Saturday 19 August 2017

Review: An Artificial Night - Seanan McGuire

Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October "Toby" Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy any mortal alike.

Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children - and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby's closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home and his sister falls into a coma-like state, the situation becomes way too personal. Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael's realm - home of the legendary Wild Hunt - and no road can be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael's inescapable power.

And it doesn't bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye - the harbinger of Toby's own death - has suddenly turned up on her doorstep . . .

October Daye Series:
In Little Stars (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Rosemary and Rue
A Local Habitation
An Artificial Night
Late Eclipses
Through This House (Short story in the Home Improvement: Undead Edition anthology)
One Salt Sea
In Sea-Salt Tears (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Ashes of Honor
Rat-Catcher (Free short story available on the Lightspeed Magazine website)
No Sooner Met (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Chimes at Midnight
Never Shines the Sun (Short story included in the print version of Chimes at Midnight)
Forbid the Sea (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Stage of Fools (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Voice of Lions (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Act of Hares (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Instruments of Darkness (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
With Honest Trifles (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
In Deepest Consequence (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Jealous in Honor (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Quick in Quarrel (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Winter Long
Heaps of Pearl (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Shore to Shore (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Write in Water (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Live in Brass (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Ambitious Ocean (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
And Thrice Again (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
The Fixed Stars (Free short story available on the Baen website)
A Red-Rose Chain
Full of Briars (Short story)
Once Broken Faith
Dreams and Slumbers (Short story included in Once Broken Faith)
The Brightest Fell
These Antique Fables (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Of Things Unknown (Short story included in The Brightest Fell)
Night and Silence
Suffer a Sea-Change (Short story included in Night and Silence)
The Unkindest Tide
Hope is Swift (Short story included in The Unkindest Tide)

Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information

Toby's day doesn't get off to the best start when she discovers her fetch (an omen of her impending death!) on her doorstep. Then when she finds out that two of her best friend's children have been stolen, along with 5 young cait sidhe from Tybalt's court, she decides that if she's destined to die she's damn sure going to make her death count by rescuing the missing kids first. Of course walking into Blind Michael's home and taking back children already claimed by the Wild Hunt isn't going to be an easy challenge, even if she does have some powerful friends willing to offer her assistance, but will Toby achieve her goal? And just how much will it cost her along the way?

This series just keeps on getting better, I enjoyed the first two books but this one was the best by far and I was hooked from beginning to end. Toby is such a great character, she doesn't always make the best decisions and she's still more than a little messed up from previous events, but her heart is in the right place and she always tries to protect the people she cares about. I loved seeing her start to realise how many people actually have her back in this book too, she has tried to keep people at a distance but in spite of that she has a lot of close friends who are willing to fight for her when she needs them the most.

Blind Michael was pretty terrifying as were the members of his Wild Hunt and I love the way Seanan McGuire is bringing in all kinds of different fae myths and legends into this series. We get to explore more of Faerie here and see just how scary it is outside of Sylvester's Summerlands and it's really interesting to see how the fae are so inhuman in a lot of ways but at the same time they do have a set of rules that they must follow. I think the author has done a brilliant job of capturing that fae alien way of thinking that is present in more traditional faerie stories and I love that the series is just that little bit darker than most of the urban fantasy series I've read.

As with most series I love it's the side characters who help sell me on the world, the Luidaeg is a particular favourite and the way you're never quite sure whether she's on Toby's side or how much she will charge for her services but my favourite is still Tybalt. I'm definitely rooting for a Toby/Tybalt romance in the future (please, please, please!) but I'm also desperately curious about the hints Tybalt was dropping in this book. He makes some interesting comments that I think will lead to big revelations in the future and I'm not quite sure what direction that will take the series. May has been an interesting addition too and I'm looking forward to seeing how her relationship with October develops over the next few books.

I'm definitely fully onboard the Toby Daye bandwagon and I'm so excited to continue binge reading the series so watch out for more reviews coming very soon!

Source: Received from DAW Books in exchange for an honest review.

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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