Book Review: “The Fixed Stars” by Seanan McGuire

Posted March 5, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Book Review: “The Fixed Stars” by Seanan McGuire

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

"The Fixed Stars" by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #8.5
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
on November 5, 2014
Pages: 20
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also in this series: Chimes at Midnight

Also by this author: Chimes at Midnight, Indexing, The Winter Long, The InCryptid Prequels, Pocket Apocalypse, A Red Rose Chain, Reflections, Once Broken Faith, "Dreams and Slumbers", Chaos Choreography, Magic For Nothing, Indigo, Every Heart a Doorway, The Brightest Fell, "Of Things Unknown", Beneath the Sugar Sky, Night and Silence, "Suffer a Sea-change", The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, "The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork", Tricks for Free, That Ain't Witchcraft, "The Measure of a Monster", The Unkindest Tide, "Hope is Swift", Come Tumbling Down, Imaginary Numbers, "Follow the Lady", "Forbid the Sea", "No Sooner Met", Across the Green Grass Fields

A free short story, 8.5 in the October Daye paranormal fantasy series, revolving around Sir October Daye, a changeling knight. This tale is set well before October’s time in 572 in fair Albion.

This short story is also part of an anthology, Shattered Shields by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

My Take

A rather unsatisfying short story about Antigone’s betrayal of her own and all in first person protagonist point-of-view from Antigone’s perspective.

Antigone, a.k.a. the Luidaeg, is already cursed and still “blessed” with foresight. A gift that carries its own burdens. She’s also honest with herself, besides the curse that forces honesty with others.

And talk about family quarrels…!!! Oy! It’s a case of eating your cake and wanting to throw it away. I know, it’s a weird twist on the real quote, but weirdly reflects the conflict within “The Fixed Stars”.

Antigone’s thoughts on these current events are so sad, they made me cry against the prejudices and bigotries of such selfish people.

It took a moment for me to realize that brother Michael is the Blind Michael of An Artificial Night, 3.

This is where my niggles come in. It feels like an unfinisherd short story — McGuire “needs” more! “The Fixed Stars” is so annoying as I want to know when Michael becomes the wicked Blind Michael. What happens after this battle? What is Emrys’ fate?!? I have to know!

I’m also confused about merlins and Roane, as McGuire talks of both and yet it seems as though they’re separate, somehow.

It’s a story that starts with quite the poetic touch, so sad for the topic within.

The Story

There was a time when things were different, long, long ago, when the worlds of Faerie and Man had not yet fully separated, a battle was fought to determine the shapes those two worlds would take.

Firstborn against merlin; strongest against least. And between those two stood Antigone of Albany, who would later be known as the Luidaeg, and whose loyalty would inevitably sway the fortunes of war…

The Characters

Antigone of Albany, a.k.a. Nimue and the Luidaeg, who was cursed to only tell the truth, is the oldest of Maeve’s daughters. Aoife is another daughter. Michael is the youngest of her brothers, blind.

Emrys is Antigone’s great-grandson. a Roane who leads the army.

The nasty Eira is one of their cousins, her mother, the fair Titania. Oberon is their father.

Brocéliande, one of Titania’s palaces, is beautiful with fewer defenses than it should have.

The Title

The title is what informs Antigone, “The Fixed Stars” that speak the future.

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