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on 7 December 2013
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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on 18 March 2015
The first instalment in a long running urban fantasy series (October Daye), well written, great story and with awesome characters!
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on 18 September 2015
Book one of the fantastic, ongoing October Daye series.
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on 5 May 2017
Great start to the series
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on 31 January 2010
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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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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on 13 October 2011
This was a very easy book to get into. From the opening scene I knew I would like October Daye. She's funny without being an annoying smart ass. She's brave but knows her limitations. And although she doesn't like all the pomp and circumstance of the Faerie courts, she knows how to be respectful when she needs to be. She was just very likeable.

The world-building an plot were a little harder to wrap my mind around. It seems quite complex, and we've only just scratched the surface. And some of the ideas were a bit weird, too. Still, it well-written weirdness, and I imagine the richness of the world-building once I'm better used to it will only serve to make this series one of the greats.

It was predominately a murder mystery plot, but with lots of seeds of intrigue planted throughout involving October's own back story. In particular one major event that happened six months prior to the start of this book which was very intriguing, to put it mildly

There was no romance involved per se, but I see potential so this may be something that develops as the series goes on.

4.5 stars! ★★★★1/2
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on 21 March 2017
Going to really enjoy this 10 book trilogy October Date has me hooked
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on 3 March 2016
Oh yes. McGuire has absolutely nailed this one – and it is a lot harder to achieve than she makes it look. A half-breed not entirely welcome in either the human or Fae world, who is driven onto the streets in her teens makes for a feisty, interesting heroine. And right at the beginning of the book there is an incident that had my jaw dropping – it is a major game-changer that changes the whole tenor of the story and Toby’s subsequent life. It is a brave move, because my instincts were that it should have come later in the story – at the end of the first book, for instance. But it certainly succeeded in bonding me to the character.

Urban fantasy, when well written with plenty of pace and a strong storyline, is one of my favourite sub-genres and this series has been added to that list. While abiding by many of the main conventions, McGuire has also managed to infuse these books with an overarching sense of other. We are never able to forget that Toby is not entirely human as the punchy first person narrative describes the smell and taste of magical signatures and she moves through the streets of San Francisco with wary stealth, alert for dangers that simply don’t exist for the humans crowding the sidewalks.

The magical rules are well defined and I enjoyed the fact that Toby’s abilities are weak and take their toll on her physically – it makes it far more interesting when your protagonist has to carefully weigh up the consequences of casting a spell. The murder mystery was also slickly handled – I certainly didn’t spot whodunit until the antagonist was revealed.

McGuire has also demonstrated that she isn’t afraid to kill off a major supporting character when the story demands it, which had me thoroughly paying attention during the fight scenes. The denouement worked well and the story had a satisfying ending, despite being the first in a long-running series – I’ll certainly be tracking down the next book.
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on 6 March 2012
What can I say that hasn't already been said? I found this particular book (Rosemary and Rue) and author (Seanan McGuire) when I was 'surfing' the reading suggestions listed on Amazon's pages, read the excerpt, and was immediately hooked (no pun intended, lol). I very much wanted to know how Toby escaped from the pond which had become her prison. So of course, I just had to buy the book! I am very glad I did. It is a nice blend of drama, tragedy, and humour with a twist. Once I started reading I had great difficulty putting it down to go and do the mundane things like eating and sleeping, lol.

I haven't read many faerie type books, but this one was most certainly different and quite 'real world gritty', which made it more appealing.

Apart from wanting to read about Toby's adventures (I have already ordered the next four books), I am looking forward to seeing how the relationships with her friends / foes develop, and maybe finding out what caused the disappearance of the Faerie King et al and whether or not they are ever found again. I hope so.

If you like modern fantasy I think you will enjoy these stories by Seanan McGuire.

By the way, Rue has a couple of meanings: it is the very old name for the shrub Rosemary (Shakespeare used it in Hamlet), and it also means to regret an action / event that you did / caused, which led to a bad result. I think that fits October Daye's world perfectly.
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