The October Daye series was one of a number of recommendations netted back along when I came to the Cannonball group begging for urban fantasy recommendations. And while I haven’t fallen quite so in love with this one as the Kate Daniels series, it’s early days yet – with all of the urban fantasy I’ve read, it always takes at least a book or two for the series to get into its stride and Rosemary and Rue is a good starter for ten, introducing us to the world in which our heroine moves and the beings that people it.
Unlike Kate’s world, where the existence of magic is impossible for anyone to deny, in Toby’s world it’s still hidden, albeit in plain sight. Half human and half fae, Toby has been trying to escape the fae world for some time, shacking up with a human husband (and their ensuing child) until she’s transformed into a fish. 14 years later, with the powerful transformational magic now worn off, Toby is hiding from all of her former lives. No longer wanted by the husband and child that she was ripped from, and unable to face the fae world, Toby has been leading a very bare existence, working the nightshift and hiding from the dawn, while being harassed by an alleycat who also happens to be King of the Cait Sidhe. Until she hears an answerphone message from an old and powerful friend, cursing Toby to find her killers or die herself, and is drawn back into the world she’s long been trying to avoid.
Rosemary and Rue is heavy on the fae lore, and I loved just how far and wide McGuire’s world ranged, peopled with creatures from as many fae races as you could imagine and working under its own peculiar logic. The actual mystery being solved by Toby wasn’t quite as satisfying, with the perpetrator having rung alarm bells for me from the moment they appeared in the story, and so I didn’t enjoy the surprise twist as much as I may have otherwise.
But that’s a minor niggle in a book that I otherwise enjoyed, and I’ll definitely be back to find out what else is up with Toby Daye.