The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe Winter Long by Seanan McGuire science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe Winter Long by Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire’s OCTOBER DAYE series is one that can be divided into two types of books: ones that develop the larger “metaplot,” and ones that deal with more episodic concerns (though the events of the episodic books tend to have important consequences later in the series).

The Winter Long (2014) is a metaplot book, and it’s a doozy.

Toby is ready to crash after the new Queen’s winter solstice party, when the doorbell rings. It’s Simon Torquill: twin brother of Toby’s liege lord, and the man who turned Toby into a fish way back at the beginning of Rosemary and Rue. And he wants to bury the hatchet. He wasn’t trying to ruin Toby’s life when he transformed her, he claims; he was trying to save her from something worse.

And that something worse might still be out there.

Toby visits several of her contacts to investigate Simon’s claims, learning some disturbing information about her own family that people have kept from her for many years.  October Daye Series

She learns very little, though, about this greater threat, because whoever it is, they’re so powerful that they can compel the silence of some very high-powered fae, even the Luideag, Firstborn daughter of Maeve.

What follows is an emotionally intense story that revisits plot points from the very beginning of the series; we learn that everything was not as it seemed back then.

What Toby finds will put the lives of all of her loved ones in danger, and the reader is put through the wringer along the way.

The Winter Long is one of the best books so far in a very good series. It leaves us with several big questions and looming problems for future books, but ends on a thoroughly satisfying note nonetheless.

Published in 2001. Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score. She was wrong. It’s time to learn the truth.

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.

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  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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