Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Review: Late Eclipses - Seanan McGuire

Two years ago, October "Toby" Daye believed she could leave the world of Faerie behind. She was wrong. Now she finds herself in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, sharing an apartment with her Fetch, and maintaining an odd truce with Tybalt, the local King of Cats. It's a delicate balance - one that's 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. But if Oleander's back, what's her game? Where is she hiding? And what part does Toby's mother, Amandine, have to play?

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher. For the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda, and there are more players in this game than Toby can guess. With everything on the line, she 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 . . .

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)
The Winter Long
Heaps of Pearl (Free short story available on Seanan's website)
Shore to Shore (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 the print version of Once Broken Faith)
The Brightest Fell
Night and Silence (2018)
When Sorrows Come (2019)

Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information

Review:
Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, is supposed to be immortal so when she falls gravely ill Toby knows something strange is going on. Toby is determined to figure it out and save her friend but as more of her friends and allies start to suffer their own mysterious illnesses it quickly becomes clear that someone is trying to set her up. She's never been one to give up easily but knowing the people she cares about are in danger just makes Toby take even greater risks in the hope of saving them. Even though her enemies are circling like sharks waiting for the chance to do the most damage Toby is lucky enough to have friends who believe in her and they might be her only chance of surviving this latest battle.

I know I keep saying it but this series really is getting better and better with every book. So much has changed for Toby since the first book but Late Eclipses ramps things up to a whole new level and she's going to be dealing with the fallout for the foreseeable future. There are some fascinating revelations about Toby's past in this instalment as she starts to figure out some of the things her mother has been keeping secret but those revelations are almost minor compared to everything else that is going on. Toby has collected a group of really loyal friends but she's also gained some formidable enemies and they're all looking to take advantage of her when she's at her weakest.

As much as I love Toby Tybalt still remains my favourite side character, I have been rooting for those two from the beginning and I'm shipping them harder than ever now. May's character has also been a breath of fresh air, she may have started out just Toby's fetch, sharing all of her memories but she's now become a person in her own right and she brings a bit of lightness to the story with her sunny personality. Quentin is really proving himself as Toby's right hand man and it's been great to see him gain confidence since they first met. The one character I'm not too sure about is Connor, I don't dislike him but I don't like the way he's so keen to rekindle his past romance with Toby. I really don't want to see the potential triangle with them and Tybalt drag out for too long so I hope Toby makes a decision soon.

As amazing as this book was it isn't all sunshine and roses, I've mentioned in previous reviews that this series is darker than a lot of UF series I read and things get rather tense several times in this instalment. Toby is walking on a knife edge and it wouldn't feel so real if people didn't get hurt along the way. There were moments in Late Eclipses that actually brought me to tears but even when I was on the edge of my seat I was totally sucked into this world and waiting for Toby to find a solution. This series is going from strength to strength and I can't wait to dive into the next book!

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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