Book Review: Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire

Posted November 21, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Once Broken Faith 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.

Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #10
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by DAW Books on September 6, 2016
Pages: 418
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, "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", "The Fixed Stars", "Forbid the Sea", "No Sooner Met", Across the Green Grass Fields

Tenth in the October Daye urban fantasy series and revolving around Toby, a half-fae, half-human knight errant in Faerie. The story is set in San Francisco. It’s been six weeks since she and her friends overthrew the government in A Red Rose Chain, 9.

My Take

I love it! McGuire starts off with a slumber party for the youngsters: Quentin, Raj (who is interested in Chelsea), Karen, Dean (he and Quentin are dating) with Dean being introduced to the Disney version of The Little Mermaid. Oops, whatever will Mom say, lol!

Thank god for May, *snicker*! She will be essential in keeping Toby on the straight and narrow of etiquette. Too bad she can’t do much for the investigation into all those assassinations!

It’s all politics and backstabbing with nobles against the elf-shot cure. Others who despise changelings. I loved Toby’s reaction to Verona and Kabos, lol. Threats from a dreamwalking Winterrose. And Toby’s past exploits are fanning the flames against her. The emotional turmoil is worsened with Tybalt holding himself aloof from Toby during the conclave. It’s a matter of image and influence. One that Toby hates.

It’s the selfishness and politics that really drive me nuts. How very similar are our own politicians and fae rulers with some so narrowminded and others broader…I do hate to say that those against the cure do make some good points, just as those for it also make good points.

Some of the issues have Dianda rising up and making a good environmental point, while Patrick is even better with his comment about the kingdoms not able to afford to go to war. Oh, yeah!!

There is a lot of back history with part of me moaning at having to retread old ground, and another part of me grateful for reminders. So take this into consideration.

And McGuire has, again, left me panting for more, as I skidded, slid, and flipped pages as fast as I could to discover what happens next!

The Story

It should have been a time of rejoicing when Toby returns from the Kingdom of Silences with a cure for elf-shot. But political headaches rise up in the conclave with fears that the balance of Faerie will change.

It doesn’t help when the first dead body appears…with Toby hovering him. Already feared as a kingbreaker, no one trusts Sir Toby Daye, but she must find the killer before they strike again.

Failure would condemn those she loves most, for there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

The Characters

Sir October “Toby” Daye (Karen calls her “Auntie Birdie”) is a knight errant — Knight of Lost Words — and hero of the realm, yes, literally, half-human and half-Dóchas Sidhe, a bloodworker. She works as a private investigator to pay the bills. Her mother, Amandine, is a Firstborn daughter of Oberon; her father was human. Quentin Sollys is Toby’s squire…and the heir to the throne of the High King of the Westlands. May Daye is Toby’s former Fetch who is in a relationship with Jazz; both are Toby’s housemates. Cagney and Lacey are Toby’s cats while Spike is her rose goblin.

The Court of Dreaming Cats is…
…ruled by Tybalt, Toby’s fiancé. Raj is Tybalt’s nephew and heir. Anne had been the wife Tybalt buried. I think Opal and Gabriel are Alazne‘s parents.

Each type of fae owe loyalty to the First who created them: Tuatha de Dannan answer to Oberon; the Tylwyth Teg answer to Maeve; and, the Daoine Sidhe answer to Titania.

The Luidaeg, Antigone, is the eldest Firstborn of Maeve’s. She is the sea-witch, mother of the Roane, and Toby’s aunt. It sounds like Dobrinya was one of the Luidaeg’s brothers. Acacia and Amandine are her sisters. Eira Rosynhwyr, a.k.a., Evening Winterrose, is a Firstborn daughter of Titania and is the one who created elf-shot.

The Westlands is…

…ruled by High King Aethlin Sollys and his queen, Maida; they’re Quentin’s parents and live in Toronto.

Northern California has been…
…ruled for the last ten months by the reluctant Arden Windermere, the Tuatha de Dannan Queen in the Mists, from her knowe in Muir Woods. Nolan is Arden’s sleeping younger brother. King Gilad had been their father. Madden is Cu Sidhe and Arden’s seneschal. Usually. Lowri is Arden’s captain of the guard and her stand-in seneschal. Professor Walther Davies teaches chemistry at UC-Berkeley and created the cure for elf-shot. Marlis is Walther’s sister from Silences; their aunt and uncle are Siwan and Holger Yates, the rightful Queen and King of Silences.

The Duchy of Shadowed Hills is…
…ruled by Sylvester Torquill, Toby’s estranged Daoine Sidhe liege lord who is a vassal under Arden. Luna Torquill is Sylvester’s duchess and a Blodynbryd; she hates Toby. Rayseline is Luna and Sylvester’s sleeping daughter. Connor O’Dell, a Selkie, had been Raysel’s ex-husband, Toby’s lover, and is now a night-haunt. Sir Etienne is a Tuatha de Dannan knight in Sylvester’s service whose changeling daughter, Chelsea, now lives with him (Ashes of Honor, 6). Simon Torquill is Sylvester’s brother and Toby’s stepfather. September had been their sister. Sir Grianne is a Candela with Merry Dancers. Jin is an Ellyllon and an excellent healer.

Dean Lorden is the Count of Goldengreen; Marcia is his majordomo. Dianda Lorden is the Duchess of Saltmist and the Undersea Kingdom of Leucothea. She is a Merrow (mermaid) married to Duke Patrick; they’re Dean’s parents. Peter is their other son, a Merrow, who is Dianda’s heir. Li Qin, a Shyti Shuai, a luck fae, is the interim Duchess of Dreamer’s Glass. April O’Leary, a cyber-Dryad and Li Qin’s daughter, is the Countess of Tamed Lightning; Elliot, a Bannick, is her seneschal. Shade is the Queen of Cats in Berkeley. Elizabeth Ryan leads the local Selkie colony.

Theron and Chrysanthe, a pair of Golden Hinds, are the King and Queen upon the Golden Shore, an agrarian kingdom. King Antonio Robertson, a Candela, reigns in Angels; Bucer O’Malley is a Glastig and part of the Angels retinue. Other kingdoms include Evergreen (Washington and part of Vancouver); Kingdom of Prisms which takes in Alaska; Painted Skies is Nevada; Highmountain encompasses Colorado and is ruled by Daoine Sidhe, Kabos and Verona with a Barrow Wight, Minna, as their handmaiden; Copper is Arizona with a Centaur King; a Hamadryad baroness from Helen’s Hand; Duke Islay of Staggered Clouds, a Sluagh Sidhe, is representing the Oversky Kingdom of Frozen Winds; and, Starfall is Idaho ruled by Duke Michel, a Daoine Sidhe.

Stacy and Mitch Brown (a quarterblooded and a halfblooded changeling) are more of Toby’s friends, and their five children include Cassandra; Karen, their middle fifteen-year-old daughter who is an oneiromancer, able to move, manipulate, and communicate through dreams; and, Andrew and Jessie (these last three had been kidnapped four years ago in An Artificial Night, 3).

Jolgeir is the King of Cats in Portland. Cliff Marks had been Toby’s human husband (Rosemary and Rue, 1); Gillian had been Toby’s daughter. King Rhys had been the ruler of the Kingdom of Silences (A Red Rose Chain).

Fetches are night-haunts who live vicariously through the dead they eat. Dare had been a gang member under Devin, a modern-day Fagin, a.k.a., Egil. Home had been their changeling domain. Elf-shot kills changelings and puts pureblooded fae to sleep for one hundred years. The Shadow Roads are traveled by the Cait Sidhe. Folletti are sky-fae who use hardened wind for swords.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a yellow and purple background of redwood trees in Muir Woods, a lined path, and October in black leather jacket, low-slung jeans, and a riveted, silver buckled belt. Her long hair is streaming down her back, and Toby is holding an ornate dagger in her right hand. The author’s name is in white at the top. The title is in purple with a broken white outline at the bottom.

I’m not sure what inspired the title. It could well be Toby’s anger with Sylvester, for Once Broken Faith, it’s hard to trust again.

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