Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire
Once Broken Faith (2016) begins with a hilarious scene in which Toby & co. host a slumber party for a horde of fae teenagers, during which the kids devour unholy amounts of junk food and discover the joys of Disney movies. The festivities are then interrupted by Queen Arden Windermere, who wants Toby as a witness as she uses Walther’s elf-shot cure to wake Madden and Nolan. The High King decreed that no further use of the cure should take place until after a conclave of fae royalty can meet and discuss it, so Arden is exploiting a loophole. Madden wakes, but before Nolan can be roused, the High King shows up early.
The conclave will bring together all of the royal courts of the western United States, and Toby is also chosen to attend. Seanan McGuire introduces us to an inventive panoply of faerie kingdoms and their very different rulers and customs. Some of the rulers are in favor of making the elf-shot cure available for general use, while others want it suppressed, for a variety of reasons. The meeting becomes heated — and heats up even further when one of the monarchs is murdered. And naturally, since Toby has been overthrowing kings and queens right and left lately, some of the suspicion falls on her.
Once Broken Faith is a return to the mystery roots of the OCTOBER DAYE series, as Toby tries to solve this royal murder while keeping her loved ones safe. It’s a solid entry in the series, featuring lots of derring-do and intrigue. Toby gives a fantastic speech about the hypocrisies of Faerie, everybody almost gets killed a few times, and more information comes out about Toby’s powers and her assorted brushes with death.
The book also includes the enjoyable novella “Dreams and Slumbers,” told from the perspective of Arden Windermere as she finally wakes Nolan from elf-shot. Something goes wrong, though, and now Arden must make a hard bargain to save him. We get to know her better, and learn more about some other fun secondary characters. We also get to see Toby through others’ eyes, as the force of chaos she sometimes is (the phrase “the ‘October Daye Occasionally Ruins My Life Club’” is used).
October Daye — (2009- ) Publisher: The world of Faerie never disappeared: it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie’s survival — but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, these second-class children of Faerie spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Or, in the case of October “Toby” Daye, rejecting it completely. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating into a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, Faerie has other ideas.The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose, one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby is forced to resume her old position as knight errant to the Duke of Shadowed Hills and begin renewing old alliances that may prove her only hope of solving the mystery… before the curse catches up with her.