Rosemary and Rue October Daye #1, by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 1

Today is week one of our Rosemary and Rue readalong arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  I’ve been looking forward to reading this and I’m hoping it’s going to become one of my new favourite urban fantasy series.

The schedule is as follows and it’s definitely not too late to join in so go and grab a copy – or if you’re already read it dive in with the comments:

Week 1: Saturday 9th January, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th January, Chapters 7-14, hosted by moi at Lynn’s Books
Week 3: Saturday 23rd January, Chapters 15-20, hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
Week 4: Saturday 30th January, Chapters 21-End, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow (still me!)

All are welcome to join in and there’s a discussion page over on Goodreads if that makes it easier to join.  Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

1. So, first impressions time! What do you think of the book setup, first of all? Setting, magic system, Faerie in general?

I’m really enjoying it so far.  There’s no messing about but straight in with that very interesting prologue and then fairly quickly into the fray.  I’m not new to urban fantasy so it’s pretty easy to fall into this world which has a lot of characters and magic that already feel familiar and yet also seem to stand on it’s own two feet.  This is my first Seanan McGuire book and I’m finding her writing very easy to get on with and the pages are turning with great ease.  I do enjoy reading books with fae and so it feels like a welcome revisit.  I’m particularly fascinated by  Tybalt, King of the Cats and his sparkly emerald eyes!  Not sure he’s entirely trustworthy – maybe that’s the appeal huh!  The whole fae world here feels full of hierarchy, politics and prejudices, which isn’t necessarily a new theme but is nonetheless interesting to fall into again and I must say that Toby’s narration is very compelling.

2. Now let’s take Toby Daye herself. We get to see some of how she’s grown up and how she fits in, or doesn’t, in the modern world as it is post-fish. What are your initial thoughts on her?

What an opening!  I was totally dismayed – I mean of all things – turned into a fish!  She missed so much, lost her family, her job, her home.  It was so cruel.  I was thinking about her family and in particular her daughter.  I wonder why Toby opted for this human existence in the first place and I’m hoping that’s going to be explored further.  Plus, I wonder how she thought she would keep up the facade for ever anyway?  She’s not a pureblood but she does still live longer than regular humans doesn’t she?  Now, presumably her daughter is a changeling – I wonder if she had a visitation from the fae at a certain time/age?  It opens up a lot of train of thoughts along a similar vein and I’m hoping to discover more.

3. We have yet to properly meet certain characters (Devin and Sylvester), though we’ve gotten brief intros to others (Tybalt and the Queen of the Mists)… Who stands out for you among these secondary characters, and why?

Well, I think Tybalt is very interesting in a sort of mysteriously sexy and dangerous type of way.  He feels like he’s going to be one of these characters who pops up and tries to woo Toby – or maybe he’ll pop out of thin air when she’s in need and assist her after which she’ll owe him.  I don’t really know but I strongly suspect we’ll see more.

The Queen of the Mists was sort of how I would expect a fae queen – all imposing and almost horribly beautiful.  I was very curious as to why she wouldn’t help Toby.  It seemed that she shared a special connection with Evening after all.  I found that puzzling and was trying to think what was going on in her head at that particular point.  Maybe she’s too full of grief and not helping or talking about it is like denial – but I doubt it and it makes me a little bit suspicious.  Not that she had a hand in the murder but maybe that there’s more going on here – and clearly I haven’t a clue what!  And what is this key??

Evening is also a puzzle to me – I couldn’t help thinking that in her hour of need she seemed to sit in her home making calls to a changling who supposedly has less power than her?  That was a bit of a mystery.  I wonder how much help she thought Toby could be exactly or whether she wanted to share some information with her.  Curiouser and curiouser.

I definitely think Toby is going to be one of the characters with a lot of development throughout the series and a lot of revealed secrets maybe.

4. Toby has a murder mystery to solve. Any initial thoughts on the whodunit?

Like I said above – I have no clue and it just feels too early for even me to start making wild guesses.  Although I do wonder if the two critters from the prologue will enter the story again – they both seemed like rather nasty pieces of work.  Plus I wonder what they had to gain by tricking and transforming Toby?  They didn’t kill her – so maybe they had instruction not to do so and this was the best way of taking her out of the picture for a while.  Surely she’s missed quite a lot in the world of fae over the past 14 years.

Looking forward to next week already!

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14 Responses to “Rosemary and Rue October Daye #1, by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 1”

  1. proxyfish

    I absolutely loved that opening twist. Initially the prologue didn’t do anything for me and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it – but then THAT happened. So good!!!!!

    I’m also highly intrigued by Tybalt and his sparkly emerald eyes 😛 we’re definitely in for some fun with that one. But, like you say, there are a lot of puzzling characters who at this stage raise more questions than answers and will obviously be playing a key role in either aiding or hindering Toby.

    I also have no idea whodunit. Perhaps even someone who hasn’t appeared yet. Who knows! I’m definitely very intrigued to find out.

    Loving this novel! So glad I joined in this read along 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, – I do like readalongs, so much fun with all the discussion and I find it makes me think even more about the content. Plus everyone else throwing their ideas into the mix just teases out even more.
      I’m not always the biggest fan of prologues but that one did work didn’t it! plus the story plunged right in after the fish incident was over with. Sometimes you have a prologue and you don’t really find out what it means until mid way, or later, through the book and I find that a bit irritating because you have to keep it at the front of your mind while you read so you don’t forget the implications. I think Tybalt is probably going to be one of those characters that we all like. I hope so anyway 😀
      I suppose it is a bit too early to say who the culprit is – I think the two from the start were obviously told to take Toby out of the picture so I’m guessing they might be implicated with whoever the main baddie is!
      I do enjoy getting back to a good old fae read with all their court politics and carry ons.
      Lynn 😀

      • proxyfish

        They certainly make you think more! Which can only be a good thing I’m sure. Definitely, definitely want a bit more Tybalt action – very intriguing so far! 😀

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Ah, the readalong finally started! It’s so intriguing to see this book through different eyes and revisit this story (not to mention, refresh my memory about it…).
    One of the things I can tell you without fear of spoilers, is that you will see a great deal of growth, and that where some questions will receive an answer, many more will take their place. “Boring” is definitely not something you can say about this series.

    Happy reading!! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      That’s good to know. I always tend to start new UF series with a bit more, how to describe it, leeway – they all tend to improve after the first book. I didn’t really like the first Mercy Thompson or Harry Dresden books but then they both really grew in terms of character developments. I guess there’s such a lot to fit into the first book to try and give you a foothold.
      I’ve had my eye on this for a while but there are such a lot of books that it seemed like too much of a big thing to even get started. This readalong is perfect for that because I can probably get through one book a month (ish) or so and catch up and all with discussion with others.
      Lynn 😀

  3. digitaltempest

    I already have a book crush on Tybalt. I am SO easy. SO VERY EASY. And I’m hoping I don’t regret that book crush. LOL. I have no idea what to make of the Queen of the Mists right now. In a way, I wasn’t surprised she didn’t help because she has that sort of flighty fairies doing what fairies do air about her that you so often run into in books with faeries, but I’m hoping we’ll get more depth than that with her reactions and motivations. So far, I’m loving everything about this beginning. So many mysteries, so much pain and intrigue about Toby’s life. Can’t wait to see where it all goes.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think it’s a really good opening and a great prologue – I really wasn’t expecting that. The Queen of the Mists – I don’t know what to make of her yet – it’s too early, probably even for me to start jumping about accusing everyone.
      I am really enjoying the fae in this though – and the Arthurian feel with knights and pages. Plus nursery rhymes for magic – all very unutual.
      Lynn 😀

      • digitaltempest

        It was an excellent opener to the story. I mean, it doesn’t get much more unusual than being turned into a fish for 14 years. Also, you reminded me of what I forgot to mention! The rhymes! I love that. That is a very unusual take on casting that gives this book something more that it’s own.

      • @lynnsbooks

        I couldn’t believe it – a fish! I wondered what the heck was happening at first of if I’d read it wrong. Good start for sure.
        Lynn 😀

  4. Anya

    Yes, everything is so awesome but suspicious and I have no idea how things are going to turn out! I agree about McGuire’s writing though, it nicely fades to the background so I can stay focused on the action and Toby and it just feels very natural. I’m a fan of her for sure now!

  5. nrlymrtl

    I also suspect we shall see Simon Torquill and his cohort again. I like your idea that they had orders not to kill Toby, and now I have to wonder who would give such orders! So many suspects already and I bet there are more to come. Even somewhat well-meaning Fae might have wanted her out of the picture (for her safety) while a shift in power happened. Perhaps she came out of it too soon…..

    • @lynnsbooks

      that’s a great idea – maybe somebody wanted her out of the way to protect her – I never thought of that but it’s a great idea. Of course, I still have no idea what’s going on!
      Lynn 😀

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