Things are looking up.
For the first time in what feels like years, October "Toby" Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life - and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.
Or not. When Queen Windermere's seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.
How far will Toby go when lives are on the line and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what's past is never really gone.
It's just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
A Red-Rose Chain is the ninth installment in Seanan McGuire's urban fantasy October "Toby" Daye series.
©2015 Seanan McGuire (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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.
love this series I hope this is not the end of it I want to find out what changes where made to her anatomy and hear the next adventure
I absolutely LOVE this series (read/listened to all the books). The world building is superior, different factions of Fae courts and the accompanying magic is explained and is shown as otherworldly, yet plausible - within each context. Toby, Tybalt, May, Quinn et al are vividly drawn characters, each with a unique personality, abilities and, as always a great sense of humor. Each has grown with every book, bringing another layer to propel the story-line. The genuine affection the core characters feel for each other really shines through, making you care to see them persevere in their quests. This series shows no signs of running out of steam or repeating itself. The Fae are so long lived and have such a rich and violent history that I can see the series continue for a long time (I hope).
Mary Robinette Kowal is an excellent narrator; impeccable timing, varied vocal range - male, female and "other". She also infuses just the right amount of snark to Toby, teenage petulance and naivete to Quinn, old world weariness, sarcasm and "poetry" to Tybalt, new found freedom and empowerment to May, anguish to Walther... Anyway, you get the point - she is just a perfect choice to voice this series.
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.
I love this series. It's a bit like Stephanie Plum meets Harry Potter. It's not a children's book at all, but keeps a sense of fun and is often quite light hearted, often quite dark. But it's not for the squeamish. My only complaint is that Seanan McGuire has gone a bit over the top, towards the end of the series, with Toby bleeding and questioning the limits of her stamina. We get that she can take it!
But all in all, I have loved every one of these books. Fun characters, lots of magic, great humor. Can't wait for the next one!
I read the book when it published but saved the audio for a long plane flight London to Sydney seemed to be shorter than normal because I was so engrossed in the story
I very much like the October Daye series and I have enjoyed the previous eight volumes (both print and audio). Because of that history, I stuck with this episode in the life of Toby. I liked the story but, for some reason this book had Ms Robinette Kowal having Toby sounding like a 14 year old snarky Valley Girl/Clueless style privileged girl who is convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that she is the most hilarious person you will ever meet. Toby has been through a lot, including being a street rat, having a child, and having been on journeys that would age the Luidaeg! Even IF seven years in the Koi pond had stunted her development, I think she would sound more mature than a 7th grader. Looking closely I think this is in part due to how it was written, and possibly the direction of the production (as the narrator hasn't sounded THIS level before) and probably where I am in my life (my quirks and foibles). The (continuing) saga of Toby and Co. is well worth the listen and if you find the tones as distracting as I do, then I recommend you got to print!
I really liked this series, all the characters were believable. Each story line interesting and the book was long (you gotta love a series full of long books!
Loved it, had twists I never expected, not so many you'd get lost or some rabbit hole. Just right amount of spice to the dish.
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