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REVIEW: 'Ashes of Honor' by Seanan McGuire

It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

This sixth book of the October Daye novels is a novel that is sure to please regular fans and new. One of Seanan McGuire’s strengths is ability to expose new readers to important facts of the previous books, and reminds the regulars of tidbits that could have been lost over the period of a year from the last read. I highly encourage new readers to start from the beginning of any series, but if you decide
to jump right in, you’ll find little difficulty following the story and becoming invested in the characters.

Just like the previous novels, the fast pace is set early on and filled with lots of action throughout. That’s not to say there aren’t any moments of downtime. In fact, much of growth seen in the main character, October “Toby” Daye, happens in between the excessive bloody fights, while traveling from world to world, and when grabbing a bite to eat. Set in first person narrative, the pages can be filled heavily with description, causing the reader to have to breathe between the scenes. For many this is a welcome feast for the mind’s eye, but for others caught in the faster dialogue, I can see them skimming over the details to where it picks up again. 

This is one of the darkest books of the series. Since the story picks up a year after the hardest trials any woman would have to endure - losing a child, and a lover – a mix of harsh emotions plague the mind of Toby. Much of this book not only about finding a lost child and saving all the worlds, but it also is about Toby finding her way back to the living with the help of the fan’s favorite potential love interest, Tybalt. Not only do we get the chance to witness Toby’s self-revelations come to light, but fans are finally able to see Tybalt as the man they hoped him to be. Romance is finally in the air, and for many regular readers, it is an itch that has been yearning to be scratched since 2009. I personally missed Tybalt’s mocking attitude, more prevalently seen in the first couple books, but it was also welcome to know the softer side of the King of Cats.


Who’s going to like this book? Anyone into urban fantasy, faery fans, and people wanting a story filled with adventure, blood and guts, and a dash of romance on the side. All in all, this is a well-rounded book, with loveable and love-to-hate characters, that will take you on a journey through bustling streets of San Francisco and into the imaginary depths of Faery lands. Take the chance to escape into the world of October Daye. You’ll have a good time, even with the excessive bloody fights.

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