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, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.
Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can't find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she'd have to face again...
Best book so far in the October Daye series. Toby doesn’t get so physically beat up in this go-round, plus she actually has a coterie of friends, including women friends, who have her back. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are headed into Bechdel test territory, with other significant female characters who talk to Toby about significant subjects. This makes my heart happy.
I also got my wish, namely to learn more about Toby’s mother Amandine. Not everything, mind you, McGuire is portioning it out slowly, but I can appreciate that. As long as I’m getting some new intel with each book.
Relationship-wise, Toby is being set up into a bit of a love triangle, not my most favourite thing. Tybalt is winning me over, but Toby is still ambivalent about him. Connor seems to be her front-runner, and McGuire has set him up to be more eligible in this installment. This trope from the paranormal romance genre is one that I could live without, but I seem to be in the minority on that.
Still loving this Fae world and all the beings that inhabit it. Can’t wait to have time to move on to the next book. I’d schedule myself an urban fantasy marathon if I wasn’t scared that it would get hum-drum that way. I suspect is better to save these fluffy books for filler between more serious stuff.