BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1) by Marie Rutkoski

BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1) by Marie RutkoskiThe Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie #1)
by Marie Rutkoski
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


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 Caste possesses 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.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.

Quotes are from an uncorrected eARC and are subject to change.

It is a midnight lie, she said.
A kind of lie told for someone else’s sake, a lie that sits between goodness and wrong, just as midnight is the moment between night and morning.

This book….met every expectation I could have had for it. The very first thing I want, no NEED to say in this review, though, is to leave every thought about the Winner’s Trilogy in the back seat. If people “ruin” another book by comparing it to its beloved predecessor or a similar series, I will lose my shit. Yes, this book is by the same author and set it the same world as the previous series, but it is its own entity with its own story and characters. We catch glimpses of old characters that I don’t know if everyone is going to like. I have questions but…I’m assuming we’ll learn more later on.

Anyhow, I was addicted to this book. I started last night and finished today (and that’s with work). I ate up every word, every line, every page. Her writing has cast a spell on me and I honestly don’t even want to be free of. Different aspects reminded me of a few other books, all of which I loved—mainly Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. That book has left one of the biggest emotional impacts on me that no other back has even come close to. I don’t really want to get into what aspects are similar as that would ruin parts of this plot but I just wanted to mention it.

“Nirrim, I can’t be good to you.”
“Then be bad.”

The thing about this book is that you start out knowing very little. My eARC didn’t come with a map and I wasn’t sure if that was because it was an ARC or because that would have clued us in on certain things. Because I trust Rutkoski’s storytelling abilities, I figured there was a reason for us being left in the dark for a while. Having us figure out things as slowly as Nirrim was maddening at times but I got it, I really did. You could tell that she was the way she was, and thought the way she did because of her upbringing. You can’t just change how you see the world when you’ve gone your whole life in a routine along with all of the people around you. I would start to get frustrated with her and how childish and trusting she could be until I stopped myself and reminded myself WHY this was the case. I feel like I’m literally talking myself in circles right now BUT I DON’T WANT TO GIVE ANYTHING AWAY.

Other than the satisfaction of Nirrim slowly tearing the cobwebs from her eyes and figuring things out, my favorite part of this story was Sid. That cheeky lil flirt. OMGGGG. I loved her so much, many flaws and all. I think it’s great that this features its two female MCs in a relationship. You NEVER see that in YA fantasy by a popular author…ever. I’m assuming we’re going to start to see more and more as time goes on but for now, this is the first one that I can think of/ have come into contact with. Their relationship happened a lot quicker than Arin and Kestrel’s but man…I don’t even care. It was straight up lust at first sight and the sexual tension was….so addicting. I loved every single one of their interactions and I am dying to see where things end up in the next book *bites nails*.

This is going to be a book that you DON’T want to miss next year, you guys. Adding some comments under a spoiler tag below!

I realized that wanted in a kind of power even if you don’t get what you want. Wanting illuminates everything you need, and how the world failed you.

View Spoiler »

Huge thanks to Edelweiss and FSG Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions ♥

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  1. Marie

    I must read this book. The Winner’s trilogy utter destroyed me (in the best way a book can). I had no idea that she had written anything else.
    Marie recently posted…Review: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten WhiteMy Profile

    • Arielle

      It doesn’t come out until next March so definitely keep an eye out for it! I think overall this series is going to be quite different than the first but the writing is just as stunning!

  2. Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

    Great review! I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I haven’t read the Winner’s Trilogy yet but I’m really excited for this book and that cover looks gorgeous.
    Raven @ Dreamy Addictions recently posted…Monthly Wrap Up | October [2019]My Profile

  3. Stained Edges


    Could you please tell me if there are any spoilers for the initial trilogy (the Winners ) in this book? I haven’t read that yet and I’m terrified of spoilers. (I just got an eARC of the Midnight Lie and am just staring at it, unable to decide).

    Thanks 🙂

    • Arielle

      Kind of yes. I don’t really know how to expand on that without giving things away from the Midnight Lie but yes, lol. There are two different things you read about in The Midnight Lie that happen during the original trilogy.

      • Stained Edges

        Thanks for the info! I’ll try to get the first trilogy first and then tackle this beauty.


        • Arielle

          The first trilogy is one of my favorite YA series of all times so I’m sure it’ll fly by! 😀

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