Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (October Daye, Book 1)
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (October Daye, Book 1)

An urban fantasy with a heroine who kicks arse without being a try-hard and morally ambiguous secondary characters. It’s a recipe for a series addiction.

October Daye is a half human, half faerie ex-detective trying to live a normal human existence after being terribly wronged by the faerie. When an old frenemy dies, she is bound by a curse to find out who killed her and why, and avenge her death. Toby’s investigations lead to her a renewal of ties with the people of faerie, and to revisit a past she’d rather forget.

October Daye is a fantastic heroine—flawed, stubborn, angry but determined to live her own life. She kicks arse without trying so hard to do it (unlike many an urban fantasy heroine). Toby has many regrets in her life, but she doesn’t dwell on them. It’s all about moving on and not using that chip on her shoulder as an excuse to be a bad arse. She’s not a superhero, and she doesn’t even try to be. (Ah, a well done anti-heroine. I like those.) Toby tries. And she tries hard, and I barracked for her all the way, every time she fell and got up again, even when I wanted to shake her for not asking for help when she needed it.

I enjoyed the world building in this story. Seanan McGuire takes elements from different legends about the faerie—some familiar, some not—and binds them together into a world that is captivating and curious at the same time. There’s an element of reasonable doubt with every character—Are they good? Will they be good or stay good? Can I trust them?–which kept me on my toes at every page. I had to wonder about them as I went along, and even in the end, when they’ve pulled through, I still wondered, Will they change? What will happen next?

The secondary characters were well developed and kept me wondering what roles they would play in future books. It’s not clear who Toby’s romantic interest is. It’s not clear if there’ll be love at all. For all I know there could be a love hexagon 3 books later. So if you’re looking for romance, this isn’t it. There are romantic elements, but this is first and foremost an urban fantasy.

McGuire did such a great job of setting up this series that I am left wanting more. That said, the potential of this is both good and bad—there will be more to read, and that’s fantastic. I can’t wait to know what happens to Toby and everyone else. But it’s another series, and I’ve been burned before. And while I told myself I wouldn’t start another series, we all know that never works, and here I am again, diving into something new. (Someday I’ll write something on the series and its joys and tribulations.)

Yay or nay?

I would recommend this book for lovers of urban fantasy, or those looking for a good story with a bite of faerie in between. This is not a romance, so if you’re looking for one, this isn’t it (yet?). There are a lot of unresolved issues related to the heroine’s past at the end of this book, which can leave you hooked and at the start of the addiction to another series. If you don’t mind that, though, go forth and enjoy!

Rosemary and Rue was released in November by Penguin Australia. The next book in the series, A Local Habitation, is due for release in April 2010.

Title: Rosemary and Rue (excerpt)
Series: October Daye (Book 1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
ISBN: 9780756405717
Release date: November 11, 2009
Publisher: Penguin Australia

Where you can buy this book

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Dymocks | Ever After | Fishpond | Galaxy | Intrigue | Nile | Rendezvous | Romance Direct | Romantic Reflections | Siren | More
EBOOKS: Books On Board | Diesel | Dymocks | | Fictionwise | Kindle
WORLDWIDE: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository

Books in the October Daye series

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (October Daye, Book 1)A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire (October Daye, Book 2)

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Wandergurl is a sometime traveller who spends her daylight hours making sure that things go the way they're supposed to with minimum bureaucracy (don't ask!). A firm believer that thirty is the new twenty, she will probably never look her age (or act it!). An enthusiastic football supporter (that would be soccer to you) she will get up at odd hours to watch a game, and of course it's not just because the players are hot. She loves history, geography and is pretty good at trivia, thanks to her propensity to remember random bits of celebrity gossip. When not reading or travelling, she can be found indulging in her other passion -- eating -- and can be found at Wake up and smell the coffee.

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