I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.
Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, CA—to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can't find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.
I stayed up far too late on a work night to finish this book—not because it was tremendously tension-producing, but because I just love the world that McGuire has created for Toby to inhabit. Once I start one of these books, I just can’t seem to convince myself to set it down.
Despite that, I realize that the plot had shortcomings. Toby is often too oblivious for words and she is really not much as a private detective. And yet somehow, I love her anyway and I’m happy just to follow along as she messes up reasonably straight-forward investigations. I’m so glad that she is no longer isolating herself (as she did in the first book) and that the reader gets to enjoy her interactions with numerous fae and changeling persons.
Some the allure, I’m convinced, is all the Shakespearean references. I’m sure that’s the reason that this series’ titles entrance me. And I’m swiftly coming to the conclusion that I need to brush up on the world of the Fae and read some Grimm’s fairy tales before I go much further in the series.