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Even after nine books, the October Daye series (and the Chris McGrath cover art) is still fantastic!
The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire is one of my very favorite Urban Fantasy series. A Red Rose Chain, Book 09 in the series, is an excellent installment AND an object lesson in why you should take out your enemies when you have a chance — because if you don’t, they’ll come back to stab you in the heart!
The Kingdom of Silences has declared war on the Kingdom of the Mists, and Toby is sent to Silences to either 1) negotiate peace, or 2) infuriate the monarch into violating law or custom bad enough to get himself deposed. Guess which one Toby is best at?
Some of the things the King of Silences is doing to his people are atrocious. I found myself wondering what the High King of what is essentially North America is doing. Does he not visit his kingdoms? Does he not check in on the state of his people? How did Silences get away with what they were doing without someone finding out?
This book highlights Toby’s growing relationship with Tybalt. It’s quite fun to see a lighter side of Tybalt every once in awhile. It’s also good to see the two of them communicating and saving each other. There is no one-sidedness to Toby and Tybalt’s relationship, which is awesome to see in this genre. Tybalt is still an alpha male to be sure, but also a rational creature who can do more than act on instinct.
One thing I really enjoy is when long running series do more than stand-alone stories. A Red Rose Chain deals with the consequences of things that have happened in other novels. I think this is a sign of great writing, AND it makes the reread of the books even better.
As always, narrator Mary Robinette Kowal does a fantastic job with the characters in Toby’s world.
Purchased. Review courtesy of One Book Two | one book, two reviews.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Hmmm, I'm not sure what happened here. I'm left feeling disappointed and confused because surely I missed something...
After Queen Windermere's seneschal is elf-shot, Toby and the gang head to the Kingdom of Silences on a diplomatic mission. This is not a position that Toby is particularly good at because she has a tendency to muck things up. Fae politics are tricky and every word spoken has the potential to cause war, insult, death and any number of things. Toby and politics don't mesh well and it usually ends up with her being almost killed- same old, same old.
The thing is, this read more like a novella- a filler book. It was missing a few key components. There was very little Luidaeg mojo, little blood magic which is Toby's power, no Sylvester or any of the other side characters that aren't part of her everyday life, no important history lesson about First Born or Toby's powers, just some politics and some alchemy. I'm not even sure where the story arc is going anymore. *scratches head*
There are still at least 4 more books left for this series. As much as I hate to see an end to a beloved series, there is a time for everything. I hope this was just a fluke and we'll be back to the October Daye books that I love with the next one. Unfortunately, this book offered very little for me. It wasn't a total loss because I have developed a connection to the characters. I liked it okay. However, if I skipped it for some reason, I don't think I would have missed anything.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful