With Fate Conspire
Tor, Aug 30 2011, $27.99
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.