Friday, August 11, 2017

Five top books set below London

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley is an American/German writer of science fiction, fantasy and aviation non-fiction. Her publications include the novella Domnall and the Borrowed Child and the novel Wail, which takes place both above and below the streets of London. One entry on her list of five favorite modern novels which focus on the world underneath the United Kingdom’s capital city, as shared at
Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan

Midnight Never Come is the first book of Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court series: a compelling narrative of faerie England in the catacombs beneath the streets of London. This novel (and the series) is an exciting mashup of historical fiction and fantasy. The detail of Queen Elizabeth’s reign is mirrored by the politics and dark alliances of Invidiana, the ruler of the Onyx Hall. The story focuses around two courtiers longing for royal favour: the all-too-human Michael Deven for Queen Elizabeth and the disgraced faerie lady Lune for Queen Invidiana.

Like [China Miéville's] Un Lun Dun, the Onxy Court is a self-contained city underneath the capital city but, although there is also a portal to be found, the second city is unabashedly subterranean, forever in the shadow of the mortal London above. Brennan’s detailed research of the 15th century courts shines through without becoming overwhelming: the characters are strong and the plot has enough twists to carry the reader through. As the narrative reaches its climax, the depths of the intrigue and betrayal come clear.

I enjoyed the immersion in the Elizabethan world and, although it sometimes moved slowly, there was no question that the ending made it all worth it.
Read about another entry on the list.

Marie Brennan's "Midnight Never Come," the movie.

--Marshal Zeringue