Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Review: Heaps of Pearl - Seanan McGuire

Baron Patrick Twycross was an unlanded, comfortably unambitious man. He knew that one day he might inherit his family's estate, but as that day was hundreds of years and most of a continent away, he was content to spend his time fiddling in his workshop and trying to keep his friend Simon from doing something foolish enough to get himself killed. He was happy; he had no aspirations. So how did he wind up married to a mermaid?

When King Gilad holds a ball in honor of the abdicating Duke of Saltmist and his daughter, the Duchess-in-waiting, there's no real way for the nobles of the Mists to avoid attending. All Patrick is hoping to do is survive the night without utterly embarrassing either himself or Simon, or attracting the wrath of Simon's wife. Alas for him, things are going to get a lot more interesting than he's counting on...

Heaps of Pearl is best read after The Winter Long. It is a historical story, but contains character relationship spoilers through book eight.

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:
I love the way Seanan McGuire fills in the backstory of some of her side characters through her collection of short stories. Heaps of Pearl can be downloaded for free from her website here and although it's technically a series prequel because these events occur long before Rosemary and Rue you'll give yourself MAJOR spoilers for certain relationships if you read it before book 8 so please don't read this until after The Winter Long.

If you're a fan of Patrick and Dianda then you're going to love this, let's face it it's not every day a very land based Daoine Sidhe ends up married to a mermaid (or a Merrow if you want to get technical) so I always wondered how they met and fell in love. This is the story of their very first meeting and it was totally adorable and a perfect example of a meet-cute! I love how socially awkward they both are and the way they'd much rather spend a party hiding together in the kitchens than socialising with the rest of the court. It's definitely the start of a beautiful friendship and I'm glad we get the chance to see the next step in their relationship in Shore to Shore.

What I found most surprising though was getting the chance to see Simon back in the days when he was happily married and was actually a nice guy. It made me sad to realise how far he's fallen because nothing about the guy we know now makes you think he could be such a good friend to Patrick. He's not the only familiar face though either so you'll have fun seeing several characters in a different light.

Source: Purchased

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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