Seanan McGuire: Rosemary and Rue
Rosemary and Rue: October Daye #1
by Seanan McGuire
I am so glad I finally read this book. It’s been on my TBR pile for quite some time now (at least since before Christmas 2014, when I gifted it to my mother-in-law) but I haven’t read it before this. And I don’t know why! I’ve read other books of McGuire’s, and love them, but for some reason never started this one – which I’ve heard referred to as her star series. But at any rate, I’ve read it now, and the next book in the series will be mine as soon as I can buy it. (I’m heading to a bookstore, maybe two, on the way home tonight.)
So, the basic premise: October (Toby) Daye is a changeling – half mortal, half fae. She lives in San Francisco, and tries to stay half in the fae world and half in the mortal world. The book starts with a prologue, featuring Toby on a stakeout (she’s a private detective), trying to catch a pureblood fae suspected of kidnapping. It ends… poorly, and so Chapter One flashes forward to several years later, with Toby now trying to ignore the fae part of her world entirely.
I appreciated the way that McGuire gives the heroine a good reason for stepping aside from her fae heritage (so many authors seem to think that “because I wanna” is a good enough excuse, which it isn’t). I also like that when push comes to shove and she’s forced to re-enter the fae world, she does it without too much complaining about it. (There is some, of course, but that makes it more realistic.) I enjoyed the mix between magical and mortal worlds, and the explanations about the way magic works in this world were just right – not too lengthy, yet I felt that I understood what was going on.
This is definitely the first book in a series. It does seem that you can stop after just the first book, though, if that’s your choice. There’s no cliffhanger at the end to annoy me. (Even when the next book has already been published, I do not like cliffhangers at the ends of books.) I will be reading at least the next one or two, because I like the way the world is set up, and I enjoy reading books set in places I know. Living in the SF Bay Area, this book is set right in my home town, and I love that. I do appreciate how it’s obvious that McGuire knows The City, too. She treats it essentially as a character in its own right, and I love it.