Friday Face Off : A book or series that is urban fantasy


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.

I’ve added themes in below. For information, I’m trying out some new ideas so along with coming up with particular items for book covers I thought we could also look for certain elements contained within the book or that play a large part in the story – this really broadens things out because I have plenty of more ideas with this – I’ve gone for a few of the Tough Travel Themes (so a book with that theme – just choose any book – the theme isn’t necessarily on the cover, then compare covers), also, I’ve thrown in some genres and some colours.  Hopefully this will open things out a little and give us some more freedom to come up with new books.

This week’s theme:

A book or series that is urban fantasy

I had a few series to choose from for this week’s theme but I’ve gone for The Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire.  I’ve chosen the first book, Rosemary and Rue and there are a few covers so let’s take a look:


22nd – Tough Travel Tropes – unknown magical ability
29th – Long/pointed ears
May the Month of Wyrd and Wonder
6th All about the women – kickass moms, daughters, grans, etc
13th A favourite book to film
20th Sunny and bright  – a cover that is predominantly yellow
27th Books with ‘You’ in the title
3rd  Under the Sea – anything you like
10th Sparkling like the sea – a cover that is turquoise
17th So pretty – exactly what it says
24th Daddy Dearest – a book with a strong father role
1st Genre – epic – any book that fits into the genre
8th Hazy and hot – a cover that is predominantly orange
15th Tough Travel Tropes – Snarky sidekick
22nd Off the TBR
29th Gigantic – monsters, giants, buildings,insects – anything at all
5th Tough Travel Tropes – out for summer – school or academic setting
12th Dark/sky/navy  – a cover that is blue
19th Scantily Dressed
26th Tough Travel Tropes – Vacation time – the quest
September RIP
2nd Fallen leaves – covers that are brown
9th Armour/Protection
16th Rage against the machine – anything, cogs, clockwork, AI
23rd Tough Travel Tropes – Coming of Age
30th Genre – horror
October – Horror/Dark
7th Guess who’s back?  – Vampires – popular again?
14th Witches vs warlocks
21st Tough Travel Tropes – Good vs evil
28th  Covers that are black
November – Scifi Month
4th Red skies at night – Covers that are red
11th Tough Travel Tropes – The gang
18th Genre – Swords and Sorcery
25th Genre – And they all lived happily ever after – fairy tales retold
2nd Tough Travel Tropes – Assassins
9th Tough Travel Tropes – Darklord
16th Genre – Grimdark (most recent/favourite, etc)
23rd Decadent and rich – a cover that is purple
30th Completions – a satisfying conclusion to a book or serie

A Local Habitation (October Daye #3) by Seanan McGuire, readalong

localhabbanner.pngToday is the final week of our readalong of A Local Habitation (No.2 October Daye by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.

Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

1. Alex and Terrie’s secrets are finally revealed. Was that the outcome you were expecting? If not, what theories did you have concerning the two?

Actually given all my usual maniac theories I think I pretty much knew what was going on with the Alex and Terrie situation.  They reminded me of a strange combination of Princess Fiona from Shrek who changes shape at midnight every day and one of the main vampires from Generation V who feeds off the emotion of others who then become totally enamoured and think they’re in love but eventually die.  I was wrong in that I thought Alex could have been trying to protect Toby from Terrie because (1) they weren’t involved in the murders and (2) neither of them had any real cognisance of each others behaviour so Alex wouldn’t have known if Terrie was a threat to Toby.

2. We get Toby doing more powerful things with blood during the course of this story aside from gleaning information. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think we’ll start to see her doing more wondrous things over the course of the series?

I think what was really demonstrated here (and perhaps that’s what’s given Tybalt cause for thought) is that Toby is maybe more powerful than she (or anyone else for that matter) really knows.  She did just bring somebody back from the dead after all which is no small feat!  The one concern I do have for Toby is that now we have started to learn more about her mother I wonder whether this whole blood magic can eventually lead to madness??  But, that being said perhaps her changeling status will help to protect her somewhat.

3. Did you expect Tybalt to actually show up at Tamed Lightning? What’s your take on this “not-friendship” that is developing between Toby and Tybalt? Does learning more about the cats and sensing Tybalt’s own feelings about what has occurred make you feel differently about him or see new aspects to his personality?

I actually did expect Tybalt to show up to be honest – in fact I would have been sorely disappointed if he hadn’t done so. Tybalt clearly likes Toby although he seemed to be acting very strangely after witnessing her most recent trick.  I don’t really know what to make of this whole cat kingdom business yet.  From other books and films I tend to think of cats as guardians of the underworld so, if that is the case here, I can imagine that Toby’s most recent actions will have been a bit disturbing to Tybalt.  I look forward to seeing how this develops.

4. Despite being misguided, what did you think of the attempt to create something lasting for Faerie after hearing Elliot’s explanation? Is there a way to save and preserve Faerie or is Toby right that maybe its end is near?

It’s kind of what I guessed at early on – it’s a bit sad because personally it doesn’t feel like the way forward.  I think it was something that April bought into because of her own circumstances and she was being used dreadfully by Gordan who was clearly as mad as a pit of snakes!  I think that the fae world is very antiquated and governed by strange rules  They don’t move forward with the times – which is frankly what makes them so appealing to read about – but I think this experiment was maybe a bit misguided and the evidence here suggests it doesn’t work.  Even if they uploaded everyone and had some sort of virtual fae existence you would need somebody at ground level to be looking after things wouldn’t you??  I don’t really buy into the idea of what they were trying to do – I’m pretty certain if somebody offered me the chance of being downloaded onto a computer I would pass on the offer!

5. What do you think will happen at Tamed Lightning now that Jan is gone? Do you think April will be able to maintain or do you think things are just getting started between Tamed Lightning and Dreamer’s Glass? Do you think others will be willing to go to Tamed Lightning after this?

I think Tamed Lightning is now in a very vulnerable position.  In some respects I think April could do a good job and as we’ve already seen her new found responsibilities have made her grow up somewhat – but, as we also saw, she’s not totally aware of boundaries between what’s possible between the living and electronic worlds.  Although, obviously she was being led astray by Gordon.  It will be interesting to see whether this now becomes a plotline for future stories.

6. Overall, what did you think of A Local Habitation? Did you like it more or less than the first book? Are you still excited to see where Toby’s journey leads? Any favorite parts? Least favorites? Gush as much or as little as you want.

I loved ALH more than the first book – I liked the first but I think that like any first in a series it is a set up book and most authors don’t want to go on a massive info dump spree.  Like most UF they develop as they go along.  The characters become more fleshed out and the world building deepens and so I’m definitely keen to see what happens next for Toby.


Read all about it…

Hi everyone

A local habitationJust a quick post to notify you of a readalong of A Local Habitation (October Daye #2) by Seanan McGuire).  Organised by the lovely Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.  The details are over here on goodreads – the schedule is below. This series got off to a great start with our readalong of Rosemary and Rue (review here)  There are quite a few in this series so no doubt the readalongs will continue if everyone is enjoying them and all are 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 5th March, Chapters 1-8 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

And now for a little bit about the book:

October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.

Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning—otherwise known as Fremont, CA—to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O’Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester’s realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can’t find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.


Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire

Posted On 1 February 2016

Filed under Book Reviews
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Comments Dropped 10 responses

R&RJust finished reading Rosemary and Rue as part of a readalong with a great group of characters.  I’ve had my eye on this series for a while but as I’m so far behind I found it a bit daunting – this readalong was the perfect incentive and Rosemary and Rue is a great set up book for the series.  I very much look forward to seeing where Toby’s adventures take us next.

Toby Daye is a changeling.  Her mother was a member of the fae and her father a regular old mundane human.  Changelings are unfortunate in many respects because whilst you could argue that having a foot in both camps would be advantageous it actually leaves them being neither one thing or the other.  They have to cover up their outward appearance so that human eyes won’t see their differences, using magic that is quite weak and they’re not particularly welcome at most of the fae courts being looked down on as lesser creatures.  Toby has been gifted with a rare magic, she can use blood magic and she does so in order to become an investigator in the fae world.  Unfortunately, at the start of R&R Toby is taken away from the family she loves, in fact away from everything she knows.  I won’t elaborate other than to say this book certainly gets off to a dramatic start.

When Toby eventually returns to the world you could say she’s traumatised and left wanting nothing more to do with the fae underworld.  Everything she knows, loves and has worked hard to achieve has been taken from her and she basically goes into a self imposed seclusion to lick her wounds.  Unfortunately, the fae world have other ideas and in spite of her intentions Toby is pulled into an investigation of the brutal murder of a Countess and within less than an eye blink she’s sunk back into the twisty political world of the fae.

I really enjoyed Rosemary and Rue.  I think it has good pacing, the writing is very easy to get along with, in fact the narrative practically reads itself and the characters are a whole mixed bag of the fantastic.

It pretty soon becomes clear that Toby has more support than she lets on as friends and allies from her past start to seep out of the woodwork.  However, Toby also has a darker side to her past and it’s in this direction that she seeks aid making bargains with perhaps those that she ought best to avoid.

This was a great start to series.  I loved dipping my toes back into fae waters and there’s no shortage of Knowes/Courts/Politics/Seelies/magical artifacts and other creatures of myth with a murder mystery thrown in for good measure.

A very promising start to this series that I look forward to continuing.


Rosemary and Rue October Daye #1, by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 4

Today is the conclusion of our Rosemary and Rue readalong arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week Lisa is our lovely host and coming up with the questions.

The schedule is as follows, feel free to 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!)

We’re going to be picking up book No.2 (A Local Habitation) during March so if you’re interested in reading this series details will follow shortly.  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, nay positively running amok, below:

1. On the way to finding Evening’s killer at last, we get to meet the Luidaeg in person. What are your impressions of her, and what do you think of the sneaky ‘deal’ Toby managed to make with her?

I actually like her – which is probably weird because she’s this terrifying creature – but I just didn’t have any bad feelings about her – for now.  I mean, I’m not saying I’d like to get on her wrong side but overall she came across as sort of fair!  I thought Toby was very crafty coming up with that deal – I think the Luidaeg will appreciate that sort of intelligence though.  Yeah, it was cheeky but it shows that Toby is thinking sensibly about things.

2. Next stop is the Court of Cats, where we see Tybalt in his role as a king, followed by another visit to Lily to finally learn the truth. We get some more evidence of the regard they both have for Toby; in light of previous discussions about Toby’s friendships, what do you make of this new evidence?

I loved the Court of Cats and definitely want to go back and see more!  I think Toby has a lot of powerful friends, she’s been in a sort of denial about her life – post fish – and at the start of the book she felt very alone but clearly that was self imposed while she came to terms with things. What this tells me is that Toby is the sort of person who can make and keep good friends, which speaks volumes of her own character.

3. Now for the final reveal! Devin ‘fesses up, and Dare is killed defending Toby… Was any of this finale what you’d expected? What do you make of Devin’s reasons for killing Evening?

This wasn’t what I expected, in fact, to be honest, I didn’t really have any expectations as I just didn’t have any clue and I was simply enjoying the read and waiting to see what the outcome was – basically no second guessing from me at this point.  Obviously Devin was a sleazy character – I think part of me didn’t want him to be the culprit, not because I wanted to like him but more because I suppose on the face of it he was one of the most obvious choice (along with the Queen).  That being said, no, I didn’t see it coming – I almost thought he was a red herring.  He’s mad as a box of spiders though.  And Dare – OMG, why!  Just why!!

4. The hope chest is given over to the Queen at the end of the story. In light of what we’ve seen of her and the potential power that the hope chest has (regardless of what it does), do you think this was the right thing for Toby to do?

I think it was the only thing she could do.  There’s a lot of court politics going on here and Toby couldn’t very well just stick her tongue out and say ‘finders keepers’.  Plus, she couldn’t really keep the Chest herself as it was too dangerous for her.  We still really don’t know what the real power of the Chest is but we can see it had an impact on Toby.  I don’t like it though – I think the Queen herself also came across as a bit unstable so it feels like giving something quite powerful to somebody a bit unhinged.  It’s got an ‘inmates running the asylum’ feel.  Let’s see!

That’s it for now folks – it’s going to feel like a long wait for A Local Habitation – check out the creepy cover!


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