ARC Review – The Midnight Kingdom

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Midnight Kingdom by Tara Sim, the sequel to last year’s The City of Dusk and the middle installment of The Dark Gods trilogy. I’ve been looking forward to this one. So, let’s see how it stacked up against my expectations…

The second book in Tara Sim’s sweeping dark fantasy series, in which the four heirs to four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—must defy their gods in a fight for the fate of the world. 

A cataclysmic battle to save the city of Nexus has left the four noble heirs scattered across the four realms.

Taesia, the shadow-wielding rebel of House Lastrider, and Nikolas, the solider son of House Cyr, have been cast into Noctus, the realm of night. But they are not alone. The dangerous and unpredictable god of light has traveled with them, and he will do anything in his power to destroy Noctus once and for all.

Risha, the peace-loving necromancer of House Vakara, has finally found her way to Mortri, the realm of death. But she still cannot help the wayward spirits trapped in Vaega, nor does she have any idea how to get herself and her friend Jas home. All she knows is that no mortal can survive for long in Mortri. And the creatures that walk the realm of death don’t take kindly to the living.

Angelica, the stubborn elementalist of House Mardova, finds herself alone in Vaega. With the other three heirs vanished, it is up to her help keep the city of Nexus from unraveling. But Angelica secretly suffers from a sickness that her goddess left in her veins. And when she is sent on a delicate diplomatic mission, she knows that any sign of weakness will have disastrous repercussions for her family, her city, and her dreams of the throne.

All will encounter old friends and new enemies as they attempt to restore the balance of the world. But as the gods grow stronger, they’ll need more than their powers and their wits to survive.

***Thank you to Orbit Books for providing a copy of The Midnight Kingdom. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

The Midnight Kingdom was a beast of a book. Under no circumstances should anyone try to read this story without reading the first book. There was so much going on, and things picked up right where book one left off. My only real problem with this book was the number of POVs/settings and the impact they had on the pacing. There were so many POVs that there were times it felt jarring to switch and others where the story would go so long before returning to a POV that I’d forget what was happening. That being said, I did like each of the subplots individually. I just didn’t enjoy jumping between them so much.

Now that I’ve got my one major qualm out of the way, let’s talk about the things I loved about The Midnight Kingdom. The world-building was breathtaking and added so much lore to this world. The magic took on new, fascinating dimensions, and I loved getting to finally experience Mortri and Noctus, as well as some new parts of Vitae. I walked away from this book feeling like I understand the magic and the realms, which wasn’t really the case after finishing book one.

I still loved the characters in The Midnight Kingdom. Although, my favorites did shift a bit. I never would have guessed that Angelica would become a favorite, but here we are. She had such a fantastic journey in this book, and I appreciated how her motivations changed. In The City of Dusk, she largely seemed to want power for the sake of power, or because her mother wanted her to get it. In this story, she came to recognize that her desire for power came from feelings of inadequacy. She also grew to understand that power is best used to help people, especially those you care about.

Taesia. Taesia. Taesia. She was still a favorite of mine in The Midnight Kingdom, and she still had the personality and tact of a bull in a china shop. Her constant struggle with reconciling doing her duty and her personal freedom was compelling to read. All she wanted was to live her life without all the responsibility of being an heir, and now she found herself facing off with a demented god bent on destroying an entire realm. She stepped up in some big ways, and the end of her story here broke my heart.

I couldn’t end a review of The Midnight Kingdom without discussing the ships. lol. There were so many pairings I wanted to see and most of them got at least a couple moments to shine. The romance was a bit lacking, which makes sense considering the life-altering circumstances, but I loved the moments we got. Nik and Fin did kind of get shafted, though, because Nik was stuck in his own head for most of the book. So, they didn’t do as much as I’d have liked. Although, it did provide representation of dissociation, which was interesting to read. Also, I’m now shipping Dante and his demon because they are perfect for each other and will be together forever anyway…

In general, The Midnight Kingdom was a solid sequel. I enjoyed this outing with some of my favorite disaster queers, and I’m definitely anxious to see what happens to them next. I want them all to get their HEAs even though it seems doubtful. This book was a roller coaster full of magic and new realms, and it provided plenty of moments that made me gasp, cheer, and feel genuinely horrified. Therefore, I rate this book 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Have you read The Midnight Kingdom? If so, let me know your thoughts down in the comments!

4 thoughts on “ARC Review – The Midnight Kingdom

  1. I really loved this and actually didn’t find the POV shifts as irritating as I did in the first book, I totally agree about the brilliance of the world building and Angelica’s ARC in this book. I can’t wait for the next.

    • Right?! The world-building in this book was superb. I loved getting to see the different realms and experience the culture of Noctus and the other Vitae kingdom. Angelica really blew me away in this one. She was probably one of my least favorite characters in the first book, but she really did have a brilliant arc in this one.

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