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Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rosemary and Rue

by Seanan McGuire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: October Daye (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,9031165,344 (3.69)191
Recently added byiceiris, private library, annathecrow, Starknight, Erewhon77, MKB28, txz, UBC_SFS, CielCat, danielfruth
  1. 50
    War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: The fey at home in the big city, moving unknown amongst the mortals.
  2. 40
    Feed by Mira Grant (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: It may be easy to miss that Seanan McGuire and Mira Grant are the same person - both authorial roles are well worth checking out! She applies her deft skill with world-building and creating characters you adore to both her October Daye urban fantasies and her Newsflesh zombie apocalypse.… (more)
  3. 40
    Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara (leahsimone)
  4. 10
    Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both deal with sort of magical detective work with larger story-arcs at play in the background. Toby and Allie are both strong female characters with a penchant for noticing the way that magic smells.
  5. 10
    Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Fantasy / San Fransisco
  6. 10
    Greywalker by Kat Richardson (MyriadBooks)
  7. 21
    A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire (Anonymous user)
  8. 11
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Mav.Weirdo)

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» See also 191 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Good series start

The Fae being basically evil, I don't usually like them. This book didn't change my mind, but the series is intriguing. ( )
  Sonja-Fay-Little | Jan 24, 2019 |
(First of 13: October Daye series. Fantasy)
(Re-read. LT recommended)

This is the first of the October Daye series, which I've seen raves about around LT; and especially since we're born in the same month (October), I was intrigued enough to order it in to my bookshop and I read it for the first time in April 2015 (when I gave it 4 stars). To be honest, urban fantasy isn't really my sub-genre so I thought I'd give it another go as the inaugural book for our newly created book club (in November 2018). This time I gave it 3.5 to 4 stars. (Consolidating both reviews:)

October (Toby) Daye is a changeling; a child of a fae Daoine Sidhe mother and a mortal father, living on the fringes of immortal fae society - and bitter as heck about it, like all other changelings. Having lost years of her life to fae magic, she now survives from job to job. She had been trapped in a fish pond for fourteen years but, as she can't explain the true reason to her mortal family, they want nothing to do with her now she has returned.

Then she receives a call out of the blue from Countess Evening Winterrose, with whom Toby has a love-dislike relationship, who lays a curse on Toby to solve a crime committed on a pureblood fae living in the mortal realm in the city of San Francisco or she (Toby) will die. The story follows her as she races time to follow the clues through a San Francisco mortals won't entirely recognise and that Toby herself is rediscovering after her long absence.

This time, I found that the first part of the book didn't grab me and pull me in; I kept distracting myself, but that could have been my reading mood. Reading the second half flowed better for me.

Usually I don't find urban fantasy easy to read, but either I've got more comfortable with it, or Ms. McGuire writes very well, because the mortal and fae worlds fit well together here; and even the unexplained displacement of the Sidhe from Ireland to San Francisco didn't throw me (though there was no mention of Native American supernatural creatures). I usually have a problem with urban fantasy of knowing where the boundaries of fantasy and reality blur but I didn't find it an issue in this book.

One of our book club members is Irish and found it a bit disorienting to read about creatures of Celtic mythology displaced to the west coast of America, where they have obviously been for a few hundreds of years. That's one of the issues I usually have with urban fantasy - but this time I just took it as a given. However, a glossary of the different types of fairy creatures and their characteristics would have been useful since Toby comes across many folks with different ancestries in the course of her investigations. I do question the use of the word 'changeling'; usually it is used for the children of faerie who are substituted for mortal children rather than people whose ancestry is a mix of human and faerie.

I quite like Toby but her reluctance to get back in touch with the people who knew her before and have been begging her to come back into their lives is confusing. When she does connect, it is obvious that they have been worried about her with reactions ranging from concern (from women) to infatuation (from at least three men/ male characters). I'm not sure how much sleep or food Toby managed to get over the course of the story and the number of times she was attacked and had to be rescued was also slightly uncomfortable.

McGuire does explain the way her fae survive in the mortal world, crafting illusions to blunt their otherworldly features and having to avoid the pressure of breaking dawn when the magic of the previous day is stripped away. I'm not sure how magic works in her universe but, apart from a couple of spells, it happens and you accept it; you don't have to be told how to use a telephone, for example, because you use it every day so you already know how.

The mystery was solved satisfactorily and I would like to find answers to questions from Toby's past, such as why she was trapped in the fish pond, whether she will find peace with her daughter and maybe find out a bit more about her own mother; so I will read the next book in the series, at least.

Comments from our Book Club night: Toby is short for OcTOBer (two of our six members didn't get that, and I remember it took me a while to realise that when I first came across talk of the series). The story is written like a Dick Francis (noir crime) book with a gender reversal and the addition of faerie. It feels like McGuire's first book, but that could be because it's the first book in a series and she is introducing characters and situations which will, presumably, feature in future books in the series. Toby's reluctance to communicate with people who would willingly help her is a bit frustrating.

Averaging both scores 4**** ( )
  humouress | Jan 20, 2019 |
After greatly enjoying FEED by Mira Grant - Ms. McGuire pseudonym - I picked up this book out of curiosity.

October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, which means she is the product of the union between a human and a fae, or creature from the fairy world – a world that co-exists with our own, unseen by mere human eyes. As a changeling, October belongs to neither world: an inferior creature for the fae who strive for purity of blood, and someone who needs to use what magic she possesses to hide her un-standard appearance from humans. Her chosen profession is that of private investigator and in this story she must use her skills to solve a murder in the fae community that has repercussions on the human world as well, and at the same time she needs to face the many unresolved troubles that plague her.

There is a huge difference between Rosemary and Rue and Feed: it's not just because of the different genres – it feels as if two different writers were at work here. What makes this even more astonishing is that both books were published (and therefore I guess written) in a very close time frame.

Where Feed is tightly focused and moves without hesitation along its planned path, Rosemary and Rue seems to wander aimlessly, with a few repetitions that border on the dull. October herself spends most of the time just reacting to what happens to her, without apparently learning from her mistakes or being able to connect the dots between clues. There is a definite sensation of untapped potential in Toby Daye, which is the reason why that passive attitude seems unwarranted, and wrong.

Despite these drawbacks, the book is strong on world-building: the parallel fairy world that overlaps San Francisco – the theater of the action – is well designed and fascinating, the colorful characters leap from the pages (a special mention goes for Tybalt, King of Cats) and the interweaving of magic and mundane occurrences often amusing and chuckle-worthy. On the plus side, there are none of the aspects that I find irritating in this genre, i.e. the "bodice-ripper" themes that often plague Urban Fantasy works: it might not look like much, but to me it's a winning point ((insert evil grin)).

This is the first in a set of books, so it's possible that the next ones will get better: I am curious enough to try the second volume in the series, and see how it goes, with the hope of being able to give the next book(s) more than two stars.
( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
October Daye is not having a good year. Or decade.

October (Toby) is half-human, half-fae, and currently on the outs with everyone in both parts of her life. In 1995, she was on a stake-out in a case involving her fae liege, Duke Sylvester, trying to track down his brother Simon, who had kidnapped and hidden Sylvester's wife Luna and their young daughter. Simon discovers her, and his partner in crime turns her into a koi, and she's tossed into the koi pond.

Fourteen years later, when she finally escapes from the koi pond, she doesn't want anything to do with the fae world that led her to disaster, and her fiance and daughter (two years old in 1995) aren't all that interested in reconnecting with the woman who, as far as they can tell, simply abandoned them for fourteen years.

So Toby is working as a checkout clerk in a supermarket in San Francisco when Faerie stops ignoring her and drags her back into its intrigues and battles. Her one remaining contact with with Faerie, Evening Winterrose, is murdered, and before she dies lays a binding on Toby compelling her to find Evening's killer or die.

Toby is a likable but sometimes frustrating character. She really doesn't want to accept her role in Faerie, resists the fact that people like and respect her, and keeps reacting rather than acting, until very late into the book.

Despite that, she's tough, she's loyal, and she's funny. This is a nicely plotted book that moves along and keeps the reader reading.

Excellent summer reading.

I borrowed this book from a friend. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I liked this well enough, but I think the audiobook format was a mistake - it moved a little too slow for me. ( )
  PNRList | Aug 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Seanan McGuireprimary authorall editionscalculated
McGrath, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
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Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For my mother, Mary Mickaleen McGuire, who never made me stop reading.
First words
The phone was ringing. Again.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

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Book description
(from the back of the book) 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 invertigate, 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.
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Half-fae Toby retreats to the human world after being rejected by her Faerie family, but finds her anonymity compromised by the murder of an important countess who binds her to investigate, forcing Toby to resume her fae position.

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