Book Reviews

Review: The Midnight Lie by Marie Rukoski

The Midnight Lie is a character driven queer story about hidden secrets. I’m not truly sure what I expected before reading. But the true strength of The Midnight Lie lies in the character growth. I was a bit taken aback by the sudden speed towards the end, but I am ultimately excited for the next book. Keep reading this book review of The Midnight Lie to see my in-depth thoughts.


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.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

There are three things you should know about The Midnight Lie. Firstly, it is a character driven book with a background of intrigue and mystery. Secondly, there is such a cute sapphic romance that may be the main reason I enjoyed this book. And thirdly, the book has one of those slow build up to an explosive ending. I haven’t read the Winner’s Curse books, so I had no familiarity with the world.

While I enjoyed The Midnight Lie, the mystery over the world building in the majority of the story was a bit confusing. It eventually begins to make more sense, but it was incredibly vague and I wasn’t sure if it was because I hadn’t read the Winner’s Curse. Looking back, I realize that most of that is intentional as this mystery is one of the forces in the plot, it just takes a bit of time to take off. The Midnight Lie is about questioning. The walls around us, the stories we are told, and even ourselves.

When we grow up observing the world and never asking why. Witnessing the lies we are told that people are convinced are ‘for our own good’. A person who inspires us to look closer. The characters in The Midnight Lie are fabulous. From Sid – who is hiding her fair share of secrets – to Nirrim who has to ask herself what she truly wants. It’s focused mainly on Nirrim’s character growth and her own quest for agency. Re-examining what people tell us, the relationships that surround us, and Nirrim’s sexuality. Also that last twenty percent…’s, as I described earlier, an explosion of action. I am so intrigued to see where the second book goes and I am incredibly invested now.

Find your copy of The Midnight Lie on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite slow burn books?

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