Two years ago, October “Toby” Daye believed she could leave the world of Faerie behind. She was wrong. Now she finds herself in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, sharing an apartment with her Fetch, and maintaining an odd truce with Tybalt, the local King of Cats. It’s a delicate balance - one that’s shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended.
Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile. But if Oleander’s back, what’s her game? Where is she hiding? And what part does Toby’s mother, Amandine, have to play?
Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher. For the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda, and there are more players in this game than Toby can guess. With everything on the line, she will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most - because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again.
©2011 Seanan McGuire (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“McGuire hits her stride with this fast-paced, sharply plotted, tense urban fantasy (Artificial Night)....” (Publishers Weekly)
The story is an enjoyable example of the recent fad in urban fantasy. Although in the first book I had a hard time getting used to the voice actor, I feel that she had gotten more comfortable with the characters and their voices in each book.
My only complaint about the story would have to be that everyone in Fairy seems so immature. Blaming Toby because she was there instead of the person who actually manipulated the events or the person who pulled the trigger so to speak.
This is going to be really short because I'm still reeling in awe of how good this book was. Without getting spoilery, we learn a LOT about Toby and her Mom, there is the requisite, but always satisfying Hero's quest, we get to a crossroads in the romance department and finally we get Seanan McGuire's elegant prose.
If you've never read UF (Urban Fantasy), this series is a perfect introduction--it doesn't get better.
I love to read and I read for fun. Escape and imagination are great reasons to love a book.
I read a short story by this author in Home Repair: Undead Edition. Ordered the first book in the series and got truly hooked. Found myself staying up too late just so I could hear the next chapter. The whole set is great.
several of the plot threads established early in the series ate picked up in earnest in this volume as our lead becomes steeped in courtly intrigue on to of yet another clever whodunit.
I was not expecting the level of felt emotions that were found in this Phenomenally Thrilling Book! Seanan McGuire hit ALL the Buttons with this one. October's story grows more and more tangled and entwined with each book, adding more and more levels of character to our Heroine! This is one thrill ride I just can't climb off of!
likeable charactars, good dialoug and the narrator does a good range of female and male voices with many different accents. I am looking into the rest of the series.
I do love the Caithe Shea, Cat King.
"Not your Typical Fairy Tale"
I keep coming back to these books because frankly I love modern fantasy, and I really dig Seanan McGuire's work. But to be honest, I'm really, really not a fan of the narrator who's been tasked to narrate this series. I keep coming back despite it, and I -will- keep coming back despite it, but her performances are so painful to listen to, it seems like she doesn't really get going until the book's almost over. (At which point you've either gritted your teeth through or missed most of the first 3/4, due to losing track or disinterest..)
And unfortunately MRK was particularly rough in this book, teetering back & forth between underacting & overacting, far too many bad (and frequently inconsistent) accents, bouts of choppy reading, mispronunciations (of everything but the Gaelic words herein, which baffles me), and generally poor character interpretation. (Her women being particularly grating to me, as they often come across as nasal, whiny or sound so air-headed I doubt they could survive Ms. McGuire's complex yet dangerous fae world.) To be fair, some of her depictions I do like have been her Duke and Duchess. (I just wish the Duke's accent had remained consistent in this volume, and that we heard more of the Duchess.) On the other hand, while I enjoyed her characterization of "Danny" in previous volumes, her rendition of that lovable character this time was so overdone and rock-mouthed I couldn't stand to hear him talk. (While often having serious problems w/understanding what he was saying...)
In short, I have no problem w/Ms. McGuire's writing. For me, the issue is entirely w/the narrator, and I just deeply wish she/the publisher would have chosen (and might still choose) someone else to take up the gauntlet of narrating this magical series. (Katherine Kellgren, perhaps..?) As a life-long listener of audio books (I'm visually impaired, and so have been listening to Talking Books from an early age) I've learned that some of the best books can be made absolutely ruined by bad narrators, while a good narrator can take even a blah book and make it positively epic. (That is, to the ear of the "reader.")
But.. that's the magic (and the danger) of audiobooks.
And that's just my 6 cents. :)
breath taking adventure
There are so many things to love about this story, the depth of intrigue and adventure, the complex cast of characters, the range of emotion....it is just a great tale.
I have only ever listened to Mary Robinette Kowal's performances on other October Daye novels. Her voices are consistent among the books. She does an especially good job of portraying emotion and creating distinctive character voices.
I definitely had trouble pressing pause when listening to this book. Between the story and the narration I did not want it to end.
This is a new favorite series of mine, thus far enjoyed primarily via audiobook.
Insanely Epically Awesome.
This series give me the same delight that I get from the Harry Dresden Series. Well written, well scripted, funny, smart with just the perfect amount of drama, action and adventure.
I'm a huge fan of the Tybalt.
You can live your life in "should" and never change anything.
I can't get enough of this series!
Aaaaaaaand, now the overall story starts to come together. We learn what's up with the Queen ... Oh, those quirky, wacky Faerie Queens.
Oh Yeah. It's that kind of book. The kind that proves it can ALWAYS get worse.
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