Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire

Toby is doing well in her relationship with the King of Cats, Tybalt, so it's inevitable that something major should go wrong. Too many changelings are becoming addicted to goblin fruit, which is fatal over the long haul, but which provides an incredible high in the meantime, and is immediately addictive on the first dose. It has become widely available on the streets of San Francisco and its Fae desmesnes. It is a harmless intoxicant to the Fae, but the half bloods and full humans are strongly affected by it. The worst thing is, it turns out that the Queen is the one who is providing it, and isn't dismayed at all at the changeling deaths - it's a feature, not a bug.

Toby makes the mistake of confronting her, and ends up banished from the kingdom. In her inimitable and rather unique style, she sets about finding the true heirs of King Gilad, and encouraging them to claim their rightful throne, which coincidentally should end her banishment.

Along the way we get to meet a Dog Sidhe (if there are cats, there must be dogs, right?), struggle along with Toby when the Queen's agents forcibly addict her to goblin fruit, which has some wild side effect for someone who can change their own blood to become more human, thus enjoying the intoxication more deeply. Going along with the usual theme these days in urban fantasy with female heroes, we get to learn who all Toby's allies really are, and how she can count on them to have her back.

This book appears to mark a transition in the series. It will be fun to see what's next.

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