Rosemary and Rue by

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The phone was ringing. Again.
–Seanan McGuire - Rosemary and rue - c.2009

An October Daye novel #1

Reread in May 2014, also for this year’s Once Upon a Time Challenge. And it was just as enjoyable the second time round. Toby has a wonderful voice and character.

Read for the Once Upon a Time VI challenge

In 1995 October Daye made a mistake. Trailing a “bad guy” she was found out. She spent the next fourteen years as a fish. That is one way to ruin your relationship with your child, never mind your significant other, and it left a bad taste in her mouth. Less than a year after escaping from that curse and Toby isn’t doing too well. She is scraping by, working the night shift manning the cash desk at a supermarket. And busily avoiding any and all trace of faerie. But the fae world isn’t ignoring her, and when she gets a message from an old friend in trouble she em has to respond. There is no other option.

Rosemary and rue - Seanan McGuire
Rosemary and rue - Seanan McGuire
Ever since I read Feed and Deadline I’ve wanted to read more by the author. And Mira Grant is a pseudonym of Seanan McGuire so I bought a couple of books in this, the October Daye, series. But, as with so many new books, they ended up sitting on the shelf for a few month as my attention was with other books. But when Carl announced the start of this year’s Once Upon a Time challenge I hoped that these would be perfect for it.

And they are, or at least, Rosemary and Rue was perfect for it, as I am just about to start the second in the series A local habitation.

October, or more commonly, Toby Daye is such a great hero. She is flawed and weak and fighting to survive. She makes mistakes, she gets other people wrong, and she doesn’t always save the day. Maybe that doesn’t sound very hero-esque, but she is a hero because she keeps trying. She knows what the right thing is and she’ll do her best to make sure it happens. Sure, sometimes she gets it wrong, who doesn’t make a mistake? But that makes her all the more a hero. When it is easy to be a hero, well, then playing the role of hero is the easy thing to do, but actually being a hero… well, that means it has to be hard. And Toby certainly has it hard.

I also really liked the world that McGuire has built here. Urban fantasy as it should be. The fae may have magic and power, but they also have to stay hidden in the human world. For the purebloods this is relatively easy. But for changelings like Toby, whose power and enchantments are stripped by the dawn it is harder. Life for a changeling may be full of magic, but it is also a life that is more full of weeping.

And also while there was sex (no porn, this isn’t a Laurel K Hamilton book) this is one of those rare books, it has a female protagonist who doesn’t spend half, or even quarter, of her time sighing over some fella. Romance and all that certainly has its place, but that place shouldn’t be everywhere you read.

So yay! a new series of books for me to get stuck into, and I’d recommend that you do to, especially if you like well written fantasy crossed with some detective work. It isn’t quite the same style as the Eddie LaCrosse books, but I would guess that if you read and enjoyed those then these might be right up your alley too.

Buy or borrow
Other reviews: The discriminating fangirl ; An abundance of books ; SciFiGuy : Worlds Without End entry

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Post Author: Fence

7 thoughts on “Rosemary and Rue

    Lynn

    (5 April 2012 - 9:47 pm)

    This really sounds like the sort of series I would enjoy. Thanks for that!

    Lynn :D
    Lynn´s last blog post ..The Taker by Alma Katsu

      Fence

      (8 April 2012 - 7:53 pm)

      If you pick it up I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    […] is easily as good as the first, if not better, as I said after reading Rosemary and rue, Toby is just a great […]

    Buried In Print

    (12 April 2012 - 4:42 pm)

    I think the fact that you say the romance isn't a major plotline; I wish more stories — for younger readers — allowed for that to be the case. I haven't read much urban fantasy, but the characters in this one do certainly sound appealing!
    Buried In Print´s last blog post ..Sticky Authors? About Me and Edith

      Fence

      (14 April 2012 - 7:24 pm)

      Urban fantasy has gotten a bad reputation I think, because of books like the Anita Blake ones (which I personally dislike), but done well they can really work. De Lint, although a very different style to these, does good urban fantasy too.

    Priya

    (11 May 2014 - 7:46 pm)

    This is interesting. The only fantasy + detective work I remember having read is a book by Simon R. Green, but that was a long time ago. Anyway, that sounds like a heroine I'd want to read about. Thanks for the review!
    My recent post The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

    One Salt Sea | Susan Hated Literature

    (31 July 2014 - 6:58 pm)

    […] has come along way since we met her back in Rosemary and Rue. Back then she was keeping her head down, avoiding her past, not thinking about her future. She […]

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