REVIEW by Emily: Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire , @emilyalburns )
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.
Rosemary and Rue is an urban fantasy mystery set in present day San Francisco. Hidden in plain sight of the humans is Faerie, home to the purebloods and changelings. Changelings are the result of unions between human and fae. Weaker and considered inferior by the purebloods, changelings straddle both worlds with no real home in either. October ” Toby” Daye is a changeling who worked as a private investigator and was a knight errant in Sylvester’s, Duke of Shadowed Hills, court. After an investigation gone terribly wrong, Toby is transformed into a fish. Fourteen years later she awakens with no knowledge of the time passed. Toby’s life is in shambles, her fiance and daughter presumed her dead and want nothing to do with her. Wanting nothing to do with the Fae world that ripped her life apart, Toby lives alone with her two cats, Cagney and Lacey, and works as a checkout clerk at the local grocery store.
But faery never lets her children go easily. Toby’s longtime friend, Countess Evening Winterrose, needs her help. After multiple failed attempts to reach her, she leaves a message on Toby’s answering machine that will pull her back into faery whether Toby wants to go or not. Using a binding, a curse, Evening demands that Toby find her murderer. If Toby refuses or fails, the curse will kill her. Now in a race against time, Toby turns to old friends and enemies to solve Evening’s murder.
This book was one of my random bookstore purchases, the cover caught my eye and the blurb sounded interesting. The characters were so vivid and the world so richly described that I had no problem immersing myself in the book and staying up way past my bedtime! Toby’s attitude of pick yourself up, dust off your pants and keep going was inspiring. Even after all she’d been through she didn’t have a defeatist attitude, yet I still felt her pain and guilt. Though this isn’t a romance, per se, there are still one or two possible love interests that could be expounded on in future installments. Though a serious book, there were lighthearted moments as well. I love the conversations between Toby and her Siamese cats, Cagney and Lacey. And her interactions with Tybalt, a yummy alpha male Cait Sidhe, King of the cats, were for me, the highlight of the book. It reminds me of Kate and Curran from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series.
“What happened? Did the prettiest little princess miss her carriage home?”
“Tybalt,” I said, surprise dissolving into disgust. I straightened. “Don’t sneak up on me like that.” [...]
“But you’re so easy to sneak up on.” He crossed his arms, leaning back against the wall. “You should be honored that I bother, since there’s no challenge in it.”
“Right,” I said, dryly.
Tybalt has never made a secret of his contempt for changelings in general and me in particular. Not even the fourteen years I spent missing and presumed dead could change that. If anything, it made things worse, because when I came back, I promptly removed myself from all the places he was accustomed to finding me. Hating me suddenly took effort–an effort he’s proved annoyingly glad to make. On the other hand, it’s actually been something of a relief, because it’s something I can count on. Dawn comes, the moon wanes, and Tybalt hates me.[...]
“I do adore the costume. What are you these days, a maidservant? A charwoman in one of these glass towers?” Tybalt tilted his head to the side,studying me. “The trousers fail to flatter, but the blouse is sufficiently gauzy.”
“Ha, ha,” I said, pulling my coat closed and folding my arms over my chest. I was blushing, much as I didn’t want to be. Bastard.
“Really, if you’d just do something with your hair, perhaps you could take a few steps up the social ladder. I understand that there are things called ‘scissors’ these days, very advanced, they allow you to–please don’t be alarmed, I promise it’s painless–shorten and even out the strands. It’s far more flattering.”
By the end of the book all my questions were answered but Seanan definitely left me wanting more. This was a great start to a series and I cannot wait for the next installment (she has five books out and the sixth is due out in September of this year). Five stars, go out and buy now! Lol.
Rosemary and Rue
October Daye #1