Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) by Seanan McGuire

lateeclipsesLate Eclipses is the fourth instalment in the October Daye series and is a book packed with emotion and revelations.  Without doubt this is my favourite of the series so far and this is a series that I’m now totally hooked on and thoroughly enjoying – it seems to get better with each book and clearly this has something to do with the fact that each instalment just adds yet more layers and depth to the characters and the world making it richer as you progress.  This is a wonderful combination of great characters (both good and bad), mysterious goings on, would-be romance and fantastically dark urban fantasy with fae shenanigans that never become boring.

If you haven’t read the previous books be warned that there may be spoilers contained below.

At the start of the book Toby is called to the Tea Gardens where Lily seems to be seriously ill.  No sooner has Toby rolled up her sleeves to get serious when more difficulties seem to strike and from there the problems just escalate.  To be honest I don’t want to go too much into the plot, suffice to say, like each of the previous books there is a mystery going on, people are dying, and, as we know, Toby can’t help herself from rushing into the fray head first.  Of course in this particular book what works really well is the sense of isolation that is built up around Toby.  In this particular book we see the return of an old enemy of Toby’s who has been absent from the first book, Oleander de Merelands.  Unfortunately, although Toby keeps suspecting that Oleander is behind things she has no proof and nobody else has caught sight of her which all lends to the view that maybe Toby is starting to succumb to the sort of madness that sometimes takes possession of changelings.  On top of that Raysel seems to have cranked up her own rather nasty endeavours somewhat and as a leftover from An Artificial Night the Queen of Mists is also gunning for Toby.  Things look fairly bleak and for a while there it almost felt like Toby was going to flounder.  Of course that’s the really great thing about these stories so far.  Toby has made a lot of enemies, she also seems to have enemies just purely by dint of her own parentage, but she’s also making some firm friends.

By the conclusion of this story there are a number of eye openers.  Revelations that are revealing and yet also not.  Tantalising revelations if you like.  You learn a little but you know that you’ve only seeing the tip of the iceberg and that if you just dipped below the surface a whole passel of further revelations would be waiting to spring out and surprise you.  I think at the moment my biggest curiosity comes in the form of Toby’s mother Amandine.  I have so many questions in that respect that I’m almost chomping at the bit to start the next book.

I really loved Late Eclipses.  It’s cleverly written, much like the other instalments, to give a tantalising glimpse of the world in which Toby lives.  At the end of the tale we can see that Toby has moved forward in more ways than one and I think this is a good thing because I feel at the moment that a huge amount of trouble is going to come her way, I just can’t help thinking that there is eventually going to be some backlash from her previous encounters and hopefully she will be at least a little better prepared to meet it if it does occur.

I highly recommend Toby Daye.  It’s an excellent urban fantasy series.  The main protagonist, well, she isn’t perfect, she makes mistakes but she is just great to get on with.  The surrounding cast are well developed and whilst each story builds on the one that came before the stories have a standalone feel to them that, even if a few threads are left hanging, doesn’t leave you with that cliffhanger feeling.

 

Late Eclipses (#4 Toby Daye) by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 4 (final week)

lateeclipsesreadalong.pngToday is the final week of our readalong of  Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) ) by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week is being hosted by hosted by Hisham El-far.  What a great conclusion to the book – so many revelations, so much yet left unsaid, so many reasons to continue reading – not least that I’m loving this series!

The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below.  If you want to join in or jump in with the comments then please do so. Also, a readalong of book No.5 will undoubtedly follow so watch out for further information on that. Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

Week 1: Saturday 2nd July, Chapters 1 to 9, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 9th July, Chapters 10 to 18, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 16th July, Chapters 19 to 27, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 23rd July, Chapters 28 to End, hosted by Hisham El-far
1. If May is no longer Toby’s Fetch – what is she? Any thoughts as to what possible role or direction May might take?

Well, given the connection between Toby and May I think they will become more than friends, almost like sisters.  I hope so anyway.  They already seem to like each other so much – which, come on, pretty unusual to like your fetch and vice versa, but these two get on.  I see May become a solid part of Toby’s life and a great help in future stories.  But truthfully, I have no idea what becomes of a fetch when her role as a fetch is no longer needed – perhaps, given Toby’s lifestyle – she needs a permanent fetch (just in case).

2. If all Fae lines (Daoine Sidhe, Hob, Tylwyth Teg etc) have a purpose as is suggested this week. What are your thoughts on the revelation that Toby is actually Dochas Sidhe? What would such a Fae bring to Faerie’s delicate power balance?

This, I’m not really sure about to be totally honest.  I think I’m still getting my head around what Toby is – clearly she has a great ability with blood.  It makes me wonder if somebody had deliberately ensured that Amandine had a heir – for what purpose I don’t really know, and Amandine went to a lot of trouble to try and hide Toby’s gifts so she clearly know that trouble will be involved.

3. Connor is once again a free and single man. So, age old question – Connor or Tybalt?

For me Tybalt.  For Toby, I’m not sure.  I think she has a massive soft spot for Connor and I think Connor won’t hesitate to step in whereas the relationship with Toby and Tybalt is more one where they seem to be circling each other.  I think Connor will definitely take advantage of that (not in a bad way) but to be the first one to try and capture Toby’s affections – and maybe that will work for a while – but personally I think that Toby and Tybalt have something else going on, its just simmering at the moment but I personally don’t the two of them will be able to deny it much longer.

4. When/Will Toby remind Dugan about her promise? Surely that poor shmuck is already regretting his behavior?

I don’t know – I think maybe Toby won’t remind Dugan – she seems the sort to bury the hatchet.

5. Where next for the Tobyverse? Hopes? Predictions? Wishful thinking? 

Okay, so Amandine is Toby’s mum, and the Luidaeg is Amandine’s sister – making her Toby’s Aunt, and therefore Blind Michael was her uncle?  Does that make Luna her cousin?  Who is her father – is that Sylvester?  This is getting seriously mixed up.  Obviously I could be very wrong about Sylvester but it was just something that was said between Toby and Etienne – ‘imagine having to sacrifice your own daughter’  said Toby.  and Etienne replied ‘ what do you think he did when he stood by and let the Queen’s guard have you?”  Now if this is true it has such ramifications doesn’t it?  Well, if it’s right (and it could be seriously wrong) then doesn’t that mean that Sylvester had a relationship with Amandine who is the sister of Micheal, who is the father of Luna, so therefore Luna and Toby are cousins but Toby is Sylvester’s daughter – no,  I have this seriously wrong!  But, if I don’t have it wrong then surely Luna would be very torn, loving Toby as a cousin but also resenting her because she’s the daughter of her own husband’s relationship with the sister of her own father?  And surely this would make Rayseline very jealous as well.  I don’t know what’s going on.  I seriously think I need to go away and draw a family tree or something because my head has gone!
Okay – so why does the Queen hate Toby.  This isn’t resolved yet by a long stroke of the imagination and I’m just thinking that she must have some strange relationship to all of them as well!  Maybe not – but she really doesn’t like Toby and wants here dead!  Does she feel threatened by her?  I think she will keep trying to find ways to put Toby in danger or just outright have her killed.
What about Simon and Raysel – to be resolved!  I’m sure that they’re not going to slink away though.
And then of course Tybalt….

 

 

 

 

Late Eclipses (#4 Toby Daye) by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 3

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Late Eclipses is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series and I can seriously say I’m firmly hooked on this series now!

Today is week three of our readalong of  Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) ) by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week Lisa is hosting the  Q&A which is a slight change to the schedule.  I’ve been out of the country so my post is a little late – for which apologies.

The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below.  If you want to join in or jump in with the comments then please do so.  Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

Week 1: Saturday 2nd July, Chapters 1 to 9, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 9th July, Chapters 10 to 18, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 16th July, Chapters 19 to 27, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 23rd July, Chapters 28 to End, hosted by Hisham El-far

1. We get to meet a new character in the form of Walter, who’s got a rather unusual special skill among the Fae… What are your first impressions of our first faerie scientist in the Tobyverse?

I really liked Walter and I hope we get to see a lot more of him – he’s the perfect scientific accompaniment to Toby’s ‘detective’!  I think they make a great pair.  Well, I’m not saying that they’re going to become a pair necessarily but I like him and I think it would be good to see more involvement in future investigations.

2. “I choose the evil I know.” 

We finally get to meet Amandine (sort of) in the flesh, and she’s got one hell of a bombshell to drop… How surprised were you by the revelation of Toby’s bloodline, and by her second Choice?

I’m not totally sure I understand what Toby actually is if I’m being really honest – or what the revelation actually meant.  It seems that she’s more fae than was originally suspected – the scene with Amandine – I’m reading into that that the first time Toby was given a choice between her half fae self or a human life – the choice was in actual fact more difficult than that.  Amandine was hiding what Toby really was?  Is that how everyone else reads this as I’m not sure whether I’m on track or not here.  The only reason I can imagine Amandine hiding Toby’s real nature is that she maybe thinks she will be in more danger by revealing her true self?  I’m mixed up without doubt!

3. Rayseline’s reasons for hating Toby come out in the open, though that doesn’t put a stop to her efforts to have Toby removed from her position… Do you think she deserves more or less sympathy now, after their confrontation(s)?

I admit that I felt a degree of sympathy for Rayseline when she was explaining to Toby why she dislikes her so much.  I don’t agree with her reasoning but I think it makes things a little easier to understand from her point of view.  At least when she thought Toby was dead it was easier to accept that she hadn’t come to the rescue.  But, what also puzzles me about that is I can’t help wondering if she blames Sylvester as well?  So, yes, I think it made me feel sorry for Raysel but at the same time her reasoning isn’t sound.  Like I said last week, it sort of irritates me that everyone keeps beating on Toby for not coming to the rescue when she was turned into a fish.  She was just a teeny bit indisposed.

4. “We were peaceful while you were gone.”

Speaking of scheming to remove Toby, the Queen is handed a chance to lock her up and takes it – and she doesn’t waste much time or show much mercy. What do you make of her reasons for what she’s done? Is that all that’s driving her or do you think there might be something deeper and darker behind it?

I definitely think there’s something more to all of this but I don’t really know what.  Nobody seemed to really agree with the Queen’s verdict – in fact it was clearly unjust and made her look bad.  She’s unhinged for sure and maybe Raysel has been pouring poison in her ear and stirring things up.  Perhaps the two of them were planning some sort of pact.

5. And what about Oleander? It seems she isn’t a figment of Toby’s imagination after all – but how is she managing to stay so close without being found? Any guesses/theories/suspicions?

I really don’t understand how Oleander is doing this – the only thing I can think of, and it doesn’t really make sense, is that she’s being helped and the only person I can think is helping her is Raysel!  See, it really doesn’t make sense at all!  Raysel doesn’t seem to be too upset about what’s happening with her own mother, neither does she seem to be helping Sylvester – she seems to be making a play for power and the Queen seems to be helping her.  Not sure how that all feeds into what Oleander is doing – she seems to be omnipresent!  Or she’s stolen a cloak of invisibility from HP.  Maybe she can transform into inanimate objects!  Yeah, I have no idea.

 

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 2

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Late Eclipses is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series and I can seriously say I’m firmly hooked on this series now!

Today is week two of our readalong of  Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) ) by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week I’m hosting the Q&A.  Oh my goodness what an emotional week – I’m a wreck!

The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below.  If you want to join in or jump in with the comments then please do so.  Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

Week 1: Saturday 2nd July, Chapters 1 to 9, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 9th July, Chapters 10 to 18, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 16th July, Chapters 19 to 27, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 23rd July, Chapters 28 to End, hosted by Hisham El-far

Lily, Luna and then Tybalt’s people – why are they being targeted? 

That does seem like a silly question but I do have my kind of odd reasonings for raising it – I suppose my main train of thought was that if it’s so easy to target all these others why not just target Toby?  Clearly this is aimed at her and all I can deduce from it is that somebody is trying to badly hurt her – but why not ‘actually’ hurt Toby instead of all these others, it seems like it would be so much easier somehow.  She doesn’t really take precautions, she rushes into the fray without a second though….  I could just go with the idea that somebody is really trying to make her hurt, perhaps before finishing her off in some way – just showing how weak and vulnerable she is?  But the reverse of this is that maybe whoever it is simply can’t hurt Toby.  *clutching at straws* also springs to mind as well.

Last week we saw the Queen again and she had apparently been through a transformation of sorts herself just before announcing that Toby was to be Countess – what, if anything, do you think might be the connection between these poisonings and the happenings last week.

I’ve asked this question because I’m really hoping for enlightenment from others.  I haven’t got a clue – not even a crazy theory.  It all seems so deliciously intermingled but is it?  Are there simply two separate themes and I’m going off down the wrong beaten track.  My brain is going in crazy circles.  Gods I love this book!  That change with the Queen – it was like a sulky rebellion or something…

We visited Tybalt’s Kingdom – what were your impressions? Toby herself was caught wondering just how vast Tybalt’s court actually is – do you think there’s any significance or just a quick thought?

Every time we visit Tybalt’s kingdom I’m flooded with conflicting emotions.  Firstly this is his domain and of course being the cat kingdom – there are plenty of waifs and strays included.  It always seems a lot less glamorous than the other courts – almost like an inferior version and I get the impression that this is how Tybalt is treated in a way – it makes me wonder if there’s more to the thought above.  This is obviously a large court – even if they feel a little like the underdogs (sorry).  I could be totally off track with this one of course but it just comes across like the cat court is a little bit like the ‘poor relation’ in some way. I love it – it has a dangerous and dark feel to it and – well, laugh away – but I always conjure up in my mind that Jet’s scene from West Side Story – I know, I’m a fool of a tuck!

What I’m particularly puzzled about is the absence of the Luidaeg – I’m not sure what’s going on in that respect and one part of me wonders if somebody is attacking all of Toby’s other friends and loved ones might the Luidaeg also be under threat – as difficult to believe as that might be.

Okay, in last week’s chapters Toby tried to get help from the Luidaeg but was cut short and at the time it seemed like something dramatic was going on in the background.  Now, at the time my main thoughts were that Ms McGuire has to find a way for Toby to not always get all her answers in this way as it would become formulaic, my next feeling was annoyance at the Luidaeg for not helping.  However, after this week’s chapters I have a nagging feeling that whatever was taking place in the earlier chapters could have been significant.  Also, as all of Toby’s other friends are being targeted why not the Luidaeg – even though she does come across as invulnerable?  If I was Toby right now – I’d be visiting all my friends and putting them into hiding or a bubble, or something.

Do you think Toby is going insane? Why is she seeing Oleander but nobody else is doing so?

I don’t think Toby is going insane although clearly somebody is going to great lengths to try and make it seem that way.  Oleander – well, I’m feeling very vague about her and her abilities – she could be capable of all of this, very capable, my only bugbear is why she doesn’t leave a magical scent – there’s no doubt a very good reason for that though.  And then there’s much being made of the whole casting a shadow??

It also seems that Raysel is doing her utmost to poison everyone against Toby – what are your thoughts on Raysel and her own motives?

Well Raysel hates Toby – I don’t try to pretend I completely understand why though.  Everyone very much acts as though Toby failed her – but she was a bloody fish!  What could she do – she wasn’t sitting with her feet up reading a book and enjoying a cup of tea – she was a fish!  Her life was pretty much over bar intervention from a good friend.  Anyway, I digress.  It seems to me that Raysel is making a play for power.  It almost feels too simple and obvious to say that – especially if it involves poisoning Luna – but that’s the way it feels.

The other thing that obviously occurs to me is that there seems to be a lot of uncertainty going around concerning territories??  Or more to the point – vulnerable territories – again, is that too simple and obvious??

Final thoughts, I absolutely feel that Toby’s mother must show up?  Surely??

And look, two gorgeous banners – one for the top and bottom – I think we have a craze right here!  I’m totally ruined and need two banners for everything right now!  Greedy much!

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Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) Seanan McGuire readalong week No.1

late eclipsesOctober “Toby” Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again…

Late Eclipses is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.

Today is week one of our readalong of  Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) ) by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week Lisa is hosting the Q&A.  And, wow, the book got off to a great start, I must confess that I’ve missed October and her friends.

The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below.  If you want to join in or jump in with the comments then please do so.  Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

Week 1: Saturday 2nd July, Chapters 1 to 9, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 9th July, Chapters 10 to 18, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 16th July, Chapters 19 to 27, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 23rd July, Chapters 28 to End, hosted by Hisham El-far
Where Toby goes, trouble soon follows… Lily’s fallen ill, and a blast from Toby’s past might be making an impact if signs are pointing where they appear to be. Do you think this is really Oleander’s work? 

I’m not sure at the moment – there seems to be an awful lot going on.  Part of me, apart from thinking there’s something rotten in Denmark – pretty much knows that there is.  Lily falling ill, Luna, October being made a Countess – yes, things are going massively wrong.

If one unpleasant surprise wasn’t enough, Toby has two to deal with thanks to the Queen making her the Countess of Goldengreen. Given the timing, do you think this is a coincidence? What might the Queen be up to?

This is definitely not a coincidence.  For once in my life I wish that the people surrounding Toby could actually speak plainly.  For instance Tybalt, always turning up and saying ‘trust me’ – usually right before things go to hell in a hand cart -not helping Tybalt – really not.   I don’t know wha the Queen has against Toby but given that she does have a grudge this whole Countess ‘thing’ feels a little bit like a hot potato.
Speaking of possible coincidences, this might be the first time Toby’s turned to the Luidaeg only to find her unavailable. What do you think Toby’s chances are of getting through whatever’s coming without her, for once?

You see, this just makes me even more positive that something is wrong.  The Luidaeg not being available to speak to Toby.  I also thought it was curious that reference was made, not only by the Queen but by the Luidaeg, to Blind Michael and the Hunt being now finished.  I can’t help but wonder if that’s causing repercussions.

We get a look at Toby’s past, quite literally, as Karen visits her in a dream. Apparently Toby’s history with Oleander goes back further than she realises. What was your take on the ‘remembered’ encounter between Oleander and Amandine?

Well, assuming this recollection is correct, the most powerful feeling I took from this scene was the enormous strength of feeling that Amandine has for Toby – which has never really come across before?  Or maybe I’ve just massively mistaken what happened, but it seemed to me that Amandine was throttling Oleander because she wanted her to stay away from Toby.  I suppose the other thing from this is – were there plans involving Toby from a much earlier age?   Was the whole attack on Toby (which resulted in her being turned into a fish) some sort of revenge??  Does Toby have more to her than we currently suspect??
I must say that I’ve missed Toby – it’s great sinking back into this world and the story just picks back up so easily!
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