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on 25 August 2009
Before we start a warning...this is book 2. The first novel, Midnight Never Come is well worth a read so try that first. With that out of the way - I really enjoyed this book. It took me a while to remember which characters were on which side but you soon get caught up in the plot and it makes sense anyway. The city of London is being ruled by Charles I, and not very well ruled. Parliament, the New Model Army and the Puritans are all citing rebellion and the city is in a constant state of stress. Beneath London lies the Onyx Court ruled by Queen Lune, a faerie Queen who has sworn to protect the City above her and find a form of harmony for mortal humans and immortal fae. Her consort is a mortal man Sir Anthony Ware, a member of Parliament who is his eyes and ears above, but while trying to preserve the future of the mortal King LUne has problems of her own. Enemies from the North and disenchanted members of her own Court are trying to rise against her. Can both monarchs control their kingdoms?

Brennan writes courtly intrigue and politics with great skill, making it compelling to read. The story does jump about - one minute you're reading about Cromwell, the next its a decade or more later in the great fire of London. That may be my only criticism: that at certain times the tension is spoilt because we know that Lune survives to face the fire despite death threats and disposession earlier. Yet its a small criticism as I couldn't stop reading. If you like historical novels and are looking for something different, or faerie politics are your thing then this is a great read. I have little knowledge of this period of history but I wanted to find out more after reading which I always take as a good sign of something grabbing my attention and intriguing me.
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on 21 July 2009
I really hate finishing a book half way through, especially if it's the sequel to a book that I really enjoyed, but thats what happened with In Ashes Lie. The first problem for me was the confusing schisms and political plots in both mortal and faerie courts, it was hard to keep track of who was on what side, and what each side stood for. Secondly, there were large to time jumps throughout from the 1640s to the 1660s and back again, and as the characters are primarily immortal unchanging faeries, it was sometimes difficult to notice that the time had changed. Overall, I really wanted to like this book, and I hope that when I have less to read, I'll pick it up again, finish it and be proved wrong, and that it is as good as it's predecessor.
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Having loved the original novel by Marie, I really was looking forward to this novel. Yet when I was reading it, I couldn't help having that nagging feeling that something was missing. What it was took me a while to pin down.

Whilst the novel is well written and some of the previous characters reappear what was missing was character growth, for me they seemed pretty stagnant and with the huge time between the start and the completion of the novel really got to me a bit. Historically its pure literature dynamite and so that does come over in the tale but for me, whilst I think this one is acceptable, it really doesn't beat the original.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2009
I'm simply astounded at my disappointment of this book!

Marie Brennan's 'prequel' to this: 'Midnight Never Come' really blew me away, (see my glowing Review for that title) and although I am not into either sequels or trilogies, I have to confess at my eagerness to purchase this second book to the first concerning the world of Fae beneath Elizabethan London that I'd so enjoyed. However, I simply could not get on with this at all... Way too political for one, and whether this had anything to do with my memory or not; none of the characters seemed remotely familiar to me, and I found it all extremely hard to follow...

A very disappointing purchase, and just confirms my belief that sequels and trilogies do not work at all for me...
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on 9 April 2016
Haven't been able to finish this, although I've really liked other Brennan books. I found the structure disjointed and confusing, prevented me from really getting into it.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2009
I'm simply astounded at my disappointment of this book!

Marie Brennan's 'prequel' to this: 'Midnight Never Come' really blew me away, (see my glowing Review for that title) and although I am not into either sequels or trilogies, I have to confess at my eagerness to purchase this second book to the first concerning the world of Fae beneath Elizabethan London that I'd so enjoyed. However, I simply could not get on with this at all... Way too political for one, and whether this had anything to do with my memory or not; none of the characters seemed remotely familiar to me, and I found it all extremely hard to follow...

A very disappointing purchase, and just confirms my belief that sequels and trilogies do not work at all for me...
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