Monday, 8 January 2018
Review: The Brightest Fell - Seanan McGuire
Things are slow, and October “Toby” Daye couldn’t be happier about that. The elf-shot cure has been approved, Arden Windermere is settling into her position as Queen in the Mists, and Toby doesn’t have anything demanding her attention except for wedding planning and spending time with her family.
Maybe she should have realized that it was too good to last.
When Toby’s mother, Amandine, appears on her doorstep with a demand for help, refusing her seems like the right thing to do…until Amandine starts taking hostages, and everything changes. Now Toby doesn’t have a choice about whether or not she does as her mother asks. Not with Jazz and Tybalt’s lives hanging in the balance. But who could possibly help her find a pureblood she’s never met, one who’s been missing for over a hundred years?
Enter Simon Torquill, elf-shot enemy turned awakened, uneasy ally. Together, the two of them must try to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the Mists: what happened to Amandine’s oldest daughter, August, who disappeared in 1906.
This is one missing person case Toby can’t afford to get wrong.
October Daye Series:
In Little Stars (Short story available to purchase through Patreon)
Rosemary and Rue
A Local Habitation
An Artificial Night
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)
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 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
Of Things Unknown (Short story included in The Brightest Fell)
Night and Silence (2018)
When Sorrows Come (2019)
Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information
** Note: it's impossible to review this book without including spoilers for previous stories so please don't read this review unless you're up to date with the series and have read at least as far as Once Broken Faith **
Just when everything seems to be going right in Toby's world something, or in this case someone, has to come along and ruin it. Toby should be focusing on planning her wedding but an unexpected, and not particularly pleasant, visit from Amandine turns her life upside down and leaves her with an impossible task on her hands - track down Amandine's oldest daughter, August, who has only been missing without a trace for about 100 years, or both Tybalt and Jazz will pay the price. Failure isn't an option but Toby is going to have to pull out all the stops, including working alongside her sworn enemies, if she wants to have a chance at succeeding.
Amandine has been pretty much a minor character in the series so far, we know she's a firstborn and we know she's Toby's mother (and a pretty crappy mother at that!) but apart from the occasional brief appearance we've not really seen much of her so I was quite excited at the prospect of getting to know her. Well you know that saying "be careful what you wish for"? That definitely applies here because Amandine is so much worse than I could ever have imagined and I felt so badly for poor Toby for everything that Amandine puts her through. The Luidaeg may be Toby's aunt but she's been more of a mother to her than Amandine ever has or will.
So Toby's family reunion doesn't go well and now she's been set with the impossible challenge of finding her half sister or being responsible for the death of her fiancé. Toby is nothing if she's not determined but I have to admit the lengths she was willing to go to surprised me here, she has to go to the one person I didn't think she'd ever trust for assistance and it makes for really interesting dynamics in this story. It's hard because there are so many things I want to discuss in this review but all of them would be spoilers so I can't talk about them. What I will say is that the stakes are higher than ever, the risks are greater, Toby's life is in danger and things will never be the same again.
The Brightest Fell was everything I could have hoped for and then some, Seanan McGuire somehow manages to ramp up the level with every new book in this series and it has quickly become one of my favourite UF series of all time. I can't recommend these books highly enough and I'm desperately waiting for the next book to release.
Source: Received from DAW Books in exchange for an honest review.
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Hardback / Paperback (preorder):