Review: Rosemary and Rue

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ROSEMARY AND RUE
SEANAN MCGUIRE
SERIES: October Daye #1
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal – Fae

★★★★

GOODREADS // WORDERY // BOOKDEPOSITORY

 

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1)

October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas… 

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.

 

Rosemary and Rue is the first book in Seanan McGuires’s paranormal, urban fantasy series featuring changeling private detective October Daye. I read and loved McGuire’s Wayward Children series and Indexing duology as well as some of her writing as Mira Grant (Feed and Into the Drowning Deep). I’ve yet to dislike a book of hers, so I thought it was high time to tackle this (intimidating) twelve book series: the thirteenth book comes out later this year. I’ll be reading a book a month with a small group on Twitter, and I’m looking forward to discussing it as we go along. (Check out #ADayeAMonth if you’re interested).

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I have to say, I thought this book had one of the strongest prologues I’ve ever read.

It was much longer than most, but the pay-off at the end was well worth it. McGuire very quickly and efficiently shows us Toby’s idyllic homelife, letting us know what she’s built for herself, then strips it all away, leaving her at isolated, depressed and at the very bottom. It’s a great way to set the character up with some long-term goals, something to strive for and a rationale as to why she’ll be willing to throw herself into danger. It also effectively gets across the ruthlessness and danger of the fae world she’ll be navigating.

The plot and investigation itself was fairly straight-forward and really served more as a way to introduce us to a wide cast of characters. For a first instalment, I’m perfectly happy with this. I felt we got to know Toby and understand her motivations in regard to the various tasks set to her. The secondary and supporting characters were only touched on lightly, but they were each intriguing and full of possibility. The variety of characters and hints of backstory gave the world-building a good sense of scale. It was believably happening in a big city, with a second layer of fae world to explore.

I would have liked to see Toby reunite with Cliff and their daughter. Not necessarily in a positive or conclusive way (there’s a whole series after all) but such massive connections seem a little too easily disagreed (by the story if not the character). I’d also have liked the characters and action from the prologue, as strong as it was, to loop back around and find some sort of conclusion.

Overall, Rosemary and Rue was a strong series opener, with great characters and lots of potential.

 

GOODREADS

WORDERY

BOOKDEPOSITORY

 

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18 thoughts on “Review: Rosemary and Rue

  1. Great review! I really liked this one, but got intimidated after book three and have stalled out a bit as well. I need to get back to this series this year; I really like McGuire’s writing, so I have no excuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The series is a bit intimidating! That’s why I really wanted to buddy read it, because I thought I might binge the first few then stall if left to my own devices!

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      1. Yeah, if I don’t pick it back up on my own soon I might join you on the buddy read in April. I’m up to book 4, so that gives me a few months to read it on my own before the #ADayeAMonth group gets there. (I think I’m going to join the hashtag now as a reminder to myself.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a really cool series – it reminds me a little of the Meredith Gentry book by Laurell K Hamilton, which I used to adore. 13 books does seem immersive – I hope you make it through the all! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoyed the first.. 8 or so?… books in Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, but I lost track of it. I’ll have to try Meredith Gentry if I enjoy this one. 😊

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  3. There’s still 3-4 days of January left, so I might actually finish this book this month, shh. I only own the first one though, so I’m curious what you’ll think of the rest 😀

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  4. You made a great point here about the whodunit plot being fairly straightforward and balancing well with the potentially complicated cast of characters. I know that many of them do reappear and/or play important roles in later books, and without going too far into spoilers, there are a few things going on here that will have repercussions later. This is a lengthy series, after all, and the plots are only just beginning to open up. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! That all sounds so intriguing! It does feel like quite a large cast for a first book, but I guess it has to be to ‘sell’ the fae world and so characters relevant to the plots don’t feel like they’re coming from nowhere. 🙂

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  5. Okay I read the book and I’m back. Personally I didn’t feel like the reunion was really missing yet, since the book takes place in a relatively short time, and it is mentioned that Toby has been calling them and they don’t pick up? No wonder they don’t really want to talk to her yet until 14 years. So personally I think it makes sense for the reunion to be later, with 10+ books.

    Still, I was really excited when the reunion almost happened before I realised it was a trick, so there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I’m just a troublemaker who loves conflict! XD The fake reunion really through me at first. I could tell something was off but not what. I though for a moment that her daughter was working for one of the fae too.

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  6. Hallo, Hallo Louise!!

    I can *finally!* comment on your lovely review for “Rosemary & Rue” – now that my own review is LIVE on my blog!! Eek. I can’t even tell you how long I have longed to see this day arrive… feels like all those migraines have melted into the background and all the instances of time where I couldn’t focus on the story itself due to *life – I feel so accomplished today! I would have started the sequel but as said, its still with the reader who checked it out so I have to remain a bit patient til it gets back to the library! I don’t want to read out of sequence, even if I had books 3 & 4!! lol

    This was my first experience in reading one of her stories — I decided to have a relaxed approach to how I blogged about it. I used some spoiler cuts but overall, I just wrote what I was feeling in the moments I was reading the story – good or bad, questioning or bang-on to the point of what was happening… which isn’t entirely unlike how I review in general but this time, I just blogged what I wanted too and didn’t worry so much about if I was over sharing.

    Mostly as I had the RAL group in mind when I was doing it…

    I noticed a lot of people were talking about the prologue – for me, that anchoured me into Toby’s life but overall, it wasn’t the scene or sequence which staid with me the longest. I’m still sorting through my memories of the book and as I gather closer to the discussion post I’m assembling I’ll better know which ones affected me more. I felt the time she spent away from everyone was pivotal but emotionally there were other moments that gutted me more. As this was in all honesty how the whole thing was set in motion. The cataylst but not the whole picture…

    I would as well – it would be nice for Gilly and Cliff to have some kind of connection to Toby — she aches for that and I ache for it for her.

    I know you’re already reading my review… I just had to drop by and say “Thank you!” for nudging me into reading this series. It is becoming an experience I am throroughly enjoying!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad it’s been worth the wait for you!
      I hate reading series out of order too. I don’t understand how people are able to jump back and forth, it’d give me a headache!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely well worth the wait!! Really thankful you nudged me to be reading this and I can’t wait to see where the discussions take me and the next stories in sequence! The only times I break sequence of series is if a) time constraint b) migraine issues c) can’t borrow the books in time (if a blog tour) or d) I’ve decided to either try the author out and/or hadn’t realised it was a series (yes that does happen to me!) — in the case of the Valdemar series I think I can move in/out of it a bit here or there and still get the gist – we’ll see, trying to get current with that RAL next 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve has that happen a couple of times with ARCs – requested them before realising their part of a series. A couple of times I’ve read the earlier books to catch up first but once or twice I’ve just went for it.

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