October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...
The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: October Daye
1. Rosemary and Rue
2. A Local Habitation (book review)
3. An Artificial Night (book review)
First thing's first: I had most of this review typed up last week, but then guess what happened? Blogger ate it up. I was not pleased.
Seanan contacted me a month ago (give or take) to review Rosemary and Rue. Surprisingly, it took me about a month to finish this book, but not for the reasons you'd think.
I love to--when I'm not compulsively reading like a junkie--take my time when reading a novel I enjoy. Think of it as savoring your favorite dessert. If you devour it in under a minute, chances are, all the unique tastes and textures will be lost to you because you were being a glutton. Yet if you spend maybe five minutes eating that very same dessert, thankful for every single bite, it's an entirely different experience altogether. The same applies to Rosemary and Rue, albeit, instead of finishing it in a day, I spent about a month.
So, for the entire time I took summer classes--when I wasn't reading poems at the last minute--I spent my train rides experiencing Toby's world again and again. It was something I anticipated with the utmost excitement. I wanted to figure out who the murderer was. I wanted to figure out if Toby would reacquaint herself with the world of the Fae.
Unfortunately, I finished the novel a day or two after I completed my summer class. Strange that I would be sad about a book ending, isn't it? With Urban Fantasy, the world building is one of the most exciting aspects of the story, and with Rosemary and Rue, this definitely rings true. But even more than that, Toby and the fae she interacts with intrigued me just as much as the world they lived in.
So we've got a story packed with great, 3D characters and the world sounds as if it could actually be real and happening right under our noses (do you have something to admit to your beloved readers, Seanan...?), not to mention a real mystery to solve. Who was the mastermind? Why did they do what they did? And, more importantly, how did they do it?!
I was pleased because I kept guessing. I honestly, for the life of me, could not figure out the ending to this book early on. It wasn't until the very end, when tiny hints were given, that everything suddenly began to click in my mind. So much like the delightful Toby, I was riding this story on the edge of my seat, curious.
I've admitted in the past that I love a good paranormal romance. It has only been recently that I also love a good Urban Fantasy that doesn't really... have any romance in it. For the most part, Rosemary and Rue has no romance. But then Seanan teases readers with men from Toby's past, making us--or at least me--wonder if Toby will eventually reintegrate herself back into society and fall in love again. I think I'm going to have to continue with the series to find out.
By the end of R&R, I had one pressing question: what the heck is going on with Tybalt!? For those of you who don't know, he's pretty much the king of the cats. Not going to go into too much more, so you'll just had to read the book to learn more about that awesome character. But seriously. That one moment, with the blood and the sentence that Toby hears? I kind of squealed, agitated that I couldn't learn more.
The only thing I didn't really enjoy so much? The prologue. I actually thought, when I first began reading, that I wasn't going to enjoy this story much. What happens to Toby in the start did not... well, it didn't make me very fond of the book. But you know what? Much like Toby learns to live with what happened, I did too.
And, because I'll always mention it when I feel the need to do so, the cover gets super special bonus points for me. Who doesn't love a cool looking cover? The entire series so far looks amazing--but in particular, I'm enjoying An Artificial Night's look.
So I think it's safe to say that Rosemary and Rue is a book I highly suggest you check out, especially if you're interested in giving the urban fantasy genre a shot. As for me? I want to read A Local Habitation as soon as I possibly can.