Wednesday 30 August 2017

Review: One Salt Sea - Seanan McGuire

October "Toby" Daye is finally doing all right. She's settling into her new role as the Countess of Goldengreen; she's actually dating again; she's even agreed to take on Quentin as her official squire. Live is looking up all around - and that inevitably means it's time for things to take a turn for the worse.

Someone has kidnapped the sons of Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She'll need all her tricks and the help of all her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days' time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her - and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws . . .

As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.

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

Just when Toby finally feels like she has her life pretty figured out someone kidnaps the sons of Duchess Lorden from Saltmist, an undersea duchy that happens to be the court of Mists closest neighbour. Duchess Lorden believes that the queen of mists is behind the kidnapping and she has promised all out war between the land and sea if her sons are not returned to her safely. Toby doesn't just need to find the boys, she also needs to prove her queen's innocence or they will all be forced into a war that they stand absolutely no chance of winning.

I am so totally addicted to this series now and in One Salt Sea the stakes are higher than ever. Poor Toby just never gets a break and she faces some incredibly difficult decisions in this instalment. It was actually quite heartbreaking to see what she goes through and the choices she makes just go to prove how strong she is as a woman and how much she cares about others to put their needs above her own desires. One of the things I loved most about this book was getting the chance to visit Saltmist, I really hope we'll see more of the undersea duchy in the future because there were so many interesting different fae creatures down there. It was like visiting a whole new world and I'm sure there is plenty more to explore, especially now we're starting to learn more about the Luidaeg's history and her connection to the selkies.

Another thing I love about this series is the characters, it isn't just Toby that I've come to love but also all of her friends and the family she has made for herself. The bond between her and Sylvester, the brotherly affection she has for Quentin and now Raj (those two are becoming quite the double act!), the way she has accepted May like a sister and especially the chemistry she has with Tybalt and the way he always has her back. I hate to say it but I was a bit disappointed with the budding romance between Toby and Connor, I don't dislike him as a character but he's a bit of a bumbling idiot most of the time and they have absolutely zero chemistry compared to her and Tybalt. Let's face it though, Toby has terrible taste in men so I'm hoping she's just working through a few frogs before she captures the king of cats. There is just so much to love about this world and all of the different characters that it's hard to choose favourites.

There was one particular moment towards the end that I think should have had a bigger impact on me than it actually did but I think that was partly because I didn't love the character involved and partly because it got lost amidst another event that really did upset me. It was hard to see how much certain things hurt Toby though, she's been through so much that you can't help root for her to finally find some happiness. Other than that I really enjoyed this story though, the mystery was great and even though they have a pretty good idea who kidnapped the missing children fairly early on there's a big difference between knowing something and being able to prove it, or mount a rescue mission for that matter. Toby once again has to pay a high price for saving the world but I'm holding out hope that she'll receive her deserved rewards eventually.

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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