Title: The Winter Long
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: October “Toby” Daye (Book #8)
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
ISBN-10: 0756408083 (DAW/Penguin)
ISBN-13: 978-0756408084 (DAW/Penguin)
Reviewed by: Roxanne
Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.
She was wrong.
It’s time to learn the truth
Quick & Dirty: Everything has been leading to this, what was started in Rosemary and Rue comes to a head in this book.
Opening Sentence: “The woods were dark, filled with strange shadows.”
Toby is back and six months have passed since the events of Chimes at Midnight. Arden is the Queen in the Mists and Toby is happy to be alive and out of the limelight, mostly. Until her past literally rings her doorbell. When Toby opens the door she immediately invites Sylvester in only to realize moments later that it isn’t Sylvester, but Simon. Simon, the man who turned her into a fish and left her in the pond for fourteen years, tries to apologize to her. He’s bound by the geas and can’t reveal too much information about who employed him and for what gain. When Toby turns to the Sea Witch for help, and ends up having to run she knows things are bad.
Toby knows that Simon is trouble, but she doesn’t realize until it’s too late that his employer is pulling the strings and with her friends lives on the line will Toby be able to figure this out? Will Toby be able to put together all the clues given to her since the beginning and figure out who behind everything? Or will more people die?
When I first read this book, it was like the major ah-ha moment occurred. This was the book that all the others were leading too. It answered so many questions and led to so many more being asked. I can’t even say why without giving away huge spoilers in this book. Suffice to say that it ties back to Rosemary and Rue and in a huge way! Re-reading it was just, I am not sure I have the words. It reminded me of all the questions I had forgotten that were answered after reading this.
Toby has come so far and still has so far to go, but The Winter Long is the first time you begin to realize that there is a long game being played. It makes you reflect on the things that you learn in the past books. You come to a moment where even though long held questions have been answered there are still several mysteries going on in the October Daye world. For instance, in Chimes at Midnight, you learn that King Gilead and his parents were murdered. In One Salt Sea, you learn the tale of the Selkies and Roane, but you don’t learn the whole story. Not all of these are addressed in The Winter Long, I just wanted to give some examples of things that are in previous books that I feel are important in the long run in this series.
So if you haven’t started Rosemary and Rue or you haven’t kept up with the series, I don’t know why you are reading this. Go and read them now!
“You remember me.” I said quietly. “I never forced you to go against your nature, or tried to wrest you away from the owners you’d chosen. And when I couldn’t be the Countess you needed I found you someone who could play the part. I’ve tried to be a friend, when I could and I’ve tried to do no harm when friendship wasn’t possible. Now I’m here because I need a favor. I am begging you. If you have any power over the spells that hold your wards in place, let me in. I need to know what’s going on. I need to, know why the doors are locked. Please.”
October “Toby” Daye Series:
5. One Salt Sea
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 The Winter Long. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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