With Fate Conspire – Marie Brennan

About the book
Seven years ago, Eliza’s childhood sweetheartvanished from the streets of Whitechapel. No one believed her when shetold 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 thehidden palace that gives refuge to faeries in the mortal world. That refuge isnow crumbling, broken by the iron of the underground railway, and the resultingchaos 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. Thosewho 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?

Publishedon: August 30, 2011
Publishedby: Tor

Thanks to Tor for sending me an ARC of this book to review. 

With Fate Conspire is actually thefourth book in a series. Despite the fact that I haven’t read any part of theseries before, I decided to give this one a shot. This was after I read somereviews on previous books of the series written by others who were in myposition and still enjoyed the books. I took a leap of faith, trusting the factthat this book would be like the others and I could enjoy it without thebenefit of the rest of the series. That being said, I think it is important tokeep that in mind while reading my review. I don’t have the background others,who are fans of the series would have and thus, it might color my reviewslightly.
With Fate Conspire takes place duringthe Industrial Revolution in London, England. The world is bleak and hard, andone can almost taste the smoke in the air from the factories and smell theunwashed bodies of those who are unfortunate enough to eek out a living on thestreets. Brennan brought the times to life in With Fate Conspire, and the blazing realism is a huge benefit to theoverall novel. One can not only read the book to enjoy the setting, but to alsolearn a bit about the life of the average Londoner who lived in those times.
Ihaven’t read many books that use the Industrial Revolution as a jumping offpoint for a plot in a novel. The idea has honestly never crossed my mind.Brennan took a very unique point in human history and turned it into a pivotalplot point in the novel itself. London comes alive, but so does the parallelcity of the Goblin Court, as well as the cultures of both. Not only that, butthe Industrial Revolution, specifically the new underground rail system,directly affects both London, and the fae realm.
Ishould say that I’m not a huge fan of anything fae related in fantasy. Fae seemto be taking the place of vampires and werewolves, in my perspective. I thinkmuch of it is becoming overdone and exhausted in literature. However, Brennan’sfae are unique. They have their own distinct culture. They aren’t thebeautiful, otherworldly fae that I’m used to reading about. These fae reflectthe hard world they are living in. They are rough around the edges andstruggling to survive their slowly crumbling world and it shows. Her fae, andher world is a breath of fresh air to much of fantasy, and should be appreciatedfor that.
With Fate Conspire also deals with threemain and very memorable characters who are obviously on a beeline for animpressive meeting. Dead Rick was the most memorable character. However, I havea feeling that if I had spent more time reading the rest of the series thecharacters would have been more memorable and important to me. As it was, whilethey were all well done, some of them weren’t quite as realistic as others.Specifically Eliza seemed to be lacking a bit of realism to me. While I couldunderstand her desire to find her childhood sweetheart, many of her actionsseemed too cookie-cutter to be believable, and much of her behavior wasincredibly predictable. I found this to be disappointing when put in contrastwith the incredible world Brennan has built.
Theplot is tightly woven and easy to follow, though at times it does lag a bit andthe book, as a whole, feels like it takes a little too much time to get frompoint A to point B. I did feel as though the work could have benefitted fromfewer pages. That being said, I didn’t feel as though the (occasionally) slowlyprogressing plot, or needless pages hindered my enjoyment of the book overmuch.
Despitethe fact that I hadn’t read the rest of the series, With Fate Conspire does fairly well as a stand-alone. Brenna does agood job keeping the reader up to speed on events that have happened inprevious books. She introduces the characters well and the events seem to flownaturally. While I’m sure reading the series will engender me to the situationsand characters more than reading it as a stand-alone, the book itself wasunderstandable and entertaining on its own right, needing nothing else to propit up.
With Fate Conspire was an entertainingread. Brennan set her work in an impressive historical time and coupled it withwonderfully done research that really sets it apart from many other fantasybooks. The plot can be slow moving, and the book does have the feel of havingtoo many overall pages. However, all in all, the story is entertaining, thecharacters are memorable and the situations are noteworthy. Especially backedwith her impressively realistic setting of industrial London. With Fate Conspire is a solid additionto an already strong series.

2 Responses

  • Scott

    I LOVE the title.

  • Gav Reads

    I still need to read A Star Shall Fall but I loved the first two titles – I've ordered this one but oddly it's not out in the UK until October!

    Glad you liked it!

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