Rosemary and Rue October Daye #1, by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 2

Today is week two of our Rosemary and Rue readalong arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  I’ve been looking forward to reading this and so far it’s really living up to my expectations – this week’s chapters were great so I apologise for going overboard with the questions – but I had things on my mind and I needed answers!!

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. We finally get to meet Devin and Sylvester. They’ve both played important roles in Toby’s life. What were your initial impressions of both of them and the worlds in which they live. What were your first thoughts about them?  

I think I need more information about Devin and this whole setup of his because at the moment I’m not totally sure I understand what it’s all about.  He obviously has an interest in Toby (and by interest – I mean ‘an interest’!)  I can’t quite make my mind up at the moment if he’s being portrayed as a bit sleazy and dangerous but really he isn’t – or maybe really he is!  It’s interesting that he surrounds himself with slightly more vulnerable and younger types – so, he either has a heart of gold but likes to give off a ‘don’t mess with me attitude’ as a cover or he finds it easier to play the boss in this way.  I don’t really get the feeling it’s the latter.  Or maybe I’m just hoping that there’s more to him if you scratch the surface as at the moment I didn’t immediately dislike him or anything – although he has made something of a pact with Toby which I think she may regret.

Sylvester – he seemed to be so genuinely pleased, nay thrilled, to see Toby – twirling her around and grinning, acting all concerned, etc.  But, at the back of my mind, and I’m not saying I distrust him – but I can’t help wonder why he didn’t make the effort to go and see Toby himself when he knew she was alive – he kept sending messages.  I know, I know, he shouldn’t have to run his own errands – but even so.

Do you remember the whole scene in LoTR where Frodo and Sam first meet Strider and Sam says something along the line of trusting him because he looks foul but feels fair – well, it kind of makes me think… maybe sometimes things look fair but feel foul.

That being said, I liked Sylvester.  Okay, I’m just going to go away and debate  (argue with myself) some more.

2. I’m totally intrigued by the Hope Chest – do you have any ideas about what exactly it is and what might be the significance of it being found?

Well, I have a notion that it somehow increases the magical abilities of the changelings – which is why they’re drawn to it like iron filings to a magnet.  Now, the only reason I thought that is because Toby seemed of a sudden to be able to conjure things more easily, for example, her human appearance or her fancy pants dress when she appeared in Sylvester’s court.  That could of course be a complete clanger but I thought I’d chuck it out there.  You can see why the fae would want to keep it hidden as it certainly would tip the balances a little.  So, not to enjoy my own idea too much – I was then, on the other hand thinking of the name – A Hope Chest – is this a play on words or is this chest genuinely going to give hope to those that find it.  Can’t wait to find out.

3. Tybalt – I was curious as to Toby’s reasoning to trust him with the Hope Chest – what do you think?

I guess it goes back to the Strider/Frodo scenario above.  Can you really trust Tybalt.  Is he foul or fair?  I actually think you can.  I’m not sure that I totally agree with Toby’s reasoning.  But, maybe underneath it all she trusts Tybalt more than she wants to admit.  After all there’s a fine line between love and hate and these two do seem to be getting in each other’s faces so far.  Plus, there was that whole ‘rescuing Toby from the coming dawn scene’!  *waggles eyebrows* – come on, he could have just left her to it methinks!

4. We experience the reaction of other members of the fae to the murder of Evening and Toby telling them about the Queen’s reactions – did their reactions give you any clues at all??

Yes, they did – but now I’ve forgotten in what way!  Well, not totally (but why oh why don’t I make some notes occasionally!).  Okay, it was interesting that everyone seemed to be puzzled by the Queen’s reactions to Evening’s murder.  It seems to be genuinely felt that maybe she’s going a little crazy.  Personally, it feels like she’s almost afraid – that could be totally off kilter but she feels like the ostrich with her head in the sand at the moment.  She has her hands over her ears and is singing ‘lalalalalalal’ to stop from hearing anything.  Which just makes me puzzled.  She’s powerful isn’t she.  Surely she wants to know who murdered Evening – unless she does know and is scared.  Why, oh why, am I making all these highfalutin guesses!  Simply to give you all a giggle.

5. What were your thoughts on Raysel and Luna?

You know – my immediate feelings with the whole ‘gone missing’ episode was that ‘how do we know they’re really who they’re supposed to be’ (arrggghh, stop with the guesses – stop, stop, stop!)  After all – I can’t stop – fairies are always swapping fae for humans – what if they also swap fae for fae!  IT COULD HAPPEN.  Failing that, I guess they’re both traumatised by their ordeal (completely understandable).  Luna feels a little withdrawn – Raysel, well, what can you say.  Maniac, maybe?  Too strong??  I wouldn’t want to meet her alone in a dark alley – that is all.  Plus there’s this whole element of blaming Toby – she didn’t abduct them did she.  She didn’t find them either but she wasn’t responsible for the fact they went missing, plus, her investigation was a bit hampered by the lack of a body and the addition of gills and fins.

6. That ending, did we just end up back in the first post? – what is going on? Speculation?? Lets just talk about it please.

I couldn’t believe it!  I mean, obviously it’s not totally a deja vu to the prologue because Toby isn’t turned into a fish!  Bear in mind that I haven’t read on here at all so I’m just going to say that I have no idea.  Why was somebody in her car – and that did give me the goosebumps , I’ve got them again now just thinking about it – part of me wondered if he just really wanted to talk to her – and then I thought, yeah, maybe breaking into somebody’s car wouldn’t be the best way to go about doing that – plus, surely he had a chance to garble something during Toby’s high speed car drama.  I’m genuinely puzzled over all of it and for once have no fantastical flights of fantasy floating round my noggin.

I must admit I really enjoyed these chapters though and can’t wait to read everyone’s thoughts 😀

14 Responses to “Rosemary and Rue October Daye #1, by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 2”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I liked so very much your mention about that LOTR quote (and for once not because of my Pavlovian reactions about anything connected with JRRT – or not only for it, LOL).
    You touched on a very fundamental truth there, and on one of the biggest character questions in the series: Sylvester always projected those same ambiguous vibes for me, because I could not really put my finger on him – even considering the fact that fae don’t work in the same way as humans do. There are just so many discoveries about Sylvester (and not only him) that await you down the road… 🙂
    Anyway I see you’re enjoying yourself, and that’s good!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Hahah, that’s very sneaky of you to not give any spoilers away and to tease me even more!! As Gollum said “sneaking”!
      Have you read all of this series?

      • maddalena@spaceandsorcery

        I still have to read the latest one, “A Red Rose Chain”, but I will get there soon – I hope…
        And spoilers are EVIL!!! 😀

      • @lynnsbooks

        Haha – it’s why I don’t read ahead because I wouldn’t be able to help giving up spoilers by mistake!
        Lynn 😀

  2. proxyfish

    Excellent questions this week Lynn! I enjoyed this section of the book and what an ending too!!! Definitely leaving us with a cliffhanger for next week. I completely agree with you about Devin – he’s a very suspicious character and the strong hints to his abusive nature make me dislike him even more.

    Though I essentially trusted Sylvester, I understand what you mean by feeling a little foul. Can anyone truly be that good and forgiving? Well I guess we’ll find out! Another excellent section. Rosemary and Rue seems to be a winner!

    • @lynnsbooks

      There was so much going on this week – I had tons of questions really! Yeah, like you said, my one issue is why wouldn’t Toby go to Sylvester instead of Devin – especially given the, on the face of it, difference between the two? Puzzling to say the least.
      R&R definitely seems to be a winner.

      • proxyfish

        I like that Toby’s silly decisions don’t annoy me though. They seem ‘right’ for her character somehow. Even if everything tends to end in complete disaster!

      • @lynnsbooks

        Yeah, I don’t find her annoying at all so far, even when I don’t completely understand her decisions – I don’t want my characters to be too perfect anyway!
        Lynn 😀

  3. digitaltempest

    “I can’t quite make my mind up at the moment if he’s being portrayed as a bit sleazy and dangerous but really he isn’t – or maybe really he is!”

    Same. I keep thinking maybe he’s not *that* bad, but somebody hit Dare, and it seems the assumption was that he did it. Or maybe that’s a red herring for me to suspect him. However even Toby herself has good/bad feelings about him, but I don’t know if it’s because they had an intensense relationship at one point or something else.

    “Do you remember the whole scene in LoTR where Frodo and Sam first meet Strider and Sam says something along the line of trusting him because he looks foul but feels fair – well, it kind of makes me think… maybe sometimes things look fair but feel foul.”

    Again, same thing I’m thinking. I said, it’s always the ones that seem genuinely good and that I genuinely like that end up being the ones that break my heart by being the bad guy. D: Please, don’t, Sylvester.

    I didn’t agree with Toby’s reasoning at all for trusting Tybalt (I thought it was SO STUPID), but I also don’t believe they actually “hate” each other. I think what they take has “hate” is actually attraction they don’t have to have for each other.

    I swear I would’ve read on, but I had to get some chapters in my book club book read, too. Even with all the eyebrows I raised with these chapters, I am still enjoying this!

    Excellent questions this week, Lynn! They had me like OMG! LOL.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think the thing with Devin and Sylvester is – if Sylvester is so nice and Devin so sleazy (which good point about his hitting Dare – I’d completely forgotten that) but I do wonder why Toby went to Devin first. It seems to me that Sylvester gave her a lovely warm welcome so why go to sleazy Devin and made a deal with him that will ultimately come back to bite her? I really don’t get that.
      Yeah, I don’t think Toby and Tybalt hate each other either! Strange reason for trusting him though. Other than at a subconscious level she does want him in her life!
      I definitely could have read on but I’m glad I didn’t I’m useless when it comes to spoilers.
      Lynn 😀

  4. digitaltempest

    I also guess it would help if I proofread my comments better. 😛

  5. nrlymrtl

    I like your idea about the Hope Chest. I was thinking a more general – gives hope to whoever possesses it – but what if it did give hope and increased abilities to the Changelings! Ha! They wouldn’t be third class citizens anymore. I think a few progressive Fae, like Sylvester, would be OK with that. But most like their cushy thrones.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m probably totally wrong with that of course – but there’s so many ways to interpret a ‘Hope’ Chest isn’t there. Plus, it seemed to me that Toby’s powers seemed to increase after she was in contact with the chest – but, maybe that’s just too simply, perhaps it’s a double edged sword and gives more power but with a cost. I don’t basically know!
      Lynn 😀

  6. SF/F Read Alongs: Rosemary and Rue, By Seanan McGuire. | Hisham El-far's Bloggy Thing

    […] Week 2: Covering Chapters 7-14, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Books. […]

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