Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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The world of Faerie never disappeared: it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie’s survival―but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, these second-class children of Faerie spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Or, in the case of October “Toby” Daye, rejecting it completely. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating into a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, Faerie has other ideas.
The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose, one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby is forced to resume her old position as knight errant to the Duke of Shadowed Hills and begin renewing old alliances that may prove her only hope of solving the mystery…before the curse catches up with her.
“[O]ne of the most successful blends of mystery and fantasy I’ve ever read―like Raymond Chandler by way of Pamela Dean. Toby Daye has become one of my favorite heroines, and I can’t wait to read more of her continuing adventures.” ―T. A. Pratt, author of Dead Reign
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 16 minutes|
|Narrator||Mary Robinette Kowal|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 08, 2010|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #10,036 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#133 in Contemporary Fantasy
#155 in Urban Fantasy
#252 in Paranormal Fantasy
Top reviews from the United States
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Do not waste your time on this, stick to proven authors like Ilona Andrews, K. F. Breenie, Shannon Mayer, Rachel Aaron, T. A. White, Lindsay Buroker. These ladies always deliver and never disappoint.
One thing I notice upon re-reading after several books in is that there are a lot of little things that happen which didn't seem terribly important at the time that are actually very relevant later on. While Toby is familiar with both the mundane and fantastical elements of her world, she's pretty low on the totem-pole at this point in the narrative, so there's much she doesn't understand. When I'm re-reading I'm shouting at the book, "No! Don't you realize that...oh yeah, you don't know that yet!" LOL It shows that Ms. McGuire has actually had a fair amount of the overall trajectory of the series mapped out from the get-go.
Another major set of elements in this book and the entire series that are handled well are the relationships. On the negative side, you have everything from relatively decent people acting according to bad information to survivors of trauma and abuse who are dealing with things poorly to outright narcissistic psychopaths...and it's not always clear who's who. On the positive side there are stable and unstable romantic and platonic relationships that are built on friendship and trust.
On its own, Rosemary and Rue is an OK, run-of-the-mill urban fantasy book.
The series gains momentum after a couple more books and the more of them I read, the more stories I want.
Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors. I make no secret of that. She's prolific, she's friendly, and her books are kickass. I love the October Daye series, but I've only read it once all the way through. I've been meaning to get around to a reread for a while, so what more perfect way to do that than with the 10th Anniversary edition of book one? Right?!
The main story is the same as the original publication. It's not the best in the series, but it does set up one of the most interesting Urban Fantasy worlds out there, and lays the groundwork for some really cool storylines and some great characters. Definitely worth a read - this series really comes into its own in book three, one of my favorite books, not only in the series but in general.
The best part was an added novella, only available currently in this 10th Anniversary edition. Strangers in Court was a Pre-Rosemary and Rue TOBY story! We've seen the history of this world in many of Seanan's short stories, but we finally get to see a glimpse of Toby before the events that led to Rosemary and Rue COMPLETELY UPROOTED her world. Pre-fish, y'all.
Highly recommended... HIGHLY.
Top reviews from other countries
Toby is a changeling and so never quite fits into the human or fae world but she tries her best, but her best can have distinctly unforeseen complications. And it's only going to get more complicated. When you are dragged into the murder investigation of a ... best enemy... with a blood curse, particularly when you've been ignoring all things fae for six months. But choices are limited, time is not on your side and favours have to be traded. For this was no human murder. This stinks of fae and it cannot be ignored.
What can I say? I loved this. In some ways it is light hearted and wry, in others it has the power to make you flinch. This is dark and yet the narrative voice carries you through. The sharp quips and self depreciating humour shine through even the darkest of moments. And there are some really dark moments. And within this there is something really special.
I really connected with the characters, to the point where even 'minor' characters seemed to grow into real beings. There's a wide range of characters here, and the diversity between fae and changeling is noticable, yet never shoved down your fault. And Toby is brutally human in how she makes mistakes in both worlds, I'd follow the series just for her.
It's wry and witty, funny and powerful all in one bundle. If I had to compare to anything, I would say a strange mingling of the Jim Dresden series and Jodi Taylor's works. Either way, it is absolutely fantastic.
The Winterrose is dead, murdered by person or persons unknown. With her dying breath she binds October ‘Toby’ Daye to find her killers or face death herself; a challenge not for the faint of heart and one which promises to shake this world, and the world of the fae, to the core.
As a former private investigator, Toby is no stranger to such a request – albeit with less deadly consequences should she fail – but with unknown enemies stalking her every move, a death curse cloying to take hold and a self-imposed exile from those who would aid her, this challenge is going to be anything but easy.
Seanan McGuire has crafted a richly detailed urban setting, one which takes what we know – or don’t know – of San Francisco and intertwines it with the strange, enchanting but ultimately dangerous world of the fae. McGuire effortlessly conveys the charm and grit of the city location whilst simultaneously weaving a thread of magic through its rough streets, narrow alleys and glistening bay to create a vivid picture of a vibrant, gritty and supernaturally dangerous city.
And not to be outdone by reality, the world of the fae is similarly conveyed with rich but short passages of description which seamlessly blend with the narrative – a narrative which maintains a consistent pace throughout and relentlessly drives the story forwards. The hierarchy of the fae, and their courts, politics and lifestyle, are described with enthusiasm, adding another intriguing dimension to a narrative, and emphasising the clash between fae and humanity.
With purebloods and changelings infiltrating the streets of San Francisco, and a protagonist who has obvious deficiencies when compared to the pureblooded half of the fae population, Rosemary and Rue is populated with a vast array of strange and interesting characters whose motivations range from the good, the bad and the completely psychotic. Their strange storylines entwine with Toby’s to create a rich and vivid depiction of a world beyond worlds, and add depth and interest to the fast-paced storyline.
But this is a novel about one (incredibly messed up but ridiculously determined) woman. Toby is a fascinating and complex character; a character who is incredibly hard on herself but remains incredibly likeable throughout – despite her tendency to throw obstacles into her own path. With the King of the Cats, a deranged violet-eyed ex, and a whole host of weird and wonderful fae lurking around the corner, life may be complicated for Toby but it’s certainly never boring.
While the style of the opening prologue didn’t instantly hook me, by the end of the first section I was completely absorbed. The narrative flows easily in an uninhibited torrent of magic, mayhem and excitement. Seanan McGuire’s writing is snappy, dynamic and thoroughly amusing throughout, and with nursery rhyme magic, close encounters of the watery kind, and numerous rendezvous with walking rosebushes, Rosemary and Rue promises great things for this highly entertaining series.
Rosemary and Rue is an wonderful introduction to the October Daye series, a series which provides a light-hearted, humorous and highly enjoyable foray into urban fantasy, and one which will be filling my (virtual) bookshelves for years to come. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good urban fantasy with a touch of the fae – I’ve certainly not looked back.
Not my favourite book on the series, but that’s more because I love love LOVE the character growth she undergoes and the allies she gathers as the series goes on, not because there’s anything at all wrong with this book.
Don’t buy this book if you don’t have the money to buy the entire series, because you’re going to want to immediately go and read the rest. I’ve read all of them probably 6 times now, at least once a year, and they never get old.
On a more serious note, if you can’t handle mentions of blood, this series probably isn’t for you-Toby’s race are blood-workers, and even setting that aside she shows a blank disregard for her own safety, and generally can’t be left alone for 5 minutes without being covered in her own blood.
Toby Daye, apart from her weird name, is not your typical urban fantasy heroine. That is, practically everything that comes out of her mouth is not a smartass comment. Nor does she spend half the book lusting over >1 hot male body. To be fair, she also spends a lot of the first part of the book whining and being self-pitying, which is also not typical, but less positive. However, since the woman spent 14 years as a koi, resulting in her losing her fiance and daughter (as they now - unsurprisingly - won't speak to her), this is perhaps understandable. To be honest, I think it makes her more realistic: if you're honest, how do you think you would deal with that kind of situation? With a witty quip and a readiness to move on an start kicking ass immediately? Probably not. In the end, perhaps I didn't quite like Toby, but I was interested enough in her to want to carry on reading.
There are many supporting characters, and (hooray) we have at least one fae who doesn't take arbitrary, illogical politicking to the level of an art form. There is the concept that liege loyalty goes both ways: the master has responsibilities to the servant, as well as the other way around. Some characters are more developed than others, but there are definite indications that many of them will be back and will play significant roles in further books.
The plot... to be honest, I figured out Whodunnit quite early on. As plots go, it wasn't very complex, and Toby didn't do much detecting really. A lot of running around and getting injured, yes; detecting, no. However, it was enjoyable. And it was clear that there was Stuff Going On What We Aren't Getting Told - although the immediate problem was solved, it's pretty obvious that it was only a single battle, not the whole war. There were enough loose ends to make it obvious that there will be a longer story arc over several books.
What really made this book a four-star read for me was the writing. It's hard to pin down, but it felt solid. Part of the slowness getting started, I think, was McGuire giving Toby and her world the kind of depth and detail that is the foundation for a really good series.