Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Source: Publisher – Thank you!
Rating: I liked it!

In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented—and highest born—sons of the Kingdom of Britain are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover…
Gray’s deep talent for magick has won him a place at Merlin College. But when he accompanies four fellow students on a mysterious midnight errand that ends in disaster and death, he is sent away in disgrace—and without a trace of his power. He must spend the summer under the watchful eye of his domineering professor, Appius Callender, working in the gardens of Callender’s country estate and hoping to recover his abilities. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter. Even though she has no talent of her own, Sophie Callender longs to be educated in the lore of magick. Her father has kept her isolated at the estate and forbidden her interest; everyone knows that teaching arcane magickal theory to women is the height of impropriety. But against her father’s wishes, Sophie has studied his ancient volumes on the subject. And in the tall, stammering, yet oddly charming Gray, she finally finds someone who encourages her interest and awakens new ideas and feelings. Sophie and Gray’s meeting touches off a series of events that begins to unravel secrets about each of them. And after the king’s closest advisor pays the professor a closed-door visit, they begin to wonder if what Gray witnessed in Oxford might be even more sinister than it seemed. They are determined to find out, no matter the cost…

THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN follows Gray and Sophie, two delightful characters whose lives have suddenly become saturated with intrigue and secrecy. The story contains several unexpected developments, a band of interesting characters, and enough sweet moments to make readers smile.

Although I enjoyed the story, the reason why I liked THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN is that it is so well-written. The vocabulary is at times challenging, while the phrases are unique and not the run-of-the-mill stock descriptions used so often in young adult literature. Hunter did a wonderful job elevating her story and challenging her readers to absorb the pacing and wait patiently for each tantalizing scene.

I certainly enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second, but that is not to say that the second half lacked the quality of its predecessor. The first half of the book dealt more with the mystery of the story and slowly unravels a web of suspense. There was also something sweetly innocent about the first half that I admired.

If you want to read a story that balances mystery and action, you need to add THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN to your reading list this fall!


  1. I haven't heard about this book but your review has got me interested.... The Midnight Queen sounds like something i should look forward to on my tbr list. Great review.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  2. Excellent, I recommend this and the sequel with my highest recommendation. The characters are interesting and believable, the world-building is great, and the plot keeps your attention and is full of surprises.

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