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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire


October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening-s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.






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For those who like their faeries to be a bit on the dark side, this is a good book for you (the entire series as well I'm sure). As the blurb says, the denizens of the Summer Lands aren't entirely good or evil, though there are certainly representatives of both extremes to be found there. Toby may disdain fae society to a large degree, but she definitely knows how to navigate it and how to play by its rules when such is required. Full of human snark and sass, with more than a bit of a chip on her shoulder due to her status as a changeling as well as the specific things she's had to endure because of events in faeriedom, Toby is a refreshing character who treads that not-good-or-evil line herself.



This book starts off by showing us what happened some 15 years or so prior to the time of the main part of the book that drove Toby away from the fae world. To say she is bitter because of it in the present day of the book is an understatement, though it's clear that she's good-hearted enough that she likely would have involved herself in the investigation of Evening's murder even without the binding curse. She might have done so as grudgingly as she does so with it, but I think she still would have done it. Would she have kept pursuing it through all the trials she faces here? Maybe, maybe not, though I think she would have still kept working to find the answer. She's no martyr, but she does have a strong sense of honor and a desire to see justice done.

The story takes you through various twists and turns, never quite doing what you'd expect and at times taking the reader to some rather unexpected places. It's probably fair to say that Toby's worldview is shaken more than a bit by some of what she uncovers both in good ways and in bad. She finds allies in unexpected places as well as betrayals that she never saw coming, but she comes through it all and emerges stronger in the end one must imagine. Sadder perhaps, and a bit more world-weary, but stronger nonetheless. It'll be interesting to see how her character develops in future books of the series.

Fans of urban fantasy will want to check this one out, as well as fans of fae myths and stories, particularly those that like them a bit darker and not so happy and cheerful. This was the first I've read from this author, but I'll definitely be reading more. Highly recommend this one.

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