- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 26 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 4 Sept. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0096FEYHA
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Ashes of Honor: An October Daye Novel, Book 6 Audiobook – Unabridged
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I think this instalment could have been my favourite to date. The series is excellent at developing the characters and building upon the world and relationships and this was no exception in that respect. But, to the plot – and let me throw in a customary warning about potential spoilers for prior books in case you haven’t read the previous instalments but intend to do so.
As the story begins we see the emotional trauma caused by the conclusion of One Salt Sea really kicking in. Toby is feeling massive guilt. She lost her daughter and Connor in one very quick swoop and is now on self destruct mode. Fortunately she is surrounded by good friends and those who are equally as stubborn as she is about trying to keep her safe but everyone is starting to become concerned. Then Toby is approached from a most unexpected source. A child (Chelsea) has gone missing and as we know by now Toby will certainly not refuse a missing or ‘abducted’ child case. And, so it begins.
Now this particular missing child is complicated. It turns out that she is a changeling and her father is Etienne. Yes, Etienne, difficult as it is to believe that he would break the rules that he holds so dear, Etienne had an affair with a regular human. What he didn’t know is that the woman concerned was pregnant when their relationship ended and it seems that their daughter shares Etienne’s ability to teleport. Unfortunately, this ability is now manifesting itself in a very powerful way and clearly somebody has decided to try and manipulate her abilities so Chelsea is now teleporting and crashing her way through the land of the fae, tearing holes where they shouldn’t be and undermining the whole fabric of the world. Toby needs to act fast or the lives they all lead could be in jeopardy.
There were a number of things that really struck me about this novel. In no particular order because my thoughts are a jumble. Firstly, this book had much more of a detective type feel to it. For me I wouldn’t say it came across quite as ‘dark’ as the previous books somehow. This isn’t a negative comment just an observation that I didn’t feel quite as scared or desperate for Chelsea’s predicament as for those children in a couple of the other stories, in this particular case it feels a little like the case itself is secondary to the character development. Then there was the very real ‘human’ element in this book, the interaction with Chelsea’s mum and also with the police force. It felt like in this instalment Toby connected much more with our regular world, (which has previously just really acted as a backdrop for whatever escapades were taking place). Finally there’s the moment of truth for Toby when she decides to forgive herself and allow herself to actually live. I thought that was a really pivotal moment for Toby and the series really.
As a parallel running story we have trouble for Tybalt over at the Court of the Cats. There is dissent in the ranks and things could get ugly. I loved the extra information that we discovered about Tybalt, he really is a great character and so finding a little bit more about his history was most satisfying.
All in all a really great instalment. The world of the fae opened up yet more in a tantalising way that gives us more intrigues to feed our imagination.
I have no hesitation in recommending this series. If you’re looking for your next urban fantasy series I would definitely point you in the direction of Toby Daye.
Toby is acting recklessly in a self-destructive spiral that is worrying all of her friends. So when her fellow Knight, Etienne from Shadowed Hills comes seeking her aid on a potentially dangerous missing persons case - Everybody worries.
But this missing persons case may have severe ramifications for all of Faerie, the missing person is Chelsea, a changeling who has fallen through the cracks. A powerful teleporter she's lost control and is ripping holes through Faerie into the long abandoned, dangerous deeper realms - long since closed off by Oberon.
If Chelsea cannot be found and stopped, all of Faerie is in danger. Oh, and Chelsea is the daughter of Etienne!
Ashes of Honor continues the fantastic adventures of October "Toby" Daye as she scrambles to save everyone!
And throughout all these changes in her circumstances, and the physical changes and power-ups she's gone through that make her now almost as indestructible as May (her former Fetch and kinda twin sister), she's somehow managed to keep that wonderful glibness, that highly inappropriate wit that so often gets her in trouble, but that is hilarious to read.
I have to say, Seanan McGuire's writing of Toby's dialogue is so funny, and so...random. I think her humour is quirky and possibly won't be for everyone, but it really tickles me. I often have to stop to do that silent laughing thing when she catches me off guard. I just like the silliness of it, especially when it's completely inappropriately-timed.
The plot for ASHES OF HONOR was a little more simplistic than past instalments have been, which I think is a good thing because this world is complex enough without having head-bending, multi-stranded plots to try and wrap my tiny mind around. It's another missing child case; a changeling teleporter this time. Which is problematic since Toby can't exactly follow a teleporter around. But that's why it helps to have friends in high places, such as the Sea Witch who can make a spell for almost any occasion, or the King of Cats who can travel through the shadows (which is almost the same thing as teleporting, but significantly more uncomfortable for a non-Caith Sidh like Toby).
There was also a separate subplot surrounding the Court of Cats which brought with it some new and very exiting developments. (You can't see me, but I'm grinning).
Most of the characters from past books made and appearance with a few notable exceptions: There was no Queen of the Mists this time (not really sad about that since she's batshit crazy and hates Toby's guts), but also not much mention of Danny the Bridge Troll (who I really like), and no one from the Undersea realm either. But I was happy to see we revisited Tamed Lightning. I love April the techno-Dryad and her complete inability to understand, sarcasm, jokes, emotions or anything said that's not meant 100% literally.
The best thing about ASHES OF HONOR for me was seeing the character development of many key players, but especially Toby. It's been a year since the last book (in Toby time as well as our time), and much has changed: Quentin, who's around 18 now, is growing up fast. May is becoming more and more like the twin sister people think she is. The Luidaeg still hasn't killed Toby. And maybe, just maybe, Tybalt doesn't dislike Toby as much as she once liked to believe he did. But at the start of the book, the one person who hasn't changed in the last year or moved on from the sad events of ONE SALT SEA, is Toby. Lucky for her, she's surrounded by awesome peeps who won't let that continue for much longer, and the progress she makes here in this book is immense.
For fans of the series, I think this instalment will become a new favourite. It certainly has for me. I feel like McGuire delivered everything I could possibly want from a UF novel, and I simply can't wait for the next one. I still have unanswered questions, but I'm confident McGuire has a master plan set in motion for revealing the answers in due course. For example, when are we going to see Amandine again and where the hell has she been? Who the frack are Quentin's parents? And what did the Sea Witch mean about the Selkies having to pay their debt soon? All these questions and more will have me counting the days until The Chimes at Midnight, which releases September 2013. Go faster time, damn you!
5 Stars ★★★★★ ♥