantage of the uncertain atmosphere to get away from his master, Nadrett. Stuff happens.

I really liked this book. I loved how the factions of the fae kept undermining each other and that Dead Rick kept getting stuck in the middle of it. I found the technological links between the fae and more understood sciences interesting in how the fae aspect would play off some misconception of how a technology works in the real world. Actually the photography line that kept popping up was rather indicative of the story itself. All these layers upon layers that simultaneously reveal and obscure, tell the truth and lie through their images. The character's perception of reality and their memory of that perception was something that I thought could have been played with more, but that might be straying a little too far into the weird.

With regards to the characters, I liked Eliza's drive, but I was disappointed that she shut herself off from everyone else as much as she did. Dead Rick with his missing memory was a lot better in that respect. Even though his memory had been stolen, his friends from his old life didn't forget him and didn't abandon him once they found him in the first place. Actually overall, I was somewhat disappointed with the main-ish characters themselves, as I found the ideologies from the different political fronts far more interesting overall. It wasn't so much that they were terrible as much as there were other things that interested me more.

I enjoyed the solution immensely and found it an interesting use of technology, art, and their accessibility according to social standing. Since I fall rather firmly into the camp of "art should be accessible and legible to most people and outdoor sculpture is rubbish unless you can climb on it," I found the solution sound and far more stable than their first draft.

Since there was a major focus on how the age of industrialization treated the working classes in both Faerie and in London it made for a nice change of pace, but because of that class division (or a character's perception of such) some characters would just end up stonewalling each other and nothing moved, particularly with regards to Eliza. This was less of an issue with the fae characters overall but then again they also had an obvious streak of gaming the rules and finding interesting and unexpected ways of bending them. Besides, steal-your-baby elves are universally more fun than hippie elves.

For the most part I really enjoyed what With Fate Conspire tried to do, enough that I was able to overlook the persistent boredom I had with some of the characters.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific Victorian fantasy 30 Aug 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For over three centuries, the Onyx Court of the Fae has existed beneath London. Most humans living above ground are unaware of those residing underneath the city. However, several decades ago, the Industrial Revolution began a new iron age as pipes, bridges and rails run over and under the city; iron is lethal to the Fae whose species has become endangered with short term extinction a likely outcome as their magical realm rapidly diminishes. Only the resolute Queen Lune keeps at bay imminent extinction, but she is dying.

Meanwhile Eliza O'Malley continues her seven years old fruitless search for her vanished best friend Owen who she insists was kidnapped by the fairy; people believe she is insane. Like Lune, Eliza refuses to quit as she seeks the dog man, Goblin Market head gangster Nadrett's slave Dead Rick who betrayed her Owen. Ironically Dead Rick is perhaps the only one who empathizes with Eliza as he wants the return of his stolen memory that Nadrett, as he has done with humans and fae, took from him.

The fourth Onyx Court Victorian fantasy (see Midnight Never Come, in Ashes Lie and A Star Shall Fall) is a terrific tale anchored by one of the best sub-genre backgrounds in recent memory though that also slows down the start of the thriller. Described with dark Dickensian depth in the human and Fae realms, fans will envision the grim squalor of Goblin Court and mortal London as well as the hopelessness of the Onyx Court as urban development fostered by iron encroaches. The key cast is solid as readers anticipate a confrontation between the three determined antagonists as the new Iron Age is destroying Onyx Court and the Fae.

Harriet Klausner
4.0 out of 5 stars Working against time to save the Court from the encroaching human world 17 Mar 2014
By Michelle Boytim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
(3.5 stars) The concluding (4th) volume of the Onyx Court series takes place in Victorian times. The court is greatly deteriorated, with the Goblin Market openly selling humans, and with Luna seen only by her current Prince. All fear that the deterioration that began with the breaking of the London wall will be completed when the Underground completely circles the kingdom with iron. The court is desperately searching for a solution to save them, while others pursue more nefarious means of saving themselves. In the human world, Eliza has been searching for her stolen sweetheart for almost seven years. She is wanted for questioning by the police over possible involvement with the Irish bombings, but Eliza pursued them because of the Faerie who were involved. She is convinced that if she can find those responsible, she can rescue her lost love. Being a medium, she knows that he is not dead. Another key character is Dead Rick, whose memories have been stolen by his master and he must perform unsavory tasks for him in order to stop his memories from being destroyed. His master has his own plan for saving the Faeries, at a high price. As time begins to run out for the court, they must reach beyond their inner circle to try desperate measures to save them all. As the tension rises, the stories converge into a fateful conclusion.
4.0 out of 5 stars Faeries in Victorian London! 1 Feb 2013
By Clare L. Deming - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The first thing that grabbed me about With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan was the cover of eerie green and black. A train rushes out from the artwork, beneath the gaslamps of a London street, all suffused with shadows and sparkling wisps of power. This is a Victorian novel set in 1884 during the industrial revolution when the city of London is being riddled with tunnels for the expanding network of railroads. This is an immediate threat to the Onyx Court, an underground (literally and figuratively) faerie realm, for iron is poison to the fae.

This is the fourth book in the Onyx Court series, and I had little trouble jumping into it not having read the previous volumes. The plot follows two main characters. Dead Rick is a skriker - a faerie were-dog based upon the black dog myth of the British Isles. His memories have been stolen by unknown means, and he has been enslaved by Nadrett, one of the crime bosses of the Goblin Market. For as the Onyx Court is weakened by encroaching industrialism, other powers have risen up to take advantage of this vacancy for whatever profit they can squeeze from the failing realm.

Dead Rick is a sneaky and devious creature, however. He hoards bread (which can protect a faerie when tithed by mortals), searches for clues about his missing memories and tries to devise a means to escape the Onyx Court before it is destroyed.

Eliza O'Malley is a young Irishwoman on the streets of London who has fled her home turf on the other side of town. Scotland Yard wants to question her about a bombing, but she was only in the area of the blast because she was following a group of faeries. Of course, who would believe that story? Eliza has been tracking rumors of faeries since her childhood sweetheart, Owen, was stolen by them seven years ago.

When she finds an announcement for a meeting of the London Fairy Society, Eliza has to figure out how to attend, for a low-class miscreant cannot expect to be welcome among any type of proper society. Through forgery and subterfuge, she gains a position as a houseservant to one of the Fairy Society's younger members, but faerie mischief ensues, and Eliza struggles to avoid the attention of the authorities while tracking down the fae.

I loved the way that industrial London was merged with the underground Onyx Court, and the overall atmosphere of failing empire amidst progress that Ms. Brennan has created in this book. The Queen of the Onyx Court has not been seen in years and her Prince is weakened and struggling with even basic tasks. There is even a group of faerie scientists that are trying to discover a way to save the Court with fanciful devices reminiscent of steampunk, but without the steam.

Eliza's narrative drew me in most strongly, perhaps because her human concerns were more tangible to me. I have not read any previous Onyx Court novels, so it did take me a little while to orient myself with those aspects of the story. The plot moved steadily to a conclusion that brought all of the smaller details together nicely. I only wish that I was more familiar with London personally, because I think I would have taken more away from this book in that case. It is clear that Ms. Brennan has done quite a bit of research so that the historic details of place and society feel correct.
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