I am slowly working my way through the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. Last week I read book 4, Late Eclipses. I think it’s my favorite of the 4 books I’ve read. It seems like the series is starting to move in a specific direction in the long term, and I am here for it. I included the synopsis in this review, but if you haven’t read the series, or you haven’t made it to book 4 yet, I recommend skipping it. There are some spoilers in the synopsis.
Click here for the Synopsis!
October “Toby” Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile. Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again… Late Eclipse is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.
I do want to keep this review spoiler free, which can be tough for a review of the 4th book in a series. I really want to talk about the overall elements of this story that I feel make the Toby Daye books truly amazing examples of Urban Fantasy.
One of the first things that made me fall in love with the series is Toby’s connection to both the mortal and Fae world. Toby is a changeling of sorts who has a lot of knowledge of both realms. In book 4, Toby gets to use a lot of her knowledge of human and fae traits to resolve some really intense issues. This was one of the first times that she really shone as an investigator. In previous books, I felt like the choices she made ranged from overly hasty to completely illogical. That was not the case in Late Eclipses.
The mythos of this series is deep and wide. There are so many elements of fae myths included in these books. From the hierarchy of individual kingdoms to the look and behavior of different creatures, McGuire leaves no stone unturned when it comes to exploring her fae realms.
The last thing that I loved about book 4 is Tybalt, King of Cats. I can’t help but compare him to Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury in the best possible way. He has a court that he loves and cares for deeply. He is prickly on the outside, and loving on the inside. He can walk through shadows, fight off any foe, and look great doing it. Seeing the relationship between Tybalt and Toby develop slowly over the course of these books is just delightful.
If you have yet to give this series a try, I highly recommend them! They are pretty quick to get through, and they have a lot of a heart. There’s a found family vibe, magical mayhem, mysterious murders, lots of things to love. If you have read them, let me know what you thought in the comments!