Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) by Seanan McGuire
October Daye serie
October “Toby” Daye is half-human, half-fae-the only changeling who’s earned knighthood. But when someone begins targeting her nearest and dearest, it becomes clear that Toby is being set up to take the fall for everything that’s happening.
Toby Daye, fae changeling and Knight Errant is having a bad day. She is called to the knowe of Lily, an Undine that’s been there for Toby many times, and who she cares deeply about. Lily is ill, and no one knows why. Never mind that the Undine almost never get sick. Toby vows to find out what’s happening to Lily, but duty pulls at her from all sides, and while she is attending a ball at her liege, Sylvester’s court, another fae falls ill, but this time Toby thinks she knows who is behind it. Oleander, her old nemesis, has blown through, and Toby should know, since she can smell her rather unusual scent of oleander and sulfuric acid. Oh, how I hate Oleander. Evil has a name folks, and hers is it. The thought of Toby getting the chance to possibly wrap her hands around her neck certainly kept me turning the pages. Actually, I’m not sure who I hate more, Oleander, or Rayseline, Connor’s wife and Sylvester’s daughter. I think it’s pretty even. What follows is a race against time to find out what is causing Luna and Lilly’s illness, save their lives, and also thwart what seems to be a rather involved attempt to frame Toby and see her dead. She’ll need the help of all of her friends, and that’s one of the most enjoyable things about these books. I adore Toby, but the wonderful cast of characters that Ms. McGuire surrounds her with make the series an absolute joy. May, Toby’s Fetch, now lives with her, and is sort of the bright and colorful side of Toby, which, considering she’s the harbinger of Toby’s death, is always entertaining. Tybalt is also around quite a lot in this one, much to my delight. Tybalt, King of the Cats, is the ultimate bad boy, and he and Toby have always had a rather interesting relationship. Strong hitns that he may feel more than just friendship for Toby abound, and his gruff loyalty, not only to his cats, but to Toby, adds depth and meaning to an always (seemingly) tenuous relationship. Connor, Toby’s childhood love and Rayseline’s husband (for political reasons), is also always in the peripheral, and their chemistry is warm and sweet. Love triangle,anyone?
Seanan McGuire’s Faerie is a fascinating world that I never hesitate to return to. The characters are luminescent and leap off the page, and each faerie world has a life of its own. Court intrigue and machinations abound, loyalties are tested, and mad Faerie Queens and murdurous villians run amok. Toby is a strong, tough, heroine, with an unfailing sense of goodness, and Late Eclipses will reveal quite a few revelations about Toby’s past, and who she really is. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this one, and will probably be moving right along to One Salt Sea. This series is absolutely not to be missed!