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When Sorrows Come: An October Daye Novel Kindle Edition
It's hard to be a hero. There's always something needing October "Toby" Daye's attention, and her own desires tend to fall by the wayside in favor of solving the Kingdom's problems. That includes the desire to marry her long-time suitor and current fiancé, Tybalt, San Francisco's King of Cats. She doesn't mean to keep delaying the wedding, it just sort of...happens. And that's why her closest friends have taken the choice out of her hands, ambushing her with a court wedding at the High Court in Toronto. Once the High King gets involved, there's not much even Toby can do to delay things...
...except for getting involved in stopping a plot to overthrow the High Throne itself, destabilizing the Westlands entirely, and keeping her from getting married through nothing more than the sheer volume of chaos it would cause. Can Toby save the Westlands and make it to her own wedding on time? Or is she going to have to choose one over the other?
Includes an all-new bonus novella!
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling series
"The top of my urban-paranormal series list! I am so invested in the worldbuilding and the characters.... The romance is real and awesome, but doesn't overshadow the adventure." —Felicia Day
"The 13th outing for Daye is just as fresh and exciting as the first. McGuire has built a complex world, where seemingly loose ends are woven tightly into the series. Highly recommended." —Library Journal (starred)
"October has evolved from an embittered loner into a fierce protector of her chosen family, making for a richly emotional tale filled with series-standard fare of adventure, intrigue, and blood-soaked mayhem." —Publishers Weekly
"The worldbuilding in this series has astonishing depth, and Night and Silence is no exception—12 books in, McGuire is still giving readers fascinating new pieces of the Faerie puzzle." —Booklist
"I can't believe McGuire can come up with another adventure as riveting as this one. But then I say that after every book in this series." —SFRevu
"McGuire has never lacked for courage in her writing.... The phenomenally inventive October Daye series showcases her narrative daring and ingenuity beautifully." —RT Reviews
"Prepare to be dazzled.... Like the best of urban fantasy, with each reveal and mystery solved, Toby's world grows ever more enticing. As seductive as Faerie itself, this is one series I could never give up." —All Things Urban Fantasy
"These books are like watching half a season of your favorite television series all at once.... More than anything else, it's the fun of it all that's kept me returning to McGuire's books and to this series." —SF Signal
"The plot is strong, the characterization is terrific, the tragedies hurt...and McGuire's usual beautiful writing and dark humor are present and accounted for. This has become one of my favorite urban fantasy series." —Fantasy Literature --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
WITH THE DOOR SHUT and them safely trapped inside with me, the boys seemed to lose a little of their previous bravado. The one I suspected of being Quentin, despite being the wrong height, build, and bloodline, turned to look at me. He was still clinging to Dean’s hand like a lifeline, and for the first time, he looked genuinely concerned.
Dean, on the other hand, looked like he was going to lose his most recent meal all over my kitchen floor. I favored him with a brief smile as I walked past them to the pile of baked goods May had left on the counter.
“I think these are scones,” I said. “Anyone care to guess the flavor? May’s been getting experimental recently. So it could be blueberry or plum or apple, but it could also be ham and raspberry or ginger and whatever the hell she’s decided is a complementary flavor this week.”
“Toby . . .” began the boy who might be Quentin.
“Nope,” I said, with all the good cheer I could muster. It was a surprising amount. This was too ridiculous to be anything but abstractly funny. Either my squire had made an ill-advised deal with the sea witch for reasons I did not yet fully understand, or his boyfriend had discovered the single stupidest possible way to try to get out of the consequences of his own actions. And it didn’t matter which was true because I was going to have a thrice-cursed scone before I dealt with it. “I just got up. Breakfast, then horrifying drama.”
Always horrifying drama. In this house, horrifying drama is never a sometimes food.
I whisked the cloth off the pile of scones, revealing them to the rest of the kitchen. Even that seemed more dramatic than it necessarily had to be. The boys’ impending revelation was infecting breakfast. The scones were pale pink, glittering with yellow sugar, and smelled like one of Luna’s gardens. I picked one up and sniffed. It smelled sugary, tart, and floral all at once. I laughed.
“She made rose lemonade scones,” I reported to the two boys. “Leave it to May to find a way to make even breakfast seem ominous. Either of you want a scone?”
“I’m good,” said Dean.
“I’d love one,” said the other boy.
“Here you go.” I dropped the scone onto a plate and passed it to him before serving myself. May has long since figured out that the best way to get me to reliably eat is to keep food around the house, already cooked and ready to be shoved into my face. Scrambled eggs and bacon may be enjoyable, but they’re not likely—that takes effort. Fresh-baked scones that someone else did all the work of preparing? I’ll eat those. Same with coffee that someone else brewed. I may not get the pharmaceutical benefits of caffeine, but hydration is a good thing.
“October . . .” began Dean.
“Nope. Still fixing breakfast.”
Both boys watched helplessly, the one who might be Quentin clutching his plate, as I prepared my coffee and carried it to the breakfast table, along with my own scones. I had taken two. Maybe that was greedy of me, but it’s my house, and I was getting the distinct feeling this was going to be one of those nights where I didn’t have a lot of time to sit down and eat.
The boy who was probably Quentin sat across from me, watching warily as I picked up a scone and took the first bite. He held his head like Quentin did, a little off-center, like he was expecting to need to tilt it in disapproval at my antics at any moment. And he had that Quentin‑y look in his eyes, the one that implied I was about to do something absolutely appalling that would probably violate about a dozen rules of hospitality and nearly as many laws of Faerie, either written or unwritten.
The scone tasted like summertime perfume. I swallowed thoughtfully, and took a sip of coffee, lingering over the action. Let them squirm. If they’d done what they were claiming to have done, they deserved it.
Finally, I put my cup down and focused on the Banshee boy. “Prove you’re my squire,” I said.
“By the rose and the thorn, the root and the branch, I would need to have a death wish to pretend to be your squire when I’m not,” he said. “I swear it on my magic, may it wither in my veins and stop my dancing if I lie.”
“Nice, and suitably dire,” I said approvingly. “But it proves nothing, especially since my squire, who is smarter than an unnecessary bargain with the sea witch implies, has magic that smells of steel and heather, while yours . . .” I breathed in deeply. “Yours smells of common gorse and vetiver. It’s not even related.”
He flinched a little. Apparently, that was more of a transformation than he’d been expecting. But this was the Luidaeg we were talking about here, and her magic is never just skin-deep. I took the opportunity to lean forward, breaking off another bite of scone. “So convince me,” I said, popping it into my mouth.
“Your fiancé is a total nerd who tried to convince me you’d be fine with him dragging me to Silences for the weekend to watch a production of Much Ado About Nothing, and then he said that since back in Shakespeare’s day ‘nothing’ was slang for female genitalia, it was the most appropriate play for a King of Cats on the verge of matrimony, since the title is actually Making a Fuss About—”
“Okay, you’ve met Tybalt,” I said quickly, cutting him off. “And if you are Quentin Sollys, I have officially ruined the next King of the Westlands. Prove you know me.”
He looked at me gravely, and said, “The first time I met you, I had been sent to carry a message from Duke Sylvester Torquill, which you summarily refused to hear, chiding me for my attempts to deliver it in the middle of a human neighborhood. I didn’t know much about humans back then, so I believed you when you implied that someone might come along and . . . and overhear something that would betray the existence of Faerie to the mortal world. I was so worried I’d fail if I forced you to listen to me, by breaking one of the oldest rules, and that I’d fail if I didn’t force you, because I’d be letting a Ducal message go unanswered.” A note of frustrated misery crept into his tone. “I’d been in Shadowed Hills for almost a year. Everyone said the Duke was mad, but he’d been better since his wife and daughter came back, and then they all said it was only you who could move him to one of those black tempers, where he threw things and screamed, or tried to read secret messages in the cobwebs, or . . .”
His voice trailed off. I fought the urge to prod him to keep going. I’d been back for six years, and I still knew almost nothing of what it had been like to live with Sylvester while Luna, Rayseline, and I were all missing, presumed lost forever. People would only ever tell me that the Duke had lost his mind, or perhaps lost himself, in the tangled maze of bereavement and betrayal where he’d been abandoned. Etienne had been with him the whole time, and still couldn’t speak of those years without paling and looking away. The general consensus seemed to be that I was better off for having been somewhere else.
And yet, Sylvester’s temper and sense of right and wrong had been skewed enough these last few years that I sometimes felt like I needed to understand the man at his worst in order to figure out how to live with the person he was now.
The boy—Quentin, I couldn’t pretend any longer that it wasn’t Quentin—was looking down at the table, silent. I tapped the edge of my plate with one fingernail, filling the room with a sharp chime. He glanced up.
“Hey,” I said. “I believe you.”
Some of the tension left his shoulders.
I wasn’t done. “I believe you have done something very stupid and very ill-considered, and I’m trying to decide how angry at you I am right now, so if you would please take a deep breath, tighten any necessary sphincters, and explain exactly what the fuck it is you were thinking, I might be less inclined to ground you until your own coronation!” My voice rose steadily throughout my little rant, until I was almost shouting by the end.
Quentin flinched again. “Um,” he said.
“Um? That’s what you have to say for yourself? Um? Oh, well, let’s pack in it, folks, everything’s fine, your parents aren’t going to have me tried for treason after all!”
“Treason?” asked Dean.
I turned and glared at him. He quailed, apparently realizing that attracting my attention right now was a bad idea.
“Yes, Dean, treason,” I said, forcing my voice to stay level. “I don’t know how you do things in the Undersea, but here on the land, bargaining with one of the Firstborn to transform the Crown Prince into someone new, someone who has no blood relation to either the High King or the High Queen, who cannot possibly inherit the throne that is his by right of birth, is considered a little bit, I don’t know, treasonous. Since I already have a reputation for king-breaking, which is entirely unfair and unearned—”
Quentin made a choked sound that might have been laughter. I shifted my glare briefly to him, and he quieted again.
“—but is definitely a factor of my life, I need to consider what it looks like when my squire goes off and pulls this sort of ridiculous stunt for no good reason whatsoever.”
“But I have a good reason!” protested Quentin.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “And what could that good reason possibly be? And don’t think I’ve forgotten that you still haven’t told me the terms of your bargain with the Luidaeg. I’m about thirty seconds away from calling her and demanding she transfer your debts to me.”
He blinked. “I don’t really know how that would work . . .”
I put a hand over my face. “By Oberon’s balls, I need you to tell me that you did not trade your firstborn child to the Luidaeg in exchange for the ability to attend my wedding.”
“I didn’t. And it’s really weird hearing you swear by someone we’ve met. Even if he still hasn’t really acknowledged that I exist, or talked to me, or anything like that.”
I lowered my hand. “Noted. Tell me what you paid first, and then tell me why you thought this was a good idea.” Dean made a sound of protest. I held up one finger, signaling him to silence, while continuing to glower at Quentin. “Now, please.”
“I, um, I traded her my identity for a new one, and I get the counter-draught that gives my real face and everything else back after I see you get married. Which means I have to attend the wedding, and we both have to be alive when you take your vows. And it seemed like a good idea because . . .” He hesitated, swallowing hard. “Because you’re my mom, Toby. I have a mother, I love her, but she stopped being there for me seven years ago, and it’s been you almost the whole time since then. You’re my knight and my responsible adult and my mom. I know someone’s going to try to kill you at your own wedding! I’ve met you, I know how your life works, and you’re my mom. I have to be there. I’m your squire. I’d be failing you completely if I wasn’t there.”
I stared at him, barely aware that my eyes had started to burn with unshed tears. Then I blinked and they were rolling down my cheeks, salt painting my lips and overwhelming the taste of lemon sugar. I put my coffee cup down again and leaned back in my chair, opening my arms.
That was all the invitation Quentin needed. He flung himself out of his own chair and into mine, sending me rocking back, although the counter was close enough that we didn’t—quite—topple to the ground. He pressed his face into my shoulder as he slung his arms around my neck, and I closed my own arms around him, and held that boy as tight as I dared. I was still crying, a slow leak that felt almost insufficient for the moment. This should have been a huge, dramatic thing, all racking sobs and blood.
Maybe my standards are skewed. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B08WHXWSM3
- Publisher : DAW (September 14, 2021)
- Publication date : September 14, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 4556 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 379 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0756415098
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,752 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Has a few touching moments, a few funny moments that make me wish for more, but then we get another recap about someone is, or how mean Evening was, or Toby is always getting stabbed, and that feeling is soured.
Read it, but don't expect too much out of it.
Once we get to the final chapter, it's wonderfully done. But we take SO long to get there. There are just pages and pages of Toby thinking about her friends, her past, her future. SO much exposition. And SO many typos.
I don't know if she's gotten so big that her editor has no control over what she produces or if the book was just rushed, or if she was contractually obligated to write a novel and had to fill space...buy one of those is hopefully true.
There are so few plot points and the "climax" of the book is in the MIDDLE of the final chapter. I...I really don't get it. I still love the world, there characters, the story. But if you're expecting a legitimate story, I'd at least skip to halfway through.
Major spoilers ahead:
1) In a land where illusions and shapeshifters are literally EVERYWHERE, the High King has no protections against either, and is incredibly surprised that some of his guards and councilors are shapeshifters and / or using illusions to hide their true identity.
2) After one shapeshifter guard tries to kill the High King, NO ONE takes any precautions against additional shapeshifters. This leads to the High King being stabbed by a second shapeshifter guard. Hey guys! Only one shapeshifter exists in the entire world, right guys!?!!? Right?!?!? Even though the characters literally discuss the shapeshifter nation, there's definitely only one, right?!?!?!
3) High King walks into a jail cell with a known, unrestrained shapeshifter. Shapeshifter (wait for it) shapeshifts his hands into claws and tries to attack the High King. Apparently, the idea of claws is so radical that no one saw this coming, despite the fact that the KING OF CATS IS IN THE JAIL CELL AT THE TIME. Shockingly, shapeshifters can shapeshift into dangerous creatures /s.
4) Multiple, multiple "bad guy monologues" talking about their evil, dastardly plan.
5) Oberon does literally nothing. October even mentions how frustrating it was to have a literal deus ex machina that does nothing. In other words, Seanan McGuire wrote herself into a corner (frankly, yet again) and is now handwaving it away. Oberon being back and at full power obviously breaks the entire series.
6) In the same vein as 5, Luidaeg has a curse placed on her by Titania. It's mentioned in literally every book in the series that only 3 people can remove the curse (Oberon, Titania, and Maeve), and that Luidaeg desperately wants it removed. Oberon is back. THE VERY FIRST THING THE LUIDAEG WOULD DO IS HAVE HIM REMOVE THE CURSE! Nope. Doesn't do it. One sentence explanation that it's "too difficult" for him, even though he's literally the most powerful Fae in the entire universe by several orders of magnitude.
I could go on and on and on. The series has been getting worse and worse for several books now, but this is a whole new level of bad.
1. Toby says there are two remaining Blodynbryd left: as far as I recall, there are three: Acacia, Luna and Ceres
2. The first death, one of King Aethlin’s guards who touched a doorknob, was Gwragen- the author later wrote he was Daoine Sidhe
3. A few typos
4. The characters keep blinking, a lot.
These aside, I loved the seven blessings heaped on Toby and Tybalt after they were wed (in the novella afterwards). I also agree how the author keeps rehashing the backstory, and it’s book 15, so it’d be great if she didn’t do that as much: anyone who hasn’t read previous books can catch up themselves, and give us more seasoned readers of the series more new material to sink our literal teeth into. The usual bloodshed/mystery plot that is the heart of each book wasn’t bad but also just ok, and enough to not detract from the actual center of this book which is Toby and Tybalt getting married. So all good. Looking forward to more of the series, and it does seem that there can still be more, as the story is hinting that it is the job of Amandine’s line (the Dochas Sidhe of which Toby is part of) to not only return Oberon to Faerie but also Maeve and Titania.
I’ll be here for the rest of the series, whenever it will come.
Top reviews from other countries
The world building is detailed and engrossing. The characters grow, as do their relationships with each other. Both friendships and family made and broken and some remade, others abandoned as the series grows. Not all turns out to be rosy but there is light to be found in the darkness.
The female lead character actually leads, no waiting around to be rescued. She gets herself into trouble, and most often rescues herself, sometimes with the help of friends.
In this installment, S. McGuire lets talk Toby through a lot of things that happened in her earlier life, about Faerie and the various fae, and that way actually delivers an overview that really allowed it someone to start here (although one missed out on a lot, so again: not recommended). For any long time follower of this exceptional UF series with its wonderful cast of characters and one of the best world builds ever, this book is a bit of a deep breath and a moment of relaxation. Of course, since we talk about Sir October Daye, there is adventure, stabbing (although not as much blood as I got used to with her…) and the usual upheaval. But compared to other installments, this is less… a breathless ride through danger. Toby and her wedding party arrive at Toronto at the High King’s court only to realize that there are factions working on overthrowing King Solis. Of course Toby, and by default Tybalt, start working to prevent that immediately. Although only part time, because wedding business and stuff.
I loved seeing a lot of the important characters throughout the series here and I couldn’t have wished for another end. Although the novella at the end is actually the last part of the book, not some stand-alone add on. I loved it nevertheless. As I did the whole book, though I get that some reviewers weren’t fans of the huge amount of information about everything told by Toby. Yet I didn’t mind at all, since I was happy for Toby and I am always glad to be able to return to this fabulous world.
Must be Monday...
Seriously, in When Sorrows Fall, Sir October Daye, Knight of Lost Words and Tybalt, King of Cats are really, actually, honest-and-for-true getting married.
The arrangements (except for guest list vetoes and one or two other tiny details) have been given to those among Toby's and Tybalt's closest surrogate family members - so everything should go as smoothly as spider silk. Right?
Well... if going smoothly includes an attempt to overthrow High King Aethlin Sollys (father of Toby's squire, Quinton), then, yes.
After fourteen previous Toby Daye novels, I was beginning to think that author Seanan McGuire might have some Fae blood because surely no mere human being could write such a lengthy series with such consistently high quality.
After When Sorrows Fall (and the excellent novella, And With Reveling) does nothing to disabuse that theory.
There's a phrase that gets trotted out, occasionally, when damning something with faint praise, 'I laughed; I cried; it became part of me.' It's something of a cliche, but is in this case pretty accurate (minus the sarcasm - Toby and Tybalt manage to more than hold up that yardstick).
While reading this book I (a) laughed until I cried, (b) wept at all the poignant bits (I almost always cry at weddings), and (c) will undoubted use many of the best lines in my real life (not telling which ones - read the book and see if you can use 'em, too) - meaning that, yes, it became part of me.
It's just too bad that Toby and Tybalt won't get happily ever after - that's just not how their lives work (as I'm sure we'll learn in the next Toby Daye book...).
Could I have done with more information about the political history of the High King of the Westlands and the way libraries work and the other traditions involved in historically 'pure blood' weddings? Yes. That is, however, because I love the world Seanan McGuire has given us - and am greedy for more of it.
And let's be honest - no one who has known and loved Toby for so many books - expects her to try and have a wedding without any stabbings. It just wouldn't feel right.