The Midnight Queen (#1)

Next: Lady of Magick

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…


“Debut novelist Sylvia Izzo Hunter renders both the setting and characters in vivid detail. The structured system of magick gives the fictional world weight, and Hunter manipulates the seemingly disparate plot elements to create tension that culminates in a satisfying conclusion.”

Shelf Awareness

“THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN is, above all else, a powerfully atmospheric novel, and a huge reason why is because of Hunter’s writing [...] The atmosphere is incredible, and the characters are fantastically believable and delightfully developed [...] THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN is a love story that will warm your heart, and a story of magic and struggle, truth and might, in the face of all odds, with some stunning writing that will really hook readers and brings them into the colorful world that Hunter has created.”

Bookworm Blues

“In THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN, Hunter pulls from a multitude of mystical tales and myths to create her own magical version of Britain that is both innovative and intriguing. The plot is creative and suspenseful — and never predictable. Your affection for the dynamic heroes will only grow as Hunter’s characters face challenge after unexpected challenge. The MIDNIGHT QUEEN is a novel that readers will be unable to put down.”

RT Book Reviews

“[MIDNIGHT QUEEN is a] well balanced, fantasy/historical read […] With a breathtaking cover and a great slow to start romance this one will have you reading until the owls hoot. I have to say that Sylvia blew me away with this debut novel and I will definitely be looking for more. Each element in this story grows and becomes important as the story progresses. It was a great read.”

Night Owl Reviews

“A great fantasy introductory book […] THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN sets up a storyline with intrigue, magic and romance […] [that is] a really fun ride.”

Seattle Geekly

“The world felt very realistic with a current of magic running throughout. It is a setting that I really take to. I love imagining our world (or historical London) as a magical place with wizards and spells and intrigue around every corner […] The Midnight Queen is an interesting story and will be great for readers of historical and fantasy lovers a like.”

Book Briefs

“This is a great book especially if you appreciate historical fiction paced like a Jane Austen novel […] It is a simple and lovely story and I certainly hope to read more in the same vein.”

Not Yet Read

“I found The Midnight Queen a very enjoyable read. It certainly lived up to my hopes from the blurb and then some. I wasn’t expecting the complexity of the plot but I am glad it was there because Gray, Sophie and their allies were able to shine in a variety of ways. I have added Hunter to my list of authors to keep checking for new releases.”

The Book Pushers

“Hunter pulls off the affected and mannered speech very well, both in dialogue and narrative […] Sylvia Izzo Hunter has crafted an impressive debut novel and begun a provocative series.”


“The book’s charm lies in its complex setting and plot […] [Hunter has] created an alternate world where everything seems familiar, but has been tweaked just enough to create a truly fantastical background […] This was MY sort of book and I really can’t praise it enough.”

The Adventures of Cecilia Bedelia

“An enthralling and magical story! […] THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN was such a well crafted and magical story that kept me hooked until the very last page.”

Books & Cleverness

“A well-balanced blend of fantasy with a historical fiction-type setting, overlaid with a story laced with a heavy dose of the kind of chaste, slow-burn romance one might find in a traditional Regency novel […] The Midnight Queen is a very beautiful, very atmospheric novel about young love.”


“Readers will enjoy the chess like plotting and conniving, the disguises and secrets, and the love story aspect.”

Whatchamacallit Reviews

“This novel should appeal to those who like their fantasy grounded in a world based on hard fact but definitely carrying that touch of the fantastic […] he Midnight Queen delivers enough action and intrigue that it should be a hit with readers.”

Owlcat Mountain

“The most enjoyable feature of the book was the world itself, well realized and clearly the work of much effort by the author.”


“The Midnight Queen is insanely original and imaginative, and it’ll give you that feeling when you want to visit the world […] see the sights […] and it’ll let you get completely lost in the book.”

Reality’s a Bore

“Hunter does a splendid job of confounding my expectations [and] […] The Midnight Queen keeps taking fresh turns. A fresh and inventive historical novel […] I can’t wait to see what Sylvia Izzo Hunter does next.”

Marie Brennan, author of A Natural History of Dragons

“[THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN is] elegantly written, fast-paced and highly original – a stunning story of magic, scholarship, and true love. Sylvia Izzo Hunter brings both rural Brittany and an alternative Regency England to vivid life. A remarkably assured debut.”

Juliet Marillier, national Bestselling Author of the Sevenwaters Novels