Sunday, 5 November 2017

Review: A Red-Rose Chain - Seanan McGuire

Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

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:
When the Kingdom of Silences declares war on the Mists by using elfshot against Queen Windermere's seneschal Toby finds herself in a position she's not used to and definitely hasn't been trained for - that of a diplomat! Arden sends Toby to Silences to try and talk them out of starting the war but Toby has never really been the best at holding her tongue and when her allies come under attack there is nothing that will stop her from doing whatever it takes to protect them.

I think I've probably lost all ability to be rational about this series, I just can't get enough of these characters and I love spending time in this world. Toby is probably the least likely person to be called diplomatic so I thought it was absolutely hilarious to see her sent into such a difficult position, especially when we find out who her true enemy is in this case. She has her usually allies with her - Tybalt, Quentin, May and even Walther this time - but she's also out of her comfort zone, in completely unfamiliar territory and enemy number one in the eyes of the King of Silences. Even though she should have diplomatic immunity we all know that the bad guys never play by the rules and the bad guys here are evil to the extreme. I was so angry about some of the things going on in Silences but that definitely shows how invested I am in this series.

I don't want to say too much about Silences but I really enjoyed getting the chance to visit another court and see how different things were there, we meet some really interesting characters too and get a chance to find out a lot more about Walther's background too (I love his character by the way!). We even get to visit another King of Cats and there were several characters introduced in this book that I'm hoping we'll see more of later down the line. Toby's growing in strength and her relationship with Tybalt is rock solid. No matter how much he worries about her I love that he doesn't try to stop her doing what needs to be done and that he's always a reassuring presence at her back. Quentin and May were fabulous as always and although we don't see the Luidaeg face to face there are a couple of phone calls that are full of her usual sarcastic wit.

This is definitely one of my favourite urban fantasy series and it's one I think everyone should read!

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.

Paperback / Kindle:

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