Series: October Daye #9
Source: Purchased by the reviewer
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Challenges: Finishing the Series
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Blurb from goodreads:
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.
McGuire did it again. Tight plotting, witty banter, strong characterization, "A Red-Rose Chain" was just about perfect. Toby has become a hero and she shows us why in this story. She's accepted her role and grown into it.
"A Red-Rose Chain" takes place months after the events of "The Winter Long". Life has calmed down but life never stays calm long for Toby. If it did, we wouldn't have books. :D I laughed at Toby being named diplomat. Impulsive, reckless, rash, smart-mouthed Toby? But to give her credit, she did try. She's in a tough situation but she's smart enough to bring back up - Quentin, May, Tybalt, and Walter, an alchemist who's helped her out before. Together, they go to the Kingdom of Silences and try to unravel why they declared war and if it can be prevented. But the King of Silences and the deposed Queen of the Mist have teamed up and Toby's torture and pain is high on their agenda. The lengths to which they were prepared to go was terrifying and King Rhys was a sadomasochist who delighted in persecuting the changelings at his court. We again see the dark side of the fae and they make humanity look like fluffy puppies but we also see their weaknesses and their kindnesses.
McGuire tackles politics, caste and class, relationships of all varieties, biology, and love with a sharp eye and sharp wit. As always though my favorite parts of the story were the relationships. Toby has gone from a loner who avoided commitments and relationships to being surrounded by people who love and understand her and whom she loves. But it's also the relationships between all of the characters - Tybalt and Raj, May and Jazz, Toby and Quentin, etc. The moments between them are sweet, tart, and funny. They add richness to all of the action, the machinations, and the oddities that are the fae.
"A Red-Rose Chain" was gripping, entertaining, and another excellent entry in the Toby Daye series.