Monstrous girls are always one of my favorite characters. Give me all the girls who are challenging what we think of as ‘ladylike’ with ambition, dangerous powers, and sharp teeth. The Midnight Girls is a fabulous example of monstrous girls with cold and tender hearts. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
It’s Karnawał season in the snow-cloaked Kingdom of Lechija, and from now until midnight when the church bells ring an end to Devil’s Tuesday time will be marked with wintry balls and glittery disguises, cavalcades of nightly torch-lit “kuligi” sleigh-parties.
Unbeknownst to the oblivious merrymakers, two monsters join the fun, descending upon the royal city of Warszów in the guise of two innocent girls. Newfound friends and polar opposites, Zosia and Marynka seem destined to have a friendship that’s stronger even than magic. But that’s put to the test when they realize they both have their sights set on Lechija’s pure-hearted prince. A pure heart contains immeasurable power and Marynka plans to bring the prince’s back to her grandmother in order to prove herself. While Zosia is determined to take his heart and its power for her own.
When neither will sacrifice their ambitions for the other, the festivities spiral into a wild contest with both girls vying to keep the hapless prince out of the other’s wicked grasp. But this isn’t some remote forest village, where a hint of stray magic might go unnoticed, Warszów is the icy capital of a kingdom that enjoys watching monsters burn, and if Zosia and Marynka’s innocent disguises continue to slip, their escalating rivalry might cost them not just the love they might have for each other, but both their lives.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
For some reason, my fall TBR is full of queer fantasy and I am not complaining. The Midnight Girls features a rivals to lovers queer fantasy which warmed my cold heart. That line between a rival you can’t get out of your head, who you think of all the time, and realizing why. All the nuances between tension and chemistry. The romance story line in The Midnight Girls with this passionate rivalry mixed with will-they-won’t-they is thrilling.
This dual POV was a fabulous tool to explore that tension. To see Zosia and Marynka through each other’s eyes. The times they’re pitted against each other and fighting in close quarters. But what I loved the most was how The Midnight Girls looks at monstrous girls. At girls who you underestimate with the allure of softness, only to be torn apart with claws. How we can be pushed to become colder, to learn that the love we crave lies in our value. And how ‘monstrous’ not only can mean dark and dangerous power, but also that lack of ‘softness’.
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The Midnight Girls is such an action packed, tense, and thrilling read. I couldn’t help but get swept away by the character interactions and even the friendship between Marynka and Beate. It’s a story about watching these girls embrace their powers, desires, and ambitions. If you’re looking for a queer fantasy with some precious characters, you gotta check out The Midnight Girls. Find The Midnight Girls on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.