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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a fairytale...
Rosemary and Rue focuses on the story of October Daye, also known as 'Toby', private eye and a changeling half-breed; half human and half Daoine Sidhe. Due to her dual nature she's been an outsider all her life -- finding herself in both worlds but a part of neither. A case gone wrong leads her to deny the fae world for good and she retreats fully into a mundane human...
Published on 2 Dec 2009 by Persephone

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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreary and uninspiring...
This book could have been good. The premise is interesting, I liked the idea of having a protag with a home life and a child, I thought it was original that this was all taken away from her when she was turned into a fish by an evil faerie and didn't return to human form until 14 years later...But it fell flat. There is so much you can do with faeries and I can...
Published on 2 Jan 2010 by Katia WolfSwan


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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a fairytale..., 2 Dec 2009
Rosemary and Rue focuses on the story of October Daye, also known as 'Toby', private eye and a changeling half-breed; half human and half Daoine Sidhe. Due to her dual nature she's been an outsider all her life -- finding herself in both worlds but a part of neither. A case gone wrong leads her to deny the fae world for good and she retreats fully into a mundane human life. Unfortunately for Toby this solitude does not last very long, as fate has seen fit to pull her back in -- the trouble starts when the Evening Winterrose Countess of Goldengreen is murdered. Despite having turned her back on Faerie, Toby is unable to resist Evening's dying curse which binds her to investigate her death. October thus resumes her former position as knight errant and attempts to renew old alliances in the hope of solving the murder; and hopefully saving her own life before the magical bindings close around her for good.

This book was simply fantastic, I truly enjoyed it. There was some weighty action that seemed to bury the plot a little towards the beginning of the final act, but overall it was a fast paced and well constructed first time novel. The book is first and foremost a murder mystery, one which finds itself enclosed amidst the politics and colourful ceremony of the fae world. Toby herself is a sympathetic character, one who really works hard to carve out a piece of the world for her own -- nothing comes easily to her and she struggles to do even basic things like cast a glamour. No perfect all powerful kick arse protagonists here. Toby starts out as a fittingly stubborn and judgemental person, who finds it difficult to change her mind once it's made up, yet her impressions and opinions of several of the characters experience evolution and change during the course of the novel. Allowing October to reform and revise her initial (often misguided) thoughts.

The characters that populate Toby's world are both colourful and complicated with believable relationships woven together in a complex multifaceted way. It reminded me of the Mercy Thompson series in this manner, what with the sleuthing, convoluted relationships and fantastical yet realistic gritty tone. I can't wait to see some of the secondary characters become further fleshed out later in the series; I liked the Luidaeg the Sea Witch, Connor the Selkie, Lily the dainty yet strong Japanese Undine and particularly loved Tybalt, the King of Cats (a Cait Sidhe). Tybalt was my favourite character in the book; mischievous with a languid, almost lazy feline quality to him -- he's a pureblood that hates half-breeds. Despite his prejudice he's oddly honourable and funny. It's clear his issues with Toby are more complicated than just simple loathing.

I loved all the little touches in the novel: for instance, when Toby was charming someone into seeing money where there was only mushrooms she would say a little nursery rhyme to activate the magic, and the rhymes the fae spoke when making an oath were lovely. Even the swearing was fae themed! There was an Alice in Wonderland feel to things in places, with looking glasses, red roses and moving doorways. There was a tangible sense of magic to the proceedings. I would certainly love a Rose Goblin for my very own, they were extremely cute!

The world building is excellent. The author has clearly given a lot of thought as to how the fae world would realistically intertwine and blend with the modern-human one. I'm a huge admirer of Celtic mythology, folklore and fairytales so the clever use of Selkies, Kelpies, Sidhe and the like was very welcome to a genre grappling with the sheer amount of vampires and werewolves. While the primary murder mystery is resolved within Rosemary and Rue there's still numerous and tantalising plot threads left hanging -- what happened to Raysel and Luna when they went missing for years? Will Toby ever be reunited with Gillian and Cliff? What will happen with the Luidaeg? What did Toby do to earn Tybalt's hatred? I'm excited to see all these questions answered. There's also a nice sneak peak of the next book in the back of this one.

Highly recommended! I can't wait until the next book, which I've pre-ordered. A Local Habitation (October Daye)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid set up to an urban fantasy series, 18 July 2010
October `Toby' Daye used to have everything. Married with a daughter, her mixed human/Faerie background allowed her to straddle the two worlds - working as a private investigator in our world and as a knight errant for the Duke of Shadowed Hills in the land of Faerie. When the Duke's daughter and wife are kidnapped by his twisted brother however, Toby walks into a magical trap - one that held her for 15 years.

Rejected by her family (who believe her to have abandoned them), she has given up on her life - turning her back on the world of Faerie and working a deadbeat job in a local store. However the murder of the Countess Evening Winterrose, an old friend of Toby's, forces her back into the Faerie world. Before her death, Winterrose placed a curse on Toby - obliging her to find the murderer or be killed herself.

As Toby reluctantly engages with people she has not spoken to in 15 years, she finds herself having to re-learn everything that she used to know. Things have changed since she disappeared - old enemies have the capacity to be new friends and old friends may have new agendas. Toby has to find a way to navigate the new world and her own history if she is to find a murderer and take back her own life.

Seanan McGuire's novel, the first in a series, is an entertaining introduction to a carefully constructed urban fantasy world where Fae and humans live an awkward side-by-side existence - the Fae retreating into their own territories and the humans ignorant of their existence. Only half-Fae/half-humans like Toby know the truth and they are generally outcasts from both worlds.

Although the novel is structured as a mystery, the identity of the murderer is pretty obvious, as is their motive. The investigation however gives McGuire a perfect opportunity to take the reader through Toby's past and the way in which her world operates. The idea of different Dukedoms among the Faerie worlds is well executed, as is the limited ability of the half-Fae. Toby is an interesting character with a genuine reason for her reluctance to engage with the world and Tybalt, a prince of cats has potential to be a fascinating counter-foil.

There's a great set-up for an overall story arc and the quality of the writing was such that I definitely want to read more.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Despair and Hope, 31 Jan 2010
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Rosemary and Rue is an enjoyable beginning to a very promising series.

In the prologue to the story we are introduced to changling (half fae) October `Toby' Daye as she is following a man that is suspected of abducting her lieges wife and daughter. Her investigation is interrupted though when the suspect turns her into a koi fish.
The story picks up again fourteen years later. Now no longer trapped as a fish Toby has lost the last fourteen years of her life and her own daughter and partner have turned their backs on her believing that she ran away from them since she kept them ignorant of the world of the fae and the magic that tore them apart. Having lost so much Toby has turned away from the world of the fae and is trying to have a normal, if lonely, existence.
Unfortunately fate has other things in store for Miss October Daye.
When her pureblood fae friend is murdered a deadly curse is put on Toby and she must defeat a murderer or die trying.

At the beginning of the book Toby is defeated. She has given up on life and on people and is just trying to get through each day. The death of her friend and the curse that is put upon her force her to get involved with a world she has given up on. She meets friends and enemies new and old and solves a murder whilst trying not to die horribly along the way.

Poor Toby doesn't have an easy time of it being shot, stabbed and beaten on her unwilling quest for justice.

I really enjoyed this book. There is a lot of world building, which slowed the novel down quite a lot, but it is entertainingly written, though it does detract from the main storyline.
The most enjoyable thing about this story is undoubtly the characters. From the incorrigible King of Cats, to the sad and slightly wounded Luna, to the insane Queen of mists the cast is one that will stay with long after the last page has turned.

The ending felt a little abrupt once the integral mystery was solved, but it ended with hope and for that I was glad.

This is the first book in a fantastic series that I would heartily recommend to anyone that loves Urban Fantasy. It's not often that I finish a book only to turn back to the first page to read it all again, but I did in this case. Fortunately the first four are already written even as I write this review I can't wait to read them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars took some getting into, 25 April 2013
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I came to really like this book, but for some reason it took me quite a while to get to grips with it. I found the writing style quite difficult and often had to re-read paragraphs to work out what the author and/or character was actually saying and what that meant for our heroine and the background story (describing the world, the different factions etc). It probably would have been fine if this had been the third or fourth book, but I found it quite hard-going initially getting a feel for the world, the rules etc. That being said, it engaged me enough for tears (mine) at one point (I won't spoil it by saying when). The plot wasn't especially complicated and the culprit became clear well before s/he was revealed in the book. Extra points to the author for the glossary of fey names and how to pronounce them.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I actually enjoyed this, 1 Feb 2010
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I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It wasn't about the all action, butt-kicking female hero as you would expect from many of the recent urban fantasy books, but rather around a wounded, not so magically gifted female with a family and so on. And I think having read so many of the same old same old, this was a refreshing change. Sure, I would like to have read more about the family angle, but I think this was a very good start.

I'm looking forward to the next book and I have my eye on that Tybalt.
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreary and uninspiring..., 2 Jan 2010
This book could have been good. The premise is interesting, I liked the idea of having a protag with a home life and a child, I thought it was original that this was all taken away from her when she was turned into a fish by an evil faerie and didn't return to human form until 14 years later...But it fell flat. There is so much you can do with faeries and I can understand that it can be difficult to write but the author just seems to bombard you with endless information and hardly any action. It's just details and boring internal dialogue. There is just too much world building. The plot is slow in progression,when you get to 200 pages into the book and you are no where nearer to solving the mystery it doesn't keep the reader interested IMO.

The other problem that I had was Toby with herself. Who wants to read about a depressed heroine who didn't want to do her job? Toby had given up on her life, her fiance and child didn't want to see her and she just...gave up. There were so many questions to be asked especially with her being away for 14 years and she didn't bother. I got tired of her mentioning that she wasn't as powerful as the other fey because she was only half fey, Toby just seemed to be a shell of a woman going through the motions because she was bound by magic to do so. I don't need a kick as heroine with a smart mouth in every book but I want someone with passion and purpose and Toby failed on both parts. Not very inspiring to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rosemary and Rue. Seanan McGuire, 18 Jun 2014
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I have become hooked on Toby and have already started her last book to
date. I don't want to put them down and can't wait for the next instalment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for the rest of the series, 24 May 2014
I read this a while ago (years) and it wasn't until GoodReads came along that the series popped back onto my radar. The first couple of books in this series go down the 'we must solve this mystery ' route, which is okay, but sparks really start to fly around book 4.

Stick with it, get invested in the characters, because it's a fantastic urban fantasy ride and well worth it!

Book 8 is due out in September 2014. With two further books planned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 12 Jan 2014
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My only gripe about this book is that it's not on kindle! I bought the entire series after reading it. It's a beautiful mix of fantasy and real life with believable bad guys and a complex plot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its reviews, 7 Dec 2013
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J. R. Bedford (Huddersfield UK) - See all my reviews
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October (Toby) Daye is a half-fae private investigator in San Francisco – at least until an enemy turns her into a carp and leaves her swimming in a fish pond for 14 years. By the time she gets out her wholly human husband and (by now teenage) daughter don't want to know her and with her life in ruins she takes a normal job and tries to leave the magic world behind. Tries. Unfortunately when an old friend, Countess Evening Winterrose, is murdered she's forced into finding the killer or suffering the fatal consequences of Winterrose's dying curse which binds her to the task.

The investigation leads Toby into finding out who her friends really are – unfortunately that also means finding that friends an enemies alike are not all what they seem.

I enjoyed this. It's urban fantasy crossed with noir detective fiction. Toby has an engaging voice and the whodunnit angle keeps you guessing.
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