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review 2019-09-19 02:26
The Luidaeg takes Center Stage in this Water-filled Adventure
The Unkindest Tide (October Daye) - Seanan McGuire

I finally took my eyes off the water, peering at her through the disheveled curtain of my hair. “Are you just babbling at me until I start feeling better?”

 

"Yup!” Marcia beamed. “Is it working?”

 

My stomach was no longer roiling. I didn’t trust myself to stand up on my own, but I also didn’t feel like I was about to introduce the barnacles to my breakfast. Again. I blinked. “Actually, yes.”

 

“Sometimes you need to take peoples’ minds off their problems if you want those problems to resolve themselves,” said Marcia. “Focusing on things can make them worse.”

 

“Not all problems go away if you ignore them. Most don’t.”

 

“No, but not all problems can be fixed. Sometimes you have to wait until the situation changes.” She smiled sympathetically. “Like if you’re on a boat and you get seasick.”


Yup. Toby's on a boat—a sailing ship, to be precise—just the place for someone who hates water. Why is she there? Well, that has something to do with the debt she owes the Luidaeg. The Luidaeg has decided that time is up and it's now time to pay that mysterious bill she told the Selkies was coming due. And Toby has to come along to help her collect. A couple of months ago, when I listened to the audiobook of One Salt Sea, I wondered what happened to that ominous future event, so that was nice to see. On the other hand, we're told that this was nearly three years ago, which means it takes only three-ish years for books 6-12 to occur? That's an eventful life right there.

 

Because they're apt to be useful, and because Toby isn't likely to come nicely without them, the Luidaeg also brings Tybalt and Quentin along on their trip to the Duchy of Ships, where a convocation of Selkies will be held to pay this bill. Due to the significance of this happening, a few other dignitaries come, too—delegations from the Kingdom of the Mists, the Duchy of Saltmist, and Goldengreen—oh, and Gillian (which makes sense for people who've read the previous book, Night and Silence).

 

So we've got a group of Toby's friends, a new Duchy for most of them to visit, a bunch of debts the Luidaeg is collecting, and the fate of an entire race in the balance. What could go wrong?

 

Naturally, that's the wrong question. Something better to ask is: how many pints of blood will Toby lose while trying to fix what goes wrong and how many others will die? Obviously, I'm not going to answer those, but we need to get our thinking straight.

Something I want to mention before I forget: Before the Sea Witch shows up at her door, Toby's narration gives a very thorough and succinct recap of the entire series (one of the best of those I've read lately, it's a tricky thing to accomplish) before noting

 

...there's a lot of history around here, and sometimes it doesn't summarize very well.


It's a small thing, but it made me smile—McGuire excels at those.

 

The Luidaeg has got to be just about the most popular character in this series, and we really get to know her so much better here than we have before—and it made me so happy to see this. I'd gladly take another Luidaeg-centric book or three any day of the week. Seeing her at this turning point in all her power and all her grief is just stunning. I don't think I'd ever felt bad for her (at least not for long), but watching her being resolute in carrying out the duty she was bound to here—while clearly not wanting to go through with it—was moving. Early in the book, there's a scene between her and a little girl that just about broke my heart. At the same time, she has plenty of great lines and made me chuckle a lot, too. Her interactions with Quentin (and vice versa) might be my favorite parts of the book.

 

The Luidaeg/Selkie story was strong enough that I don't care so much about the rest of the book, which is good, because I think it's one of her weakest. There's an adventure in Saltmist that seemed pretty perfunctory and while the ending is very clever—and gives Toby a chance to embrace the technicalities of Faerie in a way she usually doesn't (that is, keeping the letter of the law, but doing a tap dance all around the intent)— it seemed anti-climatic. We have a great build-up and then an almost let-down of a conclusion.

 

A few quick bullet points that I don't have the time to expand on (nor do I think I could do them justice without talking too much about them):

 

 

  • No one expected, I trust, that things between Toby and Gillian would get better after Night and Silence, but it was tough (yet understandable and believable) to read Gillian's reactions to Toby here.

 

  • There are repeated references to the weakness/susceptibility to harm of one member of Toby's group—McGuire hit that note so often that I really feared for that character. One that I didn't realize I liked as much as I did when I feared for their safety and longevity.

 

  • We get to meet another Firstborn! She's just fantastic and I hope we get to see more of her. Also, the reactions of various members of her descendant races to meeting her in the flesh were priceless.

 

  • Someone's blind fosterage is getting harder to maintain. That could prove interesting (and in the Toby-verse, interesting usually is defined as calamitous)

 

  • Clearly, Toby's reputation as someone who topples monarchies has spread far and wide. This isn't good for her, but will be good for us readers.

 

  • Marcia continues to show more depth and ability than I gave her credit for when we met (which surprises me almost every time we see it)

 

  • What we're told about future books here (in terms of Toby's future obligations) is enough to get long-term readers excited (not that we needed the encouragement, really, but it's nice to know)

 


This isn't one of the best in the series—but it features some of the best moments, scenes, events. It's not a trade-off I'm entirely pleased with, but I can live with it (and thankfully the good far outweighed the less-good). It's safe to say that a lot won't be the same again in this world or for many of these characters. Any time I spend with Toby, Tybalt, Quentin, the Luidaeg, etc. is a good time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the read, I just wanted a bit more from an author who usually brings more than you could realistically ask for.

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review 2019-09-10 06:55
The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire
The Unkindest Tide (October Daye) - Seanan McGuire

TITLE:  The Unkindest Tide

 

SERIES:  October Daye, #13

 

AUTHOR:  Seanan McGuire

_________________________

DESCRIPTION:

"Hundreds of years ago, the Selkies made a deal with the sea witch: they would have the sea for as long as she allowed it, and when the time came, she would call in all their debts at once. Many people assumed that day would never come. Those people were wrong.

When the Luidaeg—October "Toby" Daye's oldest and most dangerous ally—tells her the time has come for the Selkies to fulfill their side of the bargain, and that Toby must be a part of the process, Toby can't refuse. Literally. The Selkies aren't the only ones in debt to the Luidaeg, and Toby has to pay what she owes like anyone else. They will travel to the fabled Duchy of Ships and call a convocation of the Selkies, telling them to come and meet the Luidaeg's price...or face the consequences.

Of course, nothing is that simple. When Dianda Lorden's brother appears to arrest Dianda for treason against the Undersea, when a Selkie woman is stripped of her skin and then murdered, when everything is falling apart, that's when Toby will have to answer the real question of the hour.

Is she going to sink? Or is she going to swim?
"

_________________________

REVIEW:

 

A nice, action packed addition to the series.  This novel involves the Luidaeg and her selkies, as well as new characters, which is always great.  The mayhem was a bit toned down, and I felt one of the most important sections that occured at the end of the novel was a bit too brief, but this still made for an enjoyable read.  This novel also includes a nice little short story about Raj. 

 

PS:  I wish Toby would hurry up and get married before there is more murder, mayhem and disaster, though I suspect any wedding of Toby's is likely to be a blood bath anyway.

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review 2019-03-16 23:06
Review of "Chimes at Midnight" (October Daye, #7) by Seanan McGuire
Chimes at Midnight - Seanan McGuire

This reader's personal opinion, ©2019, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 

 

As usual for the series, I enjoyed this one.


This far into the series, hard to review without repeating things I've already said about previous books. A very grim situation -- villain addicting changelings to a drug -- for Toby to deal with in this entry. Yet, somehow a calmer, less dark book than previous. Maybe because she was calmer, secure in her relationship with the King of Cats, mentoring a squire, etc. Moved a lot faster on figuring out things like who was behind the drug and how to handle the Queen of the Mists--there was a lot more floundering and TSTL moments in previous books. Some prickly relationships seemed easier as well.


Series is still going strong for me; looking forward to reading book #8.


*©2019.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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review 2018-05-21 00:20
ONCE BROKEN FAITH by SEANAN McGUIRE
Once Broken Faith: An October Daye Novel - Seanan McGuire

I agree with the other reviewers that Toby is (view spoiler). It's getting a little ridiculous. That's why the rating is down to 3-1/2 stars.

I wish Tybalt and Toby would just get married already. I like them together. Just as an aside, I have no idea how she makes a living enough to feed everybody when she's so busy with just fae stuff.

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review 2017-01-21 03:37
I finally catch up with Toby Daye -- it doesn't get much better than this.
Once Broken Faith: An October Daye Novel - Seanan McGuire

My name is October Daye. My father was a human; my mother was, and is, a Firstborn daughter of Oberon, making her one of the more powerful people among the fae, and a definite pain in my still-mortal changeling ass. I was born and raised in San Francisco, which explains my willingness to stay in a city that's historically been full of people who insist on trying to kill me at the slightest provocation. Faeries are real. Magic is real. My tendency to greet dangerous situations by plunging headfirst and seeing how long it takes to get myself covered head to toe in blood is also real.

 

I live an interesting life.

 

It drove me crazy to not be able to get to this for four months -- and now having read it, I think I'm even more mad that I put it off. But the important thing is that I got to read it. Now I have to try to do something more than sound like raving, mindless fanboy here. Which will be difficult, because when it comes to Toby Day, that's what I've been since book 3 (and was pretty close to it since halfway through book 1).

 

It's been a few weeks since Toby overthrew the King in the Mists and things are pretty calm -- she, her Fetch, her Squire, her fiancée and the rest of her friends are happy and comfortable. Which we all know can't last for long.

 

What ruins this state this time is a giant conclave of North American Fae royalty being held in Queen Arden Windermere's knowe -- overseen by the High King and Queen. Kings, Queens and other nobles that we've met and/or heard of already -- and many others -- are meeting to discuss and decide what to do with the cure for elf-shot. The political and legal ramifications of the new cure are far bigger than anyone -- including readers -- thought. The discussion will prove to be a clash of traditionalists, reform-minded people, class-conscious rulers, those in favor of helping Changelings, and those who can't be bothered to care about Changelings.

 

As this is a Toby Daye book, it doesn't take too long for dead bodies to start to show up -- and the blood (much of it Toby's) starts to flow. As the hero of the realm, it's Toby's job to find out who's responsible and stop them from shedding any more blood.

 

So there's political intrigue, a closed room (well, knowe) murder mystery -- but that's not where the heart of the book is. It's in Toby and her family. Toby and her liege are still on the outs, Arden's brother and closest friend were elf-shot, Quentin's parents are in town and watching him closely, Tybalt has to keep her at arm's length to preserve his independence as King of the Cats in this setting, and so many other things. There's plenty of drama in each area of the book, enough to satisfy any reader, but when you add them all together -- it's that special blend of magic that only someone as good as Seanan McGuire can conjure.

 

This one ticked every emotional check box for me -- including the ones that made me very aware of all the dust in my immediate vicinity. I can't think of a problem with this one -- I'm not so much of a fanboy that I can't see problems with McGuire's work, but the last few in this series have been so great. There are few books this year that I'm looking forward to as much as/more than the next Toby Daye, and books like Once Broken Faith are the reason way. It doesn't get much better than this.

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