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 investigate, 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.
As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.
Book 1 in The October Daye Series
ROSEMARY AND RUE, which gets its title from Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, is a gritty and glorious true urban fantasy. I defy you to put this book down after the first chapter.
The world building in ROSEMARY AND RUE is among the best I’ve ever read in an urban fantasy. The world of the Faerie is as dangerous and beautiful as a glass rose. In the human world, unbeknownst to us, Kelpies lurk in dark alleys, Pixies wage wars over grocery store turfs, and bridge trolls drive taxis. Full blooded Faeries have always derided the Changelings with their mixed human and Faerie blood, and forced them to survive the cruel and ruthless life on the fringes of both worlds.
The writing is also beautifully textured. Seanan masterfully brings her world to life by giving her readers a completely sensory experience. The signature scents of magic unique to the one who cast it, the feel of acidic iron slicing through faerie flesh, the sound of dawn cracking apart the illusions of the previous night. You will believe you are in ROSEMARY AND RUE rather then just reading it.
My only complaint is the nature of some of the relationships in ROSEMARY AND RUE. Toby grew up in a place called Home, a kind of Dickens-esque refuge for Changelings that is run by another, more powerful Changeling. The relationship that they had was seriously twisted and abusive. It didn’t make sense to me that Toby would harbor any lingering feelings for him.
Overall, ROSEMARY AND RUE shocked me with how good it was. Toby is an excellent damaged yet strong heroine in the vein of Kate Daniels, the urban and fantasy elements are given equal importance in Seanan’s Faerie/San Francisco setting. There promises to be more revelations about Toby in the subsequent books in this series. A Local Habitation is available now, and An Artificial Light, the third October Daye novel will be released on September 7, 2010.
Sexual Content: References to sex. References to prostitution. References to sexual abuse.
Click HERE to read an excerpt of ROSEMARY AND RUE
- Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
- Published: 05 November 2009
- Format: Paperback 368 pages
- See: Full bibliographic data
- Categories: Fantasy
- ISBN 13: 9780756405717 ISBN 10: 0756405718
- Cover Art: Chris McGrath