Kirsten Reviews: A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
October Daye #9
Things are looking up.
For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.
Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.
How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.
It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire is the newest book in her October Daye series. Its protagonist, Toby has been through a lot in the course of eight books, and finally, in the ninth installment, she gets what feels like a chance to pause and catch her breath. She is no longer a loner who refuses to make connections and have friends, now she has lover, a squire to train, and maybe time to take a break.
Of course that might make for an uneventful book, and when Queen Windemere’s seneschal is elf-shot and falls into an enchanted sleep thanks to agents of the Kingdom of Silences, Toby is thrust into the role of diploma, the Ambassador to Silences. She travels to Portland, Oregon in order to persuade King Rhys of Silences not to start a war with the Mists. As with anything political, this is not as simply as it sounds, and Toby makes discoveries in Silences that are downright unpleasant. King Rhys in Silences gained his throne thanks to the machinations of the Queen in the mists, and he is determined to restore his queen to her seat of power for a number of reasons, including his fear of Toby.
In tracking Toby’s journey in the first book as a changeling regarded with disgust by most of the Fae to the Hero in the Mist, she has been involved in situations both political and magical, and these experiences stand her in good stead in this book. In some ways it feels like a place for Toby to ‘level up’ in what she can handle, and as the King-Breaker after having deposing the false Queen in the Mists and the death of Blind Michael, Toby cannot be dismissed by anyone who wants to hold onto their power, or their head.
With her extensive retinue in tow, Toby must figure out what is actually going on in the Kingdom of Silences, foil plots, and maintain the delicate balance between fae monarchs, all while balancing diplomacy and a search for the truth.
(Received a copy from the publisher)