One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire

one-salt-seaThe Toby Daye series has fast turned into a must read series for me and one where I’ve become very attached to the characters and One Salt Sea is another instalment that just ladles on the love.  Yet again McGuire builds on the world, telling us more of the rules that bind the land of Faerie and introducing us to yet more characters whilst strengthening the relationships of those that we already know.  One Salt Sea manages to be a winning combination of fast paced plot and great characters.  Firstly, please beware of potential spoilers for previous books in the series.

So, One Salt Sea, unsurprisingly, takes us to yet another land of the fae.  The Undersea.  Not to get ahead of myself, at the start of the story Toby is called before The Queen of the Mists – never a pleasant experience for her to be honest – and she discovers that two young boys have been kidnapped.  Sons of the Duchess of Lorden,  who rules the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist.  Now, knowing Toby as we do, she’s going to go rushing into the fray and try to find the boys – which is all good but, she needs to find the boys fast, prove that the Queen of the Mists was not involved in their abduction and, by doing so, prevent a war between the land and the sea fae.  Wars between the fae never go well!

Now, I can’t really go too much into the plot, similar to my other reviews for the Daye books – Toby has an investigation to undertake, she has a timeframe and she has someone trying to stop her – someone who isn’t abiding by Oberon’s Laws.

For me the absolute best part of this series is the way that McGuire adds layer by layer with each new book.  Every time you pick one of these up you know that something else will be revealed.  At the start of this series Toby is at rock bottom.  She’s estranged from her family, she has no friends, no real prospects, she’s in a seriously dark place.  Over the course of the past five books though what a transformation McGuire has wrought.  Toby is now surrounded by people who care about her and want to help and some of these people are pretty high up on the ‘don’t mess with me’ ladder.  The Luidaeg.  I love this character.  The Sea Witch that every one is scared of and yet here she is in Toby’s corner.  We have a fetch that is no longer a fetch!  May, who not only isn’t a harbinger of Toby’s death but has been actively involved in keeping her alive.  Then of course we have Tybalt and the slow burning romance that exists between Toby and the King of Cats – even though they’re both in denial about it.  On top of this – we get to visit the Undersea, we uncover some rather massive secrets and things get very dark indeed culminating in a shocking and emotional conclusion.

Another great instalment.  If you’re looking for a new urban fantasy then give this a try.

One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire

Onsaltsea

Today is week one of our readalong for One Salt Sea (October Daye #5).  Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.  Everyone welcome to join.  If you want to jump on board then leave a comment, visit Lisa or check out the Goodreads page.  Come join in the fun.  The schedule is below.  Now, moving on to this week’s Q&A with the customary warning about spoilers – they will undoubtedly be lurking – so beware!

1. First things first, the status quo in Toby’s life has been dramatically altered since the events of the previous book. Toby’s finally taking her knighthood seriously! What are your first impressions of this shift in the story?

I like it – Toby has a lot of responsibility now and it feels like she’s taking it seriously, but in a way that isn’t changing her character so much that she’s unrecognisable.  Also, as we know, Toby has her fair share of enemies so taking part in lessons such as sword fighting and the like can surely only be a good thing.  I really enjoyed the start of this one and the changes – it has a kind of ‘Toby is growing up’ feel to it somehow.  Not really phrased very well!

2. In keeping with the dramatic differences, it’s the Luidaeg’s turn to come to Toby for a favour – and it’s no small thing. Do you think this is a personal matter for the Luidaeg, or is she merely acting in everyone’s best interests?

I don’t know what the Luidaeg’s motives are but clearly there are very strong feelings between her and the seelie world!  The interaction and reactions between her and Connor were certainly very interesting to witness.  And the way that she asked – or demanded – Toby’s help – it was very forceful.  I think she really needs Toby and she almost feels desperate somehow – which is weird for the Luidaeg!  I have to give her the benefit of the doubt – I know everyone is very scared of her but I think she’s been a great character so far in this series, she always seems to be working away in the background, in a way that feels like she’s undertaking much bigger and more terrifying things than anyone will ever be aware of, just to hold things together and keep the peace.

3. Connor vs. Tybalt: the question of romance in the Tobyverse has come up many a time before, but now it seems to be taking more of the spotlight in the story. Both men clearly have a place in Toby’s life, though both relationships are perhaps not without their problematic aspects… How do you think Toby ought to handle this particular situation?

I don’t think she’s handling the situation badly – but I think she’s reverting to a safety blanket in getting back with Connor.  My feelings on the situation are that really, deep down, Toby wants to be with Tybalt and that Tybalt feels the same – but there’s something a bit more cautious, almost dangerous about the two of them getting together, something that they both seem to recognise, almost like in starting something they will have unleashed a force of nature – a bit dramatic but there it is.  In a way this makes me feel a little sad for Connor – he has a puppy dog type of feel to him somehow whereas Tybalt just radiates danger and sexuality!  I wonder what will happen in this strange triangle – and for once, I admit, this isn’t a love triangle that I find annoying which is a great relief and also something of a puzzle.  I wonder how it will all end – particularly for Connor, I’m struggling to find a scenario in my head in which he doesn’t get hurt somehow – I think probably my biggest fear for him is that he will be hurt physically.

4. Rayseline is apparently back and still up to no good. Assuming that it’s not a mistaken assumption, what do you think her apparent involvement in the kidnapping means for everyone else at this point?

Well, I don’t think it is a mistaken assumption – Rayseline is, you have to admit, a great baddie – one that you can really get behind disliking!  I have no idea what she’s up to to be honest but I feel for those two boys if she’s kidnapped them!  I can’t help at the back of my mind thinking that her and the Queen are up to something but I just can’t guess what.

That’s it for week 1 – off to a very strong start 😀

Week 1: Saturday 3rd September, Chapters 1-9, hosted at Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 10th September, Chapters 10-18, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 3: Saturday 17th September, Chapters 19-29, hosted at Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 24th September, Chapters 30-End, hosted at On Starships and Dragonwings

Read All About It…

Just a quick post to notify you of a readalong of One Salt Sea (October Daye #5).  Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.  The details are over on Goodreads – the schedule is below. This series got off to a great start with Rosemary and Rue, got even better with A Local Habitation and then reached what I thought was an all time high with An Artificial Night  but book No.4, Late Eclipses, topped it, packed with emotions and revelations.  So, we’re moving onto No.5 which I’m really excited about.  Everyone welcome to join.  If you want to jump on board then leave a comment, visit Lisa or check out the Goodreads page.  Come join in the fun.

Week 1: Saturday 3rd September, Chapters 1-9, hosted at Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 10th September, Chapters 10-18, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 3: Saturday 17th September, Chapters 19-29, hosted at Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 24th September, Chapters 30-End, hosted at On Starships and Dragonwings

And now for a little bit about the book:

 

10783217October “Toby” Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She’ll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away. One Salt Sea is the fifth installment of the highly praised Toby Dayeseries.