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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?
MARIE BRENNAN habitually pillages her background in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore for fictional purposes. She is the author of the Onyx Court series and the doppelganger duology of Warrior and Witch, as well as more than thirty short stories.
Table of Contents
“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
I behold London; a Human awful wonder of God! —William Blake,Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion
Oh City! Oh latest Throne! where I was rais’d To be a mystery of loveliness Unto all eyes, the time is well nigh come When I must render up this glorious home To keenDiscovery: soon yon brilliant towers Shall darken with the waving of her wand; Darken, and shrink and shiver into huts, Black specks amid a waste of dreary sand, Low-built, mud-walled, Barbarian settlement, How chang’d from this fair City! —Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Timbuctoo”
A great town is like a forest—that is not the whole of it that you see above ground. —Mr. Lowe, MP, address at the opening of the Metropolitan Railway, reported in theTimes,January 10, 1863
Given enough time, anything can become familiar enough to be ignored. Even pain. The searing nails driven through her flesh ache as they always have, but those aches are known, enumerated, incorporated into her world. If her body is stretched upon a rack, muscles and sinews torn and ragged from the strain, at least no one has stretched it further of late. This is familiar. She can disregard it. But the unfamiliar, the unpredictable, disrupts that disregard. This new pain is irregular and intense, not the steady torment of before. It is a knife driven into her shoulder, a sudden agony stabbing through her again. And again. Andagain. Creeping ever closer to her heart. Each new thrust awakens all the other pains, every bleeding nerve she had learned to accept. Nothing can be ignored, then. All she can do is endure. And this she does because she has no choice; she has bound herself to this agony, with chains that cannot be broken by any force short of death. Or, perhaps, salvation. Like a patient cast down by disease, she waits, and in her lucid moments she prays for a cure. No physician exists who can treat this sickness, but perhaps—if she endures long enough—someone will teach himself that science, and save her from this terrible death by degrees. So she hopes, and has hoped for longer than she can recall. But each thrust brings the knife that much closer to her heart. One way or another, she will not have to endure much more.