Hundreds of years ago, the Selkies made a deal with the sea witch: they would have the sea for as long as she allowed it, and when the time came, she would call in all their debts at once. Many people assumed that day would never come. Those people were wrong.
When the Luidaeg--October "Toby" Daye's oldest and most dangerous ally--tells her the time has come for the Selkies to fulfill their side of the bargain, and that Toby must be a part of the process, Toby can't refuse. Literally. The Selkies aren't the only ones in debt to the Luidaeg, and Toby has to pay what she owes like anyone else. They will travel to the fabled Duchy of Ships and call a convocation of the Selkies, telling them to come and meet the Luidaeg's price...or face the consequences.
Of course, nothing is that simple. When Dianda Lorden's brother appears to arrest Dianda for treason against the Undersea, when a Selkie woman is stripped of her skin and then murdered, when everything is falling apart, that's when Toby will have to answer the real question of the hour.
Is she going to sink? Or is she going to swim?
About the Author
You can visit her at www.seananmcguire.com.
Read an Excerpt
March 8th, 2014
What's the unkindest tide?
-William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Some people believe the rise of the cell phone-and the associated rise of the cell phone camera-must have been a boon for the private detective. After all, when your camera isn't just handheld, but is also attached to a personal communication device, it seems like it should be easier to surreptitiously photograph people doing things they aren't supposed to do. Like cheating on their spouses, or money laundering, or trying to violate the terms of their custody agreements. All those charming, frustrating little ways that people like to break the rules, captured for the courts with a single press of a button. No fuss, no muss, no need to get anything developed. Swell, right?
Not so much. The trouble is, cell phone cameras have a long way to go before they'll match the capabilities of a good zoom lens or long-distance rig, much less exceed them-and that's where I have a problem. I still need my good lenses, but the more ubiquitous cell phones become, the more your classic camera stands out to the curious bystander. I used to be able to wander around with my trusty Canon slung around my neck and be confident that anyone who saw me would take me for a tourist. Not anymore. These days, people notice. People talk.
Some days I wind up taking lots of pictures of flowers and graffiti and showing them to anyone who seems too interested. It deflects suspicion, and it's surprisingly soothing, even if I'm not going to get a gallery show any time soon. More often, I use some of my precious magic to hide my camera behind a veil of illusion. It makes me look like some sort of bizarre mime whenever I take a picture, but somehow, this is less obviously weird, at least in San Francisco.
Humans are strange.
I'd been following a man around the city with my veiled camera for three days, trying to get pictures of him meeting with a group of "investors" who were planning to use underhanded means to buy shares in his company. I didn't fully understand why they didn't just call their stockbrokers, but the man who'd hired me was the first man's business partner, and he was paying me well for my time and expertise. I don't question the check, as long as it cashes.
I used to be a more or less full-time private detective. These days, knight errantry eats up a lot of time, leaving me with curtailed work hours. Knight errantry also doesn't pay, not when you're talking cash money, and I'd jumped at the chance to pad my bank account back to something resembling normal. I have a lot of mouths to feed at home, and that doesn't even go into the cost of veterinary cat food for my two geriatric Siamese.
My patience had paid off. Patience so often does. After three days, several near misses, and two false positions, it had all come together in a photo opportunity so perfect that I'd checked to make sure it wasn't being staged. I'd captured the pictures my client wanted without being seen by my target, and had dropped off the film in exchange for a lovely check, complete with hefty bonus. Not too bad for half a week's work.
Depositing the check had been quick and easy and best of all, gave me an excuse to pick up burritos from my favorite taqueria. The scent of them filled the car, making me drive a little faster. Burritos are best when they're hot, and I wanted to get these home to my family before they had a chance to cool.
Home. Family. Two words I used to think would never apply to me again, which just goes to show how much things can change. Sometimes they even change for the better.
My name is October Daye. I'm a changeling, which is a fancy way of saying "one of my parents was human, and one of them wasn't." It sounds simple. It's not. Being a changeling means never really knowing where you belong. It means always feeling like you're standing on the outside of two worlds, unable to commit to being a part of either one, equally unable to walk away.
It's even more complicated in my case. I was raised thinking I was half Daoine Sidhe on my mother's side, making me a descendant of Titania. Well, it turns out my mother, Amandine the Liar, is actually the daughter of Oberon himself. She's Firstborn, and I'm . . .
I'm not completely new, but I'm not all that old, either. There are only three of my kind of fae in all of Faerie. We're called the D—chas Sidhe. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what that means.
To add another fun little wrinkle, my mother's mother is a human woman, Janet Carter. Yes, that Janet, the one whose interference with Maeve's final Ride led to the Winter Queen's disappearance and changed the course of Faerie forever. So that's something fun for me to live with. Janet is still alive, by the way. She married my ex-fianc after I disappeared for fourteen years. My daughter Gillian calls her "Mom."
My family tree has a lot of thorns, and a tendency to draw blood.
Being a changeling usually also means living on the fringes of Faerie's political structure, since the fact that we're mortal is seen as a sign of weakness. Again, things are different for me. Duke Sylvester Torquill of Shadowed Hills stepped in as my protector and patron while I was still a child. Thanks to him, when I got tired of living on the streets with the rest of the changeling kids, I had someone to back me up and take care of me. Under his protection, and after I'd discovered a new knowe for the then-Queen of the Mists, I'd been able to study for and eventually achieve my knighthood-something that was almost unthinkable for a changeling, even one with my bloodline.
Being a knight gave me a place in the Courts. It was a low place, sure, and many people regarded it as scarcely better than being treated like a particularly clever pet, but it had been enough to give me something to hold onto. I'm surprisingly difficult to shake once I have something to hold onto.
I started as a knight, became a knight errant-sort of a fancy way of saying "odd jobs person for the fae courts of the San Francisco Bay area"-deposed an illegitimate monarch, and helped the true ruler of the Mists claim her family's throne. It was a lot of work, and resulted in my being named a hero of the realm, which is sort of like being a knight errant, only more so. Heroes of the realm protect people.
And I have people to protect. Somewhere along the way, despite everything, I found my people. I have a squire. I have a Fetch. I have a man I love, who wants to marry me. I have a family, and they were all waiting for me to get home with dinner.
I drove a little faster.
The past three months hadn't been perfect, but they'd been surprisingly peaceful, despite presenting their own unique challenges. Gillian-who had been born a thin-blooded changeling and then turned completely human in order to save her from a painful, elf-shot-induced death-was finally part of Faerie. I'd been resigned to the possibility that I'd never see my daughter again, that one day I'd have to add her grave to the list of those I visited regularly, decking them with rosemary and rue.
Only it hadn't worked out that way. One of my old enemies, the false Queen of the Mists, had arranged for the kidnapping of my only child, and had nearly killed her by jamming an arrow dipped in elf-shot into her shoulder. Elf-shot is always fatal to humans. Gilly should have died. Gilly would have died if Tybalt hadn't reached her before the poison could stop her heart. He'd carried her onto the Shadow Roads, which are only accessible to the Cait Sidhe, and from there to the Luidaeg, the sea witch of legend, and my mother's sister.
Like I said, my family is complicated.
The Luidaeg had been able to give Gillian a chance to survive. She'd draped my daughter in a Selkie's skin, chasing the mortality from her bones for at least a hundred years. Most Selkies don't keep their skins that long, but in Gilly's case . . .
The elf-shot would linger in her system for a century. That's what elf-shot was designed to do. It puts purebloods to sleep, and it keeps them that way until the world changes around them, becoming something alien and strange. If Gilly set her sealskin aside before the poison faded, she would die. Her humanity was the price of staying alive. It was seeing her father, her friends, everyone she'd ever cared about grow old and die while she continued on. She'd chosen to be human when I gave her the Changeling's Choice, and then the false Queen and the Luidaeg had taken that away from her, one out of malice and one out of mercy, and I had to wonder whether she'd ever forgive any of us.
I haven't spoken to her since the day she woke up and realized her life had changed forever. I promised to give her whatever space she needed, to let her be the one to come to me. But really, I don't know what to say. "I'm sorry I saved your life" is a lie. So is "It's better to be fae." And "I didn't want this for you" just might be the biggest lie of all. Of course, I wanted this-or something like it. She's my daughter. I want her with me.
But I'm not the mother she reaches for when she's scared, or lost, or lonely. That honor goes to my own grandmother, Janet Carter, who stepped in and raised my child when Faerie conspired to take me away from her for fourteen years.
Sometimes I hate my biological family. Maybe that's why I've worked so hard to build myself a new one.
It was simultaneously late enough and early enough that traffic was light. The Market District was closed for the evening, sending its burden of businesspeople and their support staff scurrying back to their safe, secure homes, while the bars and clubs downtown had yet to hit their full swing. I passed Dolores Park and pulled into the driveway of my old Victorian-style house in nearly record time. The kitchen lights were on. I turned off the car, opened the door, and was accosted by the sound of classic rock blasting through the open window. May was singing along as Journey asserted the need to continue to believe. May, like me, can't carry a tune in a bucket. The effect was surprisingly charming. It said "you're safe here." It said "nothing is currently wrong."
It said "welcome home."
Since there were people home, the wards weren't set; all I needed to get inside was my key. I stepped into the warm, bright kitchen, where my Fetch was dancing in front of the counter as she mixed a bowl of cookie dough. She turned and grinned at me.
"I hope you got extra burritos," she said. "We have extra mouths in residence."
I raised an eyebrow. "How many?"
"Dean and Raj."
I raised the other eyebrow. "Raj got away for the evening?"
May nodded. "Uh-huh. Gin told him part of kingship is being able to delegate every once in a while, so he's our problem until midnight. That's why I'm baking cookies. They're working that poor boy to the bone."
"That poor boy is going to be King of Cats; he signed up for this." I swiped a fingerful of cookie dough as I headed for the hall. May laughed and hit me with her mixing spoon, getting more dough on my wrist. I grinned and kept walking, sticking my wrist in my mouth to suck off the sugary goodness.
As my Fetch-technically retired, since Amandine broke the connection between us when she changed the balance of my blood to save my life-May and I used to be identical. Now, years and quests and changes later, we still look like sisters, but we're not twins anymore. Her face is the one I had when she was called into existence, soft and round and human in ways my own face has forgotten. Her eyes are a pale, misty gray, and her hair is the no-color brown that drives a thousand salon appointments, a color she's constantly at war with, covering it in streaks of blue and green and purple and, most recently, flaming orange. It makes her happy, and I like it when she's happy. After all, she's my sister in every way that counts.
Her live-in girlfriend, Jazz, was in the dining room, sitting at the table and clipping coupons out of an advertising circular. She tensed and looked up at the sound of my footsteps, golden eyes briefly widening before she relaxed and offered me a somewhat weary smile. "Hey, Toby," she said. "Need me to move?"
"Up to you." I held up the bag of burritos. "As soon as I crinkle the foil, we're going to have an invasion of teenage boys. Salsa may fly. Your coupons could get royally wrecked."
"Yes, but I'll have salsa, so I'll live."
I watched her gather her coupons as I set my bag down and unpacked its contents. Fortunately for my ability to eat my own dinner, I always make it a point to pick up a couple of extra burritos these days. My house contains between one and four teenagers at any given moment in time-more if Chelsea's over and has decided she needs one or more of Mitch and Stacy's daughters to save her from being outnumbered by the boys. If there's one thing fae and mortal teens absolutely have in common, it's the ability to eat more than should be physically possible. I once found Quentin absently gnawing on a stick of butter while he was doing his homework. It would be terrifying, if it wasn't so impressive.
Jazz is a Raven-maid, one of the few types of diurnal fae. She and May make it work, mostly by spending their mornings and evenings together, then each doing other things while the other is asleep. For Jazz, "other things" usually means running her small secondhand store in Berkeley, on the other side of the Bay. Recently, though . . .
Recently, it's mostly meant staying in the house with the doors and windows closed, steadfastly refusing to look outside and see the birds in flight. My mother broke something deep inside Jazz when she kidnapped her from what should have been the safety of her own home. It had been part of an effort to blackmail me into bringing back her eldest daughter, my missing sister, August. As usual, Amandine hadn't cared who might get hurt, as long as she got her way.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love this series and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I'll keep reading them as long as Seanan keeps writing them!
I received a copy of The Unkindest Tide through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Unkindest Tide is the thirteenth novel in the October Daye series, and once again we find Toby up to her neck in trouble. What a shock, we know. At least this time we know it's because Toby is keeping a promise, instead of just having a talent for causing trouble. The Luidaeg has called in Toby's debt. It's time for the Selkies to pay their debts. Generations ago, their forefathers slaughtered the children of Luidaeg. Now it's time for the final price of that slaughter to be paid. And October is needed to see things through to the end. This novel also includes an all-new novella, titled Hope is Swift. And it follows the one and only Raj. Here we see what he's been up to, while his uncle and Toby were busy dealing with the Selkies. “My family tree has a lot of thorns, and a tendency to draw blood.” (Seanan McGuire, The Unkindest Tide) The Unkindest Tide is a tale we all knew was coming. The Luidaeg herself warned Toby that her debt would be paid off when she helped her deal with the Selkies and their final punishment. But it's still hard to accept that the time as finally come. This was a fast-paced read, and in any story involving Toby, it ended up being a lot more complicated than one would originally expect. What had started out as a quest to conclude the payment and punishment of the Selkies evolved into something much larger. But that makes sense. Nothing is ever done lightly in the world of the fae, and there are always consequences. There are also people who will always try to interfere. And people who won't think past themselves when making a decision. That's just the way of this life. And it's all something that Seanan McGuire perfectly captured here. That's part of the reason that this read was just so intense. The emotional ties didn't hurt either – if you take a moment to think about the Selkies and the named characters in that group, you'll know exactly what I mean by that one. Seeing more of the water side of the world of fae was fascinating. We already had an idea of how they worked, but seeing them in one court versus seeing them in another setting truly does change things. And it gives us a broader scope to work with. Looking back on it, I can see some new crumbs and hints left out along the way over the course of The Unkindest Tide. I know that Seanan McGuire will pick up the threads in time, the real question is how long we'll be left waiting on those bits. While there was a lot going in this novel, there was also a lot to love. I couldn't even begin to list out everything, even if I wanted to do something like that. And as per usual, I loved the inclusion of some of the side characters, mainly Tybalt and Quentin. Especially Tybalt, if I'm being honest. I should warn readers – this book is going to be hard to put down. I was lucky enough to be reading it over the long weekend, which allowed me to stay up a bit later. I actually stayed up past three, in order to read the whole thing in one sitting. And it was totally worth it. The Unkindest Tides was an amazing whirlwind of a read, one that I do not regret reading. Though I'll confess that I'm sad to be finally caught up with the series. At least I still have all of the novellas to read through. That's something. Hope is Swift is the novella included at the end of this book, and it focused on Raj and what he was up to while everyone else was aw
3.5 The Sea Witch Takes Her Revenge Stars I have been waiting for this forever, for the Luidaeg to call in all of Toby’s debts and it FINALLY happened. The day of reckoning for the Selkies has come and their mother has called the time, place and price that will be demanded of them. The time is neigh, the place is the Duchy of Ships (think pirates and you are half way there) and the price, well that is a little more complicated. To say the Selkies are not excited about this is an understatement. It is a little understandable because their entire way of life is about to change. Cousin Annie has dropped all disguises; she is the Luidaeg, the Sea Witch, with transformations in her fingers and curses in her palms. Most of The Unkindest Tide was good for me. I definitely love all things Luigaeg and getting to see some of the sorrow she has held for so long was a little agonizing. The story of the Roane and the Selkies is the saddest of tales. If I know nothing, I know this; there is at least one more Firstborn out there that deserves death. There is an entire entourage of people at the conclave. Dianda, being of the Saltmists, comes along as witness along with many others. I do love bloodthirsty Dianda and I even did okay with the side story stuff that included her. Side note, do not get on her bad side. I struggled with the murder mystery. The Selkies have all come together at the conclave but when one of them ends up dead, Toby is Toby, and needs to find justice for the fallen. I get it, but it was the least interesting part of the story since I did not know any of the characters involved personally and I just wanted to get to the stuff involving the Sea Witch getting her justice. Also, I struggle with Gillian. I do love what the Luigaeg said to her (Ch 4. You can’t miss it), I’ll wait here while you go read it. I really just wanted to smack Toby’s daughter this entire book. Janet too, for that matter, both of them drive me a little nuts. I’m hoping one day she’ll see everything Toby tried to do for her, but alas children rarely see that until they have children of their own. Best new character goes to Captain Pete, captain of the Duchy of Ships and Firstborn of Titania. She is fantastic and I really liked getting to know another Firstborn that wasn’t an ass. I did like how this ended overall. I think there are some great set ups for things to come and it isn’t all bad that the future might be a little more fluid now because of the happenings in this book. It will be interesting to see what comes of the events that unfolded here. I have a feeling that more people will end up on Toby’s doorstep with prophecies to foil in the future. Let’s hope for her sake most of them don’t involve water. Quotes: “There’s no one in this world you can trust all the time. Not even the people you love, not even the people who love you.” I’d have your spine for jewelry if it wouldn’t make her angry. I’d make flutes from your bones and play them with my boys every time someone thought it would be a good idea to threaten us. She’s not condemning you. She’s sparing you, from me. You should thank her for her mercy, not look to me to save you from it.”
Well, it is finally here. For many, many books, we have known that Toby will have to pay her huge debt to the Sea Witch. And for several books, we have known payment will involve the Selkies and restoring the Roane. Finally the Luidaeg calls in the debt, and Toby’s whole gang, absent only Raj, heads out to sea. We get to meet Captain Pete (one of my new favorite characters, just you wait) and re-unite with some old favorites (come on, Dianda Lorden is pretty kick-ass). The Dutchy of Ships is an interesting place and I enjoyed the first real description we get of Undersea politics. We knew from previous books that a war between land and sea would be a BAD THING but we finally get a better idea why, as we meet more Undersea fae and glimpse their powers. Toby gets to take a quick jaunt underwater to play the role of hero, and for once, nothing goes terribly wrong. The problems are back on land- or at least the solid floor of a Dutchy floating in the middle of the ocean. Someone doesn’t want Toby to keep her bargain with the Luidaeg and commits murder to try and prevent it. Toby attempts to find the culprit amid a wash of politics. Overall, an enjoyable book. I appreciated seeing the Luidaeg interact with so many more characters (no spoilers here, but when you read it, I think you will see who I mean). She finally seems to have real personality and not just be acting because someone forced her to do something. I can’t wait to see what the repercussions of this book will be. A solid 4.5 stars. Oh, and for those of you like myself, who love Tybalt, well, there is a particular exchange between Toby and Tybalt that I am sure will have you squealing. Now go get started reading.
I’ve been reading the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire since the first book, Rosemary and Rue. If I have a conversation with you and we start talking about books, I will for sure mention Seanan McGuire and one of her excellent series, such as the InCryptid series, the Wayward Children series, or this one. She is one of the few authors that I actively search for as to when her next book is coming out. So it makes me sad to not give The Unkindest Tide five stars or even four. I wasn’t completely let down by the reading experience. Toby finally has to pay for all the favors the Luidaeg has granted her over the years. But the payment felt light. Just like this book felt light. But I expect a lot more from McGuire because I know she has the writing talent to be able to deliver. One of the things that I enjoy so much with the October Daye series is the details in the story. The Fae and all the other mythical people and creatures have very complex lineages, customs, and rules. McGuire’s books need to be written in depth to encompass all of these details. To me, The Unkindest Tide was a shadow of previous books. The story was still there but the depth of the book was light and airy. Will I still recommend the Toby Daye series? Of course. Will I read the next book in this series? Yes. Do I think you should read this one. Yes, especially if you’ve been reading the rest of the series. I would love to hear what you’ve thought of The Unkindest Tide if you decide to read it.
4.5 Centuries before many of the fae alive can remember, and certainly before the humans currently alive can recall, the Luidaeg’s children the Roane were savagely murdered by their kin. That brutality forced the creation of the Selkies, but with a caveat: One day the Luidaeg would call in the Selkies’ debts and return the Roane to the world. Toby finds herself involved not only because she owes a boatload of debt to the Luidaeg already, but also because she’s Dochas Sidhe and her blood magic will aide in the transition of the Roane. So to the Duchy of Ships our group embarks. But when they arrive, our group stumbles upon a conflict between Dianda Lorden of Saltmist and her brother Torin. When Dianda is taken prisoner and marked as a traitor, as the hero she’s named, Toby is compelled to step in and see justice served no matter who she has to cross in the process. The Unkindest Tide gives readers a wonderful high-seas adventure. Seanan McGuire certainly knows how to play the long game with this series. I absolutely love how everything that happens has been built upon and built upon so successfully that the transitions from one ultimate conflict or confrontation are seamless. The idea of family has always been the backbone of this series. In fact, while I appreciate the fact that we finally got a map of the Kingdom of the Westland within the last couple of books, I’d like to formally request a family tree. Family is so completely wonderful and so completely complicated at the same time. We see this in the tentative, though terribly scarred, relationship between Toby and Gillian. We see this in the found-family Toby has formed with Quentin, May, Raj, Tybalt, Jazz, etc. Here, it’s probably best illustrated in the contrasting relationships between Dianda and her brother Torin and the Luidaeg and her sister Captain Pete (aka Amphitrite). Besides being supremely happy to see Toby and Tybalt beginning to build their relationship back up—after Tybalt needed to step back and heal from his kidnapping by Amandine—I loved seeing the support and love between the Luidaeg and Pete. The Luidaeg has always been a character cloaked in ambiguity. She puts forth the air of a monster, someone to be feared, but we’ve seen the moments of kindness, we’ve seen her work around her rules to keep Toby alive, or Gillian alive, etc. So seeing another piece in the puzzle in the interactions between her and her sister, was wonderful. I guess I just liked knowing that the Luidaeg had family that she liked. Someone that could be on her side if possible. As always, Seanan McGuire leads Toby on a twisting and turning mystery adventure where she ends up challenging the edicts of Faery. The way she works around certain restrictions is always a joy to watch (despite her propensity for bleeding). The mystery itself didn’t feel too overly involved or complicated instead I felt like the issues between the Luidaeg and Selkies took center stage. Seanan McGuire gives readers a pretty straightforward nod as to where we can eventually expect the series to go. Whether or not it’s within the next book, we’ll have to wait and see cause, as I said, Seanan McGuire likes to play the long game. Regardless, this has always been a series I can count on to deliver.
excellent addition to the Tobyverse. if you're new to the world don't start here there are way too many plot points converging that start way back in Rosemary and Rue
The October Daye series is one of my all-time favorite series. Every time a new installment is released, I count down the days until I can be back in this world. These are my ultimate comfort books. If you like any of the following things, I highly recommend checking them out: Faerie (the dark side of it), Found family, truly excellent character growth (and just characters in general), engaging plots or a slow-burn romance. The Unkindest Tide is actually one of my favorite installments so far. It showed us a different side of many of the characters while also still developing the larger storyline (I have SO many theories as to where this series is ultimately heading). I LOVED that we found out more about the Luidaeg in this book, she's been one of my favorite characters. This book examines the meaning of family, of forgiveness, of healing, and of how far characters will go for those they love. There’s some excellent court politics, a pirate or two, and, of course, an intriguing mystery. Parts of this one broke my heart and then put it back together on the next page. The Unkindest Tide is a quieter story than some of the previous installments but is so much more powerful because of that. I’m so glad that we’re getting at least four more books in this series, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to say goodbye to these characters that I love so much. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Its always a good day when reading a book by Seanan McGuire. The Unkindest Tide was simply fantastic! Toby bargain with the Ludwig has come due and its going to effect her even more personally than she imagined. Her a few select friends tag along to the ocean realm where another 1st born comes into play. If dealing with the Selkies wasn't enough, there is conflict in the Merrow world, pulling Toby right into their turmoil as well. To top it all off, Toby's daughter is now caught in the middle of the all the trouble bubbling to the the boiling point and she must pull out all the stops to save what she holds most dear. I, absolutely, loved it. I had to put out the do not disturb signs out around myself. This was a read into the wee-hours of the morning book for me... So, be warned, you may not be able to put this book down once you start! If that wasn't icing on the cake then lets top if off with a marvelous novella, Hope is Swift set in the October Day world. It takes place at exactly the same time as The Unkindest Tide but focuses on Raj and Cait Sidhe that were left back on shore. Another fantastic adventure to devour. The book and novella was a win, win for me. I received this ARC copy of The Unkindest Tide from Berkley Publishing Group - DAW. This is my honest and voluntary review.
I hate when a new book by this author comes out: I know I will devour it quickly, and it will be at least another year before I can read another in this series. Toby has come such a long way since the beginning of this series, and this book just shows how. She now has a huge circle of friends/family, a group she knows she can trust implicitly. She knows she has to protect them, but she can’t always, and when the Luidaeg comes to have Toby fulfill her debt, she knows she must let them enter danger. This book was filled with the flowery, wonderful writing the author is great at, we learn even more about Toby’s extended family (make sure to read the novella at the end), and we are inching closer to the end of the whole series as Toby’s number of allies grows as she plays her role as hero of the realm. Every book gets better and better, and I don’t want this series to end. If you love urban fantasy, this series is one of the best. Highly recommend!
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. LUIDAEG! LUIDAEG! LUIDAEG! Everyone shout it with me!!! (Now, ask yourself... were you pronouncing it correctly as "loo-shack"... or incorrectly as "loo-ee-day-g"... or struggling to pronounce it at all?) Yeah, Antigone of Albany, the sea witch, Cousin Annie, the Luidaeg is my favorite character in the October Daye series, and this one has SO MUCH LOOSHACK that I can't function! We get to see deep into her soul!!! Okay, enough fanboying. I absolutely loved this installment in the Toby series. Multiple firstborns, good old fashioned murder (yikes, poor victim), political posturing involving arrests and undersea rescues), and most importantly LOTS OF FAMILY. Lots and lots and lots. And mostly, that's Toby's adopted family - the family of choice, the family of people who come together and create a bond of family that isn't there because of blood or birth, but because of as conscious choice to love. The best kind of family. Also, did I mention, this one is set out on the seas? Like a pirate adventure? YASSSSSSSSSSSSS! Apparently, I love Toby and the Luidaeg so much that I have to ramble and fanboy and squee. There's also a short story/novella at the end from Raj's POV, totally worth reading. 4 stars for that. 5 stars! READ TOBY!