I just found a wonderful new series. Seanan McGuire takes you into the world of half-faerie/half-human PI October ‘Toby’ Daye. When I first came across the book, I was a little leery about the oddly named title character. After reading the book and understanding that she isn’t human and wasn’t raised as a human, it makes more sense. The books all take place in modern San Francisco and around the central character of Toby Daye.
Toby is a changeling (part Fae, part human) and doesn’t really belong to either world. Changelings are generally treated as second class citizens among the Fae and all Fae hide themselves from humans in this series. Toby is a Knight of a local Fae duchy, of which there are many. There are also many different kinds of Fae.
The first book, Rosemary and Rue, starts out intriguingly enough with PI Daye trailing a couple of people suspected of kidnapping the wife and daughter of her liege, Duke Sylvester of Shadowed Hills. Only she isn’t as careful or as concealed as she think because they turn her into a fish. Yes, a fish. For fourteen years. The book is a little vague as to how she becomes un-fished but apparently the spell just ends after fourteen years.
Toby, of course, finds it very hard to reintegrate into modern society. Technology is much farther along than she remembered. Her lover and daughter thought she had run out on them and want nothing to do with them. Having failed at her initial task fourteen years ago, she wants to distance herself from her court out of a feeling of shame, even though the wife and daughter were returned. All she wants to do is get a steady job and hide from the world.
Life with the Fae is never, ever simple and she’s called back in to the world, literally. She receives a phone message from an old friend/enemy, a pure blood faerie by the name of Evening Winterrose. Evening gets murdered but before she goes, she places a curse on Toby. The only way to lift the curse is to find Evening’s killers.
With the threat of death over her head, she has no choice but to get back into the investigation game and back into court life. I won’t go into too much detail, but with the fact that there’s a fourth book on the way (can’t wait!), you can safely assume that Toby survives.
The characters are well written and the story was compelling enough that I zipped right through the second and third books (Local Habitation and An Artificial Night). McGuire brings the world to life. Magic, though present, isn’t the be all end all answer in the novels. Toby Daye has definite limits to her abilities. If she uses too much magic, she gets magic burn (a nasty migraine). She almost dies in all three of the books and only survives through the help of friends.
I highly recommend these books. They are amazingly well written and entertaining. McGuire does a wonderful job in bringing the Fae world to life. I rate all three books as solid A reads and I cannot wait for the next one to come out. I received a number of books for Christmas and I haven’t read any except Rosemary and Rue because I’ve been too obsessed with these novels.