Rosemary and Rue (October Daye Series #1)

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye Series #1)

4.3 209
by Seanan McGuire

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New York Times-bestselling October Daye series • Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire • "Top of my urban-paranormal series list!" —Felicia Day

The world of Faerie never disappeared; it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie's survival—but no secret can


New York Times-bestselling October Daye series • Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire • "Top of my urban-paranormal series list!" —Felicia Day

The world of Faerie never disappeared; it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie's survival—but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born.

Outsiders from birth, these half-human, half-fae children spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Or, in the case of October "Toby" Daye, rejecting it completely. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating into a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, Faerie has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose, one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant to the Duke of Shadowed Hills and begin renewing old alliances that may prove her only hope of solving the mystery...before the curse catches up with her.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the October Daye series:

"The top of my urban-paranormal series list! I am so invested in the worldbuilding and the characters.... The romance is real and awesome, but doesn't overshadow the adventure." —Felicia Day

"Everything you'd ever need in an urban fantasy. It's a smart story, cleanly told that allows both humor and heartbreak to take their turn on stage." —Tanya Huff, author of the An Ancient Peace

"Rosemary and Rue is one of the most successful blends of mystery and fantasy I've ever read—like Raymond Chandler by way of Pamela Dean." —Tim Pratt, author of Dead Reign

"McGuire knows her fairy lore, bringing the wonder and the danger of the fair folk to the streets of San Francisco so vividly you can smell the rose goblins." —Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer

"An incredible mix of action, mystery, fairy, urban fantasy, and just a smidgen of romance artfully woven into a story impossible to put down.” —Sacramento Book Review

"I can't believe McGuire can come up with another adventure as riveting as this one. But then I say that after every book in this series." —SFRevu

"McGuire has never lacked for courage in her writing.... The phenomenally inventive October Daye series showcases her narrative daring and ingenuity beautifully." —RT Reviews

"Prepare to be dazzled.... Like the best of urban fantasy, with each reveal and mystery solved, Toby's world grows ever more enticing. As seductive as faerie itself, this is one series I could never give up." —All Things Urban Fantasy

"These books are like watching half a season of your favorite television series all at once.... More than anything else, it's the fun of it all that's kept me returning to McGuire's books and to this series." —SF Signal 

"The plot is strong, the characterization is terrific, the tragedies hurt...and McGuire's usual beautiful writing and dark humor are present and accounted for. This has become one of my favorite urban fantasy series." —Fantasy Literature

"With Ashes of Honor, McGuire has crafted a deeply personal and intense storythat will keep you on the edge, hoping to be pushed over. In my opinion, it is, hands down, the best Toby to date." —The Ranting Dragon

"An urban fantasy detective series featuring a resourceful female detective.... [October Daye] should appeal to fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files as well as the novels of Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and similar authors." —Library Journal

Half human and half fae, changeling October "Toby" Daye has good reason to feel an outsider in both worlds. Struggling to gain even the feeblest grip on normalcy, Toby has rejected the Faerie world, but she soon learns that the Faerie world refuses to reject her. The killing of a Faerie countess and a dying curse oblige her to reenter a world she had only recently heartily renounced, in the role of a knight errant. A major fantasy debut novel; a refreshingly human supernatural story.
Publishers Weekly
Singer-songwriter McGuire adeptly infuses her debut with hardboiled sensibilities and a wide array of mythological influences, set against a moody San Francisco backdrop. October “Toby” Daye is half-human, half-faerie, a changeling PI with a foot in both worlds. After spending 14 years as a fish following a botched assignment, she's desperate to avoid magic, but the dying curse of a murdered elven lady forces her to investigate the killing, with the price of failure being Toby's own painful death. Toby struggles with court intrigue, magical mayhem, would-be assassins and her own past, always driven by the need to succeed and survive. Well researched, sharply told, highly atmospheric and as brutal as any pulp detective tale, this promising start to a new urban fantasy series is sure to appeal to fans of Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Having narrowly survived a job gone awry—one that led to a nearly 15-year stint as a pond carp in San Francisco's Japanese Tea Garden—former private investigator and changeling October "Toby" Daye wants nothing further to do with the world of Faerie. Unfortunately, passing for human isn't an option, especially after a dying woman's curse compels Toby to investigate the murder of a fae countess. VERDICT Like Dreams and Shadows, this dark, gritty, and richly detailed urban fantasy introduces characters who awkwardly straddle the boundary between the mortal and supernatural worlds, presenting an inventive contemporary take on classic fairy tale lore.

Product Details

Publication date:
October Daye Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Everything you'd ever need in an urban fantasy. It's a smart story, cleanly told that allows both humor and heartbreak to take their turn on stage but, more importantly, the 'urban' and the 'fantasy' are of equal importance." —Tanya Huff, author of the Blood Books

"Rosemary and Rue is one of the most successful blends of mystery and fantasy I've ever read—like Raymond Chandler by way of Pamela Dean. Toby Daye has become one of my favorite heroines, and I can't wait to read more of her continuing adventures." —Tim Pratt, author of Dead Reign

"McGuire knows her fairy lore, bringing the wonder and the danger of the fair folk to the streets of San Francisco so vividly you can smell the rose goblins. Action, intrigue, and a dash of romance make Rosemary and Rue a fun, engaging read. An impressive first novel that leaves you impatient for the second." —Jim Hines, author of Libriomancer

"Rosemary and Rue is a fast paced ride through the streets, parks, and cliffs of San Francisco, lifting the covers to reveal that which lies unseen. An incredible mix of action, mystery, fairy, urban fantasy, and just a smidgen of romance artfully woven into a story impossible to put down.” —Sacramento Book Review

Meet the Author

Seanan McGuire is a California-based author with a strong penchant for travel and can regularly be found just about anyplace capable of supporting human life (as well as a few places that probably aren’t). Early exposure to a vast number of books left her with a lifelong affection for the written word, and led, perhaps inevitably, to her writing books of her own, starting somewhere around the age of eleven. The October Daye novels are her first urban fantasy series, and the InCryptid novels are her second series, both published by DAW and bother of which have put her in the New York Times bestseller list. Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; Rosemary and Rue, the first novel in the October Daye series, was named one of the Top 20 Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade; and her novel Feed, written under the name Mira Grant, was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010. She also won a Hugo for her podcast, and is the first person to be nominated for five Hugo Awards in a single year. You can visit her at

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Rosemary and Rue (October Daye Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 209 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
October Daye is a Dresden-esque heroine who wants to be anything but. She has catapulted Seanan McGuire to the top of my favorites (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Kristen Britain, and Jim Butcher). I was hesitant at first because the whole stuck-as-a-fish for multiple years, but while that gives depth to the character it does not overwhelm the book. The book quickly establishes action, mythology, courtly intrigue, and a vast array of characters while coating it all in a layer of sarcasm. McGuire also does a beautiful job of not losing you in the mythology while not giving everything away or over explaining. This series is a wonderful (in my opinion defining) addition to the faerie portion of urban fantasy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Jim Butcher, he really got me into Urban Fantasy and I have trouble finding people who don't fall far short of him. This book was written well, the Protagonist was likably not perfect, she struggles to make it in a world where she doesn't have as much power as the creatures she works for and fights against and she succeeds, come Hell or high water. I read the first book and promptly bought the rest of the series. McGuire is going on my list of great writers. If you like her, check out Butcher as well as Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison and Faith Hunter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
October Daye was turned into a fish for 14 years, and has only recently resurfaced (no pun intended). She is a changeling, half fae, half human. She gets a call from an old pureblood friend who says that she needs her help, and puts a binding on her. When the friend is murdered, she is compelled to find the killer, or die trying.
AllisonB More than 1 year ago
For experienced readers of urban fantasy, which is how this book seems to be classified, ROSEMARY AND RUE offers little that's new. Half-breed hero with weak powers, stubborn, short. Same old same old. Prose is too wordy and lots of it is easy to skip. I bought this book because I love the author's FEEDBACK and DEADLINE, but I won't buy any more of this series.
George Erhard More than 1 year ago
McGuire weaves a story of ancient Fae and modern San Francisco with consumate skill. Readers will find themselves bound into reading just as October is bound into solving the crime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost did not buy this because the back cover did not show a story line I thought would interest me. The ladies at my local bookstore know me by name (I am wondering just how much $ I spend on books.). They recommended it to me, knowing the type of books I read. I will be buying any subsequent books in this series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In San Francisco private investigator Toby Daye is a half-breed part human and part fae. She avoids magic like it's the plague having spent fourteen years as a fish following an investigation that turned ugly. She refuses cases that have even a potential taint of magic. However, in spite of her avoidance doctrine, a female elf in her dying last breath curses Toby who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The elf's last wish is for Toby to uncover who murdered her; if she fails Toby will die quite painfully. With an incentive like that , Toby makes inquires that lead to magical and mundane assassination attempts. If she survives the attempts to kill her, she still has to survive the killing curse with her time running out or she will die anyway. This is a super new urban noir fantasy that will remind readers of Cast A Deadly Spell though six decades later and just less than 400 miles to the north. The story line is fast-paced from the opening scene as readers meet the magic-phobic half-breed heroine who does not want to be tied in knots as the incredible Ms. Limpet and never slows down as she works a particularly nasty personalized case. ROSEMARY AND RUE is a winner in a sub-genre that has been butchered recently with zillions of imitations. Harriet Klausner
Duck More than 1 year ago
With a gripping beginning this paranormal/urban fantasy type mystery, tells a twisty story that delivers. I particularly enjoyed the complicated relationships and snapy (but not fake) dialogue. I immediately bought the rest of the series.
lovetoreadAR More than 1 year ago
I'm so thrilled I stumbled on this series, I've fallen in love. It has just the right amount of realism, fantasy, humor and drama to keep you on your toes to the end. Poor Toby has a hard life, some would say at times thankless. Through no fault of her own she goes missing only to return from a brush with oblivion to find her family has abandoned her. Trying to pull her life back together she's once again derailed by a friends murder and a binding promise, find who did it. But is that really all there is to the request? Hidden magic items of lore, betrayal, love triangles, assorted characters of all kinds, there are enough goodies in here to put your standard mystery romance to shame. And who doesn't love all the supernatural aspect? I was with her as she investigated each new twist, right up till the end I had no idea how it would play out. I'm officially hooked, can't wait to check the next one.
Straysod More than 1 year ago
I had to force myself to finish this book after I bought it. It wasn't worth it. The characters are weak, the "heroine" totally unsympathetic, selfish, and whiney. It is slow in the beginning, slower in the middle, and slow at the end. The world she has created is totally unbelievable, even for an urban fantasy. The rules make absolutely no sense, and require not so much a suspension of disbelief as an ability to read while brain-dead. SPOILER ALERT: For an example of how irritating this book is, consider this: you will wait 200 pages for something to happen. Seriously, out of a 300ish page book, 200 pages is October blindly wandering around and whining. Around page 200 she idiotically wanders into an ambush and is shot. She cleverly responds to this by almost dying, being rescued through no power of her own, and wandering off against all advice into ANOTHER ambush, getting shot AGAIN, and this time getting a friend killed in the process. This is the kind of author that latched onto the urban fantasy craze, and litters the field with useless "tough-girl" heroines, barely thought-through worlds, and truly pathetic attempts at plot.
Yellaness More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book overall but I do have a few issues with the story. I wish there had been more mystery solving on behalf of the P.I. It seemed like the author decided to throw in a "near death" action sequence instead of teasing out the clues to solve the case. If the protagonist is supposed to be a private investigator then she should be "investigating", yes? Also, October Daye's bad luck only creates so much drama before it becomes tedious. Having said that I found the cast of characters interesting and I enjoyed the world Seanan McGuire developed. I look forward to further development in the second book.
pen21 More than 1 year ago
Every time I thought this book might slow down, it just took off. What a storyline! This books is a great premise for a series to start with. But viewed as a standalone it is wonderful. I can't believe I waited this long to start this series. Seanan McGuire has a definite hit with October Daye. Don't miss her other series, the first book is Feed and written under the pseudonym Mira Grant.
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
Since this book has been thoroughly reviewed, my review will be brief. I really enjoyed this book. There aren't many favorable urban fantasy books that involve the fae and cater to adults; thank the goddess, I can now add this book to my short list. This story is a unique and distinguishable contender among the vast urban fantasy genre. The world Seanan McGuire built is dark, dangerous and enchanting. The story was creative, well written and flowed nicely. There was plenty of action, mystery and magic and very little sex. October Daye is tough, brave and intelligent. I highly recommend this new series to dark urban fantasy readers and look forward to the next book in the series Local Habitation due out 3/2/2010.
3monstersmom More than 1 year ago
Rosemary and Rue is one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading in awhile. Seanan McGuire gives us an easily believable world that quickly sucks the reader in, and delivers a great story that will have you marking your calendars in a countdown to the sequel. A must read for all fans of the fae genre.
dalnewt More than 1 year ago
With imaginative portrayals of fae creatures, vivid descriptions of San Francisco and fantastic visualizations of local faerie courts and magic, this book spins a fascinating investigative tale told in the first person narrative of a hybrid (human/fae) changeling named Toby (October) Daye. After recovering from a spell which held her in the form of a clueless coy fish for fourteen years, Toby has foresworn her previous high risk career and actively avoids contact with former fae friends and associates, including her liege, Duke Sylvester Torquill. Unfortunately, one of those friends, Countess Evening Winterrose, is murdered and manages to curse Toby before she dies, via a recorded phone message, to discover her murderer on pain of death. The investigation leads Toby on a trail which is fraught with magic, deadly assaults by fae assassins and unforgettable fae encounters. The book has a brisk pace, is peppered by action sequences and reaches a satisfying climax. As regards the protagonist, (who was born in 1952 but retains the looks and health of a young adult), I occasionally became annoyed by her overly naive reactions and/or inexperience behavior. Nonetheless, Toby is personable and engaging throughout most of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the next October Daye novel. If you enjoy urban fantasy, magic and/or faeries, you can't go wrong with this book.
Libraryraven More than 1 year ago
Seanan McGuire has opened up San Francisco to many new possibilities with the urban fantasy world and life of October "Toby" Daye, changeling and trouble-magnet. Never let it be said that Toby leads a boring life, unless you consider murder and interrealm intrigue dull. Tanya Huff wasn't lying when she compared this book to a hypothetical illicit love-child novel between herself and Jim Butcher. As with those two authors, I couldn't put Rosemary and Rue down until I'd turned the last page. Plot twists, well-placed artful and detailed descriptions, and the wry voice of Toby narrating her own story, comprise a riveting and engaging tale that is clearly just the beginning. This is the first step into a fae-touched San Francisco that is incredibly believable, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Rosemary and Rue is a breath of spiky and eerily rose-scented fresh air into the urban fantasy genre, and I wait rather impatiently for March 2010 when the second novel, A Local Habitation, is published. Do purchase this book, as I suspect you or your loved ones may wish to read it many, many times.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Is anyone here
Anonymous 9 months ago
At Anne of Green Gobles...res 2
Anonymous 9 months ago
Enjoyed it very much
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LoveToRead1963 More than 1 year ago
I love this series. The books get better and better. This is the first and a great introduction. The story will well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
~ Crystal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the diversity of the fairy world and it's design.