Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, Book 1)Finally broke down and bought a copy of the first book in the October Daye series at Hastings. This novel is very similar in theme to the Merry Gentry novels by Hamilton. October is a half elven private investigator who has done her best to avoid her elven relatives and home for quite a while, but takes the occasional case from a relative. While tracking her liege, Sylvester Torquill's brother, Simon, she is ambushed and transformed into an ornamental koi in a pond for the next fourteen years, causing her to abandon her human husband and daughter, Gilly, from whom she is still estranged.

Sometime after her return to bipedal form, she is pulled once again into immortal politics when Countess Winterrose is murdered, and leaves October "Toby" with one of the few clues to follow, a magical key, plus a geas-style curse that will not let her rest until she apprehends the culprit. So Toby must once more meet up with old allies and enemies to find out who would have the means, motive and opportunity to kill the Countess.

Aside from being set in San Francisco rather than L.A., Toby differs from Merry in that she doesn't feel the need to fall into bed with some random stud every twenty pages or so. Much easier not being a descendent of fertility goddesses, just a Daione Sidhe - one of those who are able to read memories in the blood of the dead. She's also not a royal, just a knight of the Sylvester's court, so she can act without much of what she does having political ramifications.

This first novel drags a bit at times, as McGuire takes the time to tell us what we need to know about some of the backstories of the major players, and I get the feeling there's an October Daye short story out there previously published that it wouldn't hurt to read to find out how she became a knight in the first place. Toby wants desperately just to be an ordinary private investigator, but keeps getting drafted to be a hero, instead.

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