A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan

Rating 8.0/10
Big tomes worthy of being on a bookshelf

Known for her A Natural History of Dragons series, Marie Brennan has created another series; The Onyx Court, starting with Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie and third in the series, A Star Shall Fall.

As in the first novel, there are two worlds, the fae and the human and no two can exist in the way we think. There will always be conflict against the unseelie court for the progressive humans who have embraced science and science as a result is being used to eradicate a comet that can't be destroyed by magic alone. Set in 1759, the fae are unsettled by the fact magic is being less prevalent in the world in place of science due to the Royal Society of London which houses the greatest minds in England.

Science might be taking over, yet Marie has shown that both the fae and humans will  have to fuse their powers if they are to rid themselves of the comet, which is the opposite of what the first two novels intended. As if that isn't bad enough, the comet had originally brought a dragon their way during the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Marie has two different sets of characters in her Dramatis Personae, mortals and faeries. It's not a cast of thousands but there is enough for you to get confused over. There are also two modes of thought that clash among the humans; that the religious believe humans were made in God's image and the scientists who think everything can be explained - even a comet carrying a dragon that was put there by the faeries. If the humans can't get over their differences, they can't even begin to take on the horror to come. This novel is all about settling differences and coming to terms with problems they have; this dual problem of religion against science is the main conflict area besides the enmity of the faeries.

Unlike faeries, humans are fortunate in that they live in peace and relative comfort as they think is their right, yet the faeries live in the shadows being non-Christian or human. They try to blend in, but know they look different from humans, have pale faces and have weightless bodies that I suppose can make them look as though they are floating. They can be wounded by iron and other humans and find even being around Christian things can have an adverse affect on them. It is no surprise they have an issue with the humans as they see their world crumbling under the threat of Christianity and science. In A Star Shall Fall, the magic is fast leaving their world while they try so hard to live among the humans, they are at threat from a people that doesn't understand who they are and what they want.

Here we have two courts that don't see eye to eye, and the drama that surrounds it could be a real nice book for the New Year (for those who have bought and read all three of the series, they are big tomes worthy of being on a bookshelf.)

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