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I Belong

Review: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

rosemary-and-rueTitle: Rosemary and Rue

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: October “Toby” Daye (Book #1)

Publication Date: September 1, 2009

Format: Paperback, 346 Pages

ISBN-10: 0756405718 (DAW/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0756405717 (DAW/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Kristie


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.

Quick & Dirty: This urban fantasy story plays out like a murder mystery.

Opening Sentence: The phone was ringing.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Urban Fantasy novels are a first love for me. I love being in the mind of a character as they navigate some kind of paranormal world. Rosemary and Rue is the first novel in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. This series is set in San Francisco but also connects with the hidden world of the faerie. This is the first time I am reading this series and since I am a part of a series review. I have ten more books to look forward to catching up on. I enjoyed this book, I won’t say it was great but it was good. I can tell this novel left a lot of open threads and stories that I can’t wait to read about. There are so many things that are left unanswered. (As of writing this review before reading the rest of this series…I am forcing myself to NOT look at the synopsis of what’s to come. I don’t want anything ruined for me.)

October “Toby” Daye is a private investigator. She finds things that no human can thanks to her faerie heritage. Toby is a changeling, a faerie of mixed human blood. She gets the long life the faerie blood gives her. At the beginning of the novel, Toby is very happy. She is in love with her fiancé and her wonderful daughter but one case ends terribly and Toby is trapped as a fish for fourteen years. The story glosses over how she escaped and turned her back on her Faerie family, even though it was to a faerie that helped her with the aftermath, Countess Evening Winterrose. The last few months have been hard on Toby as she’s had to cope with technology advances and her once loving family wanting nothing to do with her.

When the Countess Evening Winterrose is murdered, Toby is forced to solve her murder. Evening cursed Toby so that she would be forced to find her killer or killers or else Toby will also die. By cursing Toby, Evening has forced Toby to go back to the world that she has turned her back on, forcing her to confront people that she has avoided since her last failed P.I. job.

October has a dry wit at times but I really enjoyed her humor. She is a bit out of touch considering she’s as old as she is even though she seems much younger. She also lost fourteen years when she was transformed as a fish so she is taking some time to get back to herself and everything she lost. I loved some of her inner monologue as it seems like stuff I would say to myself. But I am weird like that.

Rosemary and Rue is a murder mystery novel. The ending wasn’t entirely surprising for me but I still enjoyed the story to get there and how everything played out. The story is told entirely through Toby’s first person point of view, so if you aren’t a fan of first person then you probably won’t like this series. She does spend a lot of the book injured, so sometimes her thoughts aren’t entirely coherent.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for fans of urban fantasy. As a first time reader, I am really looking forward to checking out the rest of this series. Also for fans of cats. Oh Tybalt, I’m absolutely looking forward to your story.

Notable Scene:

“It’s called reckless driving, asshole!” We were on a direct collision course with a taxi. I swerved at the last moment, swearing. The man in the back did the same, more loudly. I didn’t want to hurt anyone but him, and I’d settle for shaking him up enough that he wouldn’t chase me when I ran. “I know I’ll survive if we crash. How about you? Did you remember to buckle up?”

“You’re going to kill us both!”

“That’s the idea!” It was actually fun, in a fatalistic sort of way. I smiled grimly as we wove in and out of traffic, watching the near misses become less miss and more near. There’s nothing like a good high-speed car chase to get the evening started off right, even if there’s technically only one car involved.

“Stoop this car right now, or I’ll—“

“You’ll what?” I turned down another one-way street. We were going with the flow of traffic this time, if you ignored the fact that I was doing ninety when everyone else was doing twenty-five. “Hit me? Honey, if you take the wheel away from your Auntie Toby while we’re going this fast, we’re both going to die—that means you and me, not just me. Settle back and enjoy the ride, unless your employer paid you so well that you’re willing to die.”

The figure in the backseat pulled back, snarling, “Pointy-eared bitch…”

“Actually, I’m a pointy-eared slut. Only purebloods get to be bitches.” I swerved left, and heard him hit the side panel. “Are you still not wearing your seat belt?”

“I’ll kill you!”

“You’ll have to get in line.”

October “Toby” Daye Series:

1. Rosemary and Rue

2. A Local Habitation

3. An Artificial Night

4. Late Eclipses

5. One Salt Sea

6. Ashes of Honor

7. Chimes at Midnight

8. The Winter Long

9. A Red-Rose Chain

10. Once Broken Faith

11. The Brightest Fell (September 2017)

12. Night and Silence (September 2018)

13. The Unkindest Tide (September 2019)


FTC Advisory: DAW/Penguin provided me with a copy of Rosemary and Rue. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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