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Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel (Toby Daye)

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Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel (Toby Daye) Cover

ISBN13: 9780756405717
ISBN10: 0756405718
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A New York Times bestseller!

It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep.  She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing.  Her name is Chelsea.  She’s a teleporter, like her father.  She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control.  She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster.  But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad.  She has no idea.

Review:

"Singer-songwriter McGuire adeptly infuses her debut with hardboiled sensibilities and a wide array of mythological influences, set against a moody San Francisco backdrop. October 'Toby' Daye is half-human, half-faerie, a changeling PI with a foot in both worlds. After spending 14 years as a fish following a botched assignment, she's desperate to avoid magic, but the dying curse of a murdered elven lady forces her to investigate the killing, with the price of failure being Toby's own painful death. Toby struggles with court intrigue, magical mayhem, would-be assassins and her own past, always driven by the need to succeed and survive. Well researched, sharply told, highly atmospheric and as brutal as any pulp detective tale, this promising start to a new urban fantasy series is sure to appeal to fans of Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

This first novel in a brand-new series introduces October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas. Original.

Synopsis:

Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

 

She was wrong.

 

It's time to learn the truth.

Synopsis:

"Rosemary and Rue is one 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."      

 —Tim Pratt, author of Dead Reign

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. Outsiders from birth, these half-human, half-fae children 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 Evenings dying curse, Toby must resume her former 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. Rosemary and Rue is the first installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.

 

About the Author

Seanan McGuire is a folk singer, songwriter and artist. She lives in Northern California. Rosemary and Rue is her first novel, and the start of a new series.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

kandrinchae, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by kandrinchae)
I am not usually a fan of modern fantasy or even of science fiction. I like to think of my preference to be for high fantasy. However I was given this book as a gift and the synopsis caught my eye. So I started reading and finished it within the day. I could seriously not put it down. I believe dinner was at 9pm and consisted of fish sticks that day.

The plot is well thought out and gave me a pleasant surprise. The writer really allows you to get close to the protagonist. She is very adept at making her seem like a real person, with a fae twist. I thoroughly enjoyed how descriptive, without being overbearing, the world was. When more was needed to explain, she gave it, when minimal explanation would help to heighten the imagination, there it was. Pick up a copy and read it today, you will not be disappointed!
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Deborah J Brannon, February 14, 2010 (view all comments by Deborah J Brannon)
It's such a tried-and-true formula in urban fantasy: mythical creature and/or fantastical society live one step to the left of humankind's mundane existence. There are a million hidden interstices that most of us never notice, and we'd be grateful for this if we knew, for the fantasies lurking beyond our sight are more often fanged and dangerous than sweet and friendly.

October Daye, a cynical and perpetually caffeinated lapsed PI, is a half-faerie attempting to keep her head down and lead a mundane life in San Francisco. The novel proper begins after some significant torture and personal losses, so she's pretty dedicated to this drama-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, as a knight still in the service of Sylvester Torquill and a friend to some of the more powerful local faerie denizens, Toby isn't allowed her wish. The death of Evening Winterrose, hated friend and beloved irritant, and her last, powerful curse drag Toby back into the wonderful nightmare-world existing in tandem with our San Francisco: a world of cat-like rose goblins, doors into the Summerlands, runaway changelings, and an ancient sea witch. It's a world where one wrong step - political or otherwise - could kill you. Or worse.

As you can see, this debut novel from Seanan McGuire plays to type; yet I can say, without a doubt, that this is the best urban fantasy novel I've read in five years. I make this assertion drawing from a pool of novels by Charlaine Harris, Tanya Huff, Emma Bull, Patricia Briggs, and others.

One important element to any urban fantasy is the urban aspect: it's not enough for the narrative to take place in any city, where the urban center is poorly described and becomes passive background. The city must become as much a character as any changeling investigator, with clearly described locales and an affecting atmosphere. McGuire succeeds in spades here: I have never been to San Francisco, but the city came to life for me in this novel and the immediacy of that understanding heightened my immersion in the story. ROSEMARY AND RUE was clearly written by someone who has walked many miles in that city and is intimately acquainted with its heart.

McGuire's main character, October Daye, is as strongly and uniquely portrayed as San Francisco. Toby, as a halfblood and a PI, could so easily have become a bland cipher; instead, she is a believable, strong, and yet flawed heroine with a nuanced voice. Toby is almost perpetually annoyed and sleep-deprived, spends most of the novel subsisting on caffeine and sheer stubbornness, and yet her perspective never devolves into tiresome whinging. She is a deeply-hurt woman who is stumbling toward a measure of recovery while trying to do right by a friend and, incidentally, save her own life. The resulting journey is fascinating: the perspective is truly first person limited, so Toby sometimes does seemingly stupid things and is blind to things the reader may think are apparent - but things aren't always so blazingly clear, are they, when you're the one experiencing some serious and real drama?

Beyond developing a compellingly dynamic protagonist and portraying San Francisco in an absorbingly realistic manner, McGuire succeeded in creating a three-dimensional fabric of reality: the other characters in the narrative aren't just background for Toby to interact with. They are people who have lives and backgrounds that are clearly important both to the current story and whatever is to come. The King of Cats has a long history with October, the moonstruck-mad Queen wasn't always so, and the kitsune duchess seems to tend secrets as much as roses in her underhill home. They are all worlds unto themselves. This is the best sort of debut novel: a window into a reality ready-made for exploration, where causality is as much a force as it is in our real lives.

Further, McGuire's depiction of Faerie and its denizens reveals that an incredible amount of accrued knowledge went into the world of ROSEMARY AND RUE. She delves beyond kitsune and selkies, beyond even Daoin Sidhe and Cait Sidhe, into coblynau and Tylwyth Tegs: while the specifics of her society and much of these faeries' interactions may be all McGuire, each of these creatures exists in folklore. Anyone interested in faerie lore and folklore, especially of the United Kingdom (in this novel), will be incredibly delighted by the breadth and depth of the author's research.

ROSEMARY AND RUE isn't without its flaws - at times, the exposition overbalances from stage-setting to distracting, and the mystery does seem to wander a bit aimlessly in the middle - but the exhilaration of getting to know this particular San Francisco and this particular Faerie more than compensate for any of those drawbacks. Moreover, these are flaws that I don't expect will continue past this debut: the occasional over-exposition was due to initial worldbuilding, and any issues with plot pacing are overcome with experience. Considering that DAW is poised to release two more titles in the October Daye series and that the author's blog indicates she is currently working on the fourth and fifth titles, McGuire is daily gaining more experience as a storyteller. I look forward to each Toby novel being better than the last, and can't wait to get my hands on them. Honestly: if you're an appreciator of urban fantasy and you're looking for some new blood that's actually vital, it's imperative that you pick up ROSEMARY AND RUE.
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Michelle Dockrey, September 14, 2009 (view all comments by Michelle Dockrey)
Full disclosure: this review may be biased. Not only is the author a friend, I'm also a proofreader of the book. I've had the privilege of watching this book and this series grow over drafts and years. That might make me biased, but it also gives me a perspective that those reading it for the first time might not get.

From the first draft I ever read, years ago, Rosemary and Rue hooked me. I reread each draft faithfully from the beginning-- you have to, to proofread well-- and every time, it hooked me just as hard. I've spent hours absolutely absorbed, and this has happened with every book in the series. Recently, when skimming An Artificial Night (book 3) to suggest excerpts for the back of A Local Habitation (book 2), "just skimming" became reading for an hour, completely engrossed, stopping a bit to get some work done and then diving back in for two more hours. I got completely and willingly lost in a book that I'd already read from beginning to end dozens of times. And although Rosemary and Rue is the first book in a series, each book is a complete story with a satisfying ending. The overarching story arc left me craving the next book like an addict, but didn't leave me dangling with cliffhangers. Being a proofer, I know some of what's coming, and even knowing the main plot through book six or so, I'm still dying to read each book. They're that well-crafted, that full of things that draw me into Toby's world and make me want to stay. It's not just the gripping plot; getting there really is half the fun.

One thing that draws me in is world-building. Seanan combines the Bay Area that she knows and loves with the world of Faerie drawn from her college education in myth and folklore, and adds her own particular twists and touches. Both worlds are vivid and real, sometimes enchanting and magical and sometimes frightening and violent, and I find myself craving every scrap of detail about Fae rules and culture, and of how the Fae interact with the mortal world, easily as much as I crave to know how Toby's going to get out of her next scrape.

Ah, Toby. October Daye, half-human private investigator, sarcastic and impulsive and only sometimes aware of her own flaws, trying to do what's right even when she hates it, and sucked back by that very sense of right and wrong into the world she tried to leave behind. Seanan's characters are complex, layered, and imperfect, trying to be true to themselves but still as unpredictable and fallible as any real person. Even the characters you wouldn't particularly want to know are still people you want to know more about.

You'll find Rosemary and Rue in SF/Fantasy, not mystery, but I'd recommend it just as highly to mystery fans. I'm an avid reader of both urban fantasy and murder mystery, and these two great tastes never tasted so great together! Seanan doesn't sacrifice one genre for the other, and that's what makes it work. The mysteries aren't simple and telegraphed-- there's no obvious butler-did-it or least-likely-person-did-it-- and she doesn't use the classic and infuriating trick of withholding vital information until the end ("what you all didn't know is, Bob was a prison guard twenty years ago, and Bill was an inmate where he worked!") Mystery plotting is a tricky balance, and Seanan strikes it well. And yet the urban fantasy aspect isn't just a stage setting for an otherwise ordinary mystery. Browse any bookstore's mystery section and you'll find loads of gimmick series: musician mysteries, cat mysteries, cookie mysteries (recipes included!), etc. The October Daye series isn't an "x mystery" series; it's an urban fantasy series in which there are compelling mysteries. It's a tale of a woman caught between two worlds and trying to live in both, a portrait of those worlds and an introduction to the people who live there.

I may gush when talking about my friends, but I promise, friendship is only enhancing the gush a little. Speaking as a proofreader/editor, I genuinely and highly recommend Rosemary and Rue to fans of urban fantasy, or murder mysteries, or P.I. novels, or worldbuilding, or complex characters, or folklore, or fairy tales, or Shakespeare, or British folk ballads, or just plain exciting and engrossing stories that are likely to keep you up half the night reading just one more page.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780756405717
Author:
Mcguire, Seanan
Publisher:
Daw Books
Author:
McGuire, Seanan
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
October Daye
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
20090931
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
6.75 x 4.19 in 0.38 lb
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Contemporary
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General

Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel (Toby Daye) New Mass Market
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Product details 368 pages Daw Books - English 9780756405717 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Singer-songwriter McGuire adeptly infuses her debut with hardboiled sensibilities and a wide array of mythological influences, set against a moody San Francisco backdrop. October 'Toby' Daye is half-human, half-faerie, a changeling PI with a foot in both worlds. After spending 14 years as a fish following a botched assignment, she's desperate to avoid magic, but the dying curse of a murdered elven lady forces her to investigate the killing, with the price of failure being Toby's own painful death. Toby struggles with court intrigue, magical mayhem, would-be assassins and her own past, always driven by the need to succeed and survive. Well researched, sharply told, highly atmospheric and as brutal as any pulp detective tale, this promising start to a new urban fantasy series is sure to appeal to fans of Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , This first novel in a brand-new series introduces October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas. Original.
"Synopsis" by ,
Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

 

She was wrong.

 

It's time to learn the truth.

"Synopsis" by ,
"Rosemary and Rue is one 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."      

 —Tim Pratt, author of Dead Reign

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. Outsiders from birth, these half-human, half-fae children 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 Evenings dying curse, Toby must resume her former 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. Rosemary and Rue is the first installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.

 

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