Monday, 30 September 2019

Review: The Unkindest Tide - Seanan McGuire

Hundreds of years ago, the Selkies made a deal with the sea witch: they would have the sea for as long as she allowed it, and when the time came, she would call in all their debts at once. Many people assumed that day would never come. Those people were wrong.

When the Luidaeg—October "Toby" Daye's oldest and most dangerous ally—tells her the time has come for the Selkies to fulfill their side of the bargain, and that Toby must be a part of the process, Toby can't refuse. Literally. The Selkies aren't the only ones in debt to the Luidaeg, and Toby has to pay what she owes like anyone else. They will travel to the fabled Duchy of Ships and call a convocation of the Selkies, telling them to come and meet the Luidaeg's price...or face the consequences.

Of course, nothing is that simple. When Dianda Lorden's brother appears to arrest Dianda for treason against the Undersea, when a Selkie woman is stripped of her skin and then murdered, when everything is falling apart, that's when Toby will have to answer the real question of the hour.

Is she going to sink? Or is she going to swim?

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

Review:
Toby has been accumulating debts with The Luidaeg for almost as long as we've known her and now the time has come for her to pay up. The selkies have also been living on borrowed time since their ancestors massacred The Luidaeg's children to steal their skins, she allowed them to keep the skins but it was always a temporary thing and now everyone's debts are being called in and Toby will be forced to help the Luidaeg deal with her selkie problem.

When Toby, Tybalt, Quentin, Dean and Gillian travel with The Luidaeg to the Duchey of Ships for a final confrontation with the selkies their lives get complicated very quickly. This story has everything I want from this series and more, we get to visit a floating city to spend time with pirates, there are murders and treasonous plots, we get to meet another First and we finally find out The Luidaeg's plans for the selkies. This book has been a long time coming and since The Luidaeg is one of my favourite characters in the series I loved how much time we got to spend with her here.

I have a kind of love / hate thing going on with the selkies, on one hand they aren't the ones who murdered The Luidaeg's children and we can't hold people responsible for something a family member did generations ago, but at the same time The Luidaeg has been suffering the loss of her children for hundreds of years and every single selkie who wears a skin does so having chosen to continue her pain so that they could live for longer so they're not exactly innocent either. While The Luidaeg hates the selkies for everything they stand for she has also spend centuries watching over their families and it's obvious that there is some kind of attachment there too. I'm not going to give you any clues about the price they have to pay but I felt it was all quite fitting in the end and I was happy with the way it worked out.

Thirteen books in and this is still one of my favourite series, I absolutely love Toby and her motley crew of misfits and I can't wait to see what adventures they go on in the next instalment.

Source: Received via Netgalley 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.

Hardback:

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