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Rosemary and Rue: Book One of Toby Daye (October Daye) [Kindle Edition]

Seanan McGuire
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

"Rosemary and Rue is one of the most successful blends of mystery and fantasy I've ever read—like Raymond Chandler by way of Pamela Dean. Toby Daye has become one of my favorite heroines, and I can't wait to read more of her continuing adventures."

—Tim Pratt, author of Dead Reign

The world of Faerie never disappeared; it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie's survival—but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Outsiders from birth, these half-human, half-fae children spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Or, in the case of October "Toby" Daye, rejecting it completely. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating into a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, Faerie has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose, one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant to the Duke of Shadowed Hills and begin renewing old alliances that may prove her only hope of solving the mystery...before the curse catches up with her. Rosemary and Rue is the first installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Singer-songwriter McGuire adeptly infuses her debut with hardboiled sensibilities and a wide array of mythological influences, set against a moody San Francisco backdrop. October Toby Daye is half-human, half-faerie, a changeling PI with a foot in both worlds. After spending 14 years as a fish following a botched assignment, she's desperate to avoid magic, but the dying curse of a murdered elven lady forces her to investigate the killing, with the price of failure being Toby's own painful death. Toby struggles with court intrigue, magical mayhem, would-be assassins and her own past, always driven by the need to succeed and survive. Well researched, sharply told, highly atmospheric and as brutal as any pulp detective tale, this promising start to a new urban fantasy series is sure to appeal to fans of Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Everything you'd ever need in an urban fantasy. It's a smart story, cleanly told that allows both humor and heartbreak to take their turn on stage but, more importantly, the 'urban' and the 'fantasy' are of equal importance." —Tanya Huff, author of the Blood Books

"Rosemary and Rue is one of the most successful blends of mystery and fantasy I've ever read—like Raymond Chandler by way of Pamela Dean. Toby Daye has become one of my favorite heroines, and I can't wait to read more of her continuing adventures." —Tim Pratt, author of Dead Reign

"McGuire knows her fairy lore, bringing the wonder and the danger of the fair folk to the streets of San Francisco so vividly you can smell the rose goblins. Action, intrigue, and a dash of romance make Rosemary and Rue a fun, engaging read. An impressive first novel that leaves you impatient for the second." —Jim Hines, author of Libriomancer

"Rosemary and Rue is a fast paced ride through the streets, parks, and cliffs of San Francisco, lifting the covers to reveal that which lies unseen. An incredible mix of action, mystery, fairy, urban fantasy, and just a smidgen of romance artfully woven into a story impossible to put down.” —Sacramento Book Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 619 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (September 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002N83HAW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,357 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
153 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faerie tales are deadly, and delightful! June 24, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many and several moons ago, my housemate asked me if I'd be interested in reading a new book. This is something similar to asking a cat if she would like more catnip. After receiving my enthused yes, she gave me more details. The author needed people who were not already familiar with her work to do a quick, but thorough, read-through and provide feedback, all inside of a week.

This lay well within my skill-set, and was my first introduction to Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. I caught one small continuity detail, but beyond that I was fairly limited in feedback beyond: Book good. And it was.

Well, I'm not sure how many revisions there have been between that version and the version I received in ARC form, but let me tell you, this book has gone from "Book good" to "Book AMAZING!"

For those reading this who like comparisons to other series. Quality-wise, I believe that Rosemary and Rue compares favorably with both the first book of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and with the first book of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

The main character, October 'Toby' Daye, is a changeling. This leaves her caught between the realms of Faerie and the mortal world, with obstacles and craziness from both being heaped on her head throughout Rosemary and Rue. Toby's journey through this book is precipitated by the murder of an old friend, and a very pressing obligation to solve that murder.

It's difficult writing a review, because I want to talk on and on about all the twists and turns, all the fascinating secondary characters, and the delight I had in seeing so much being set up for the subsequent books.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could've been better. January 8, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I walked away from this book with conflicting feelings. The idea for the plot was great, but the execution was somewhat flawed. October Daye is a changeling - a half blood Dioine Sidhe with fairly weak powers inherited from her mother's powerful line. She built a good life for herself in the mortal realm, living with a man and her little girl, and doing PI work for both the regular people and fey. When her liege lord's wife and daughter suddenly disappear, she is on the case to find them, but gets caught and cruelly punished by being turned into a fish. The spell holding her prisoner lasts 14 years and when she finally awakens, she finds that the world has moved on and without being able to fully deal with what happened - shuts herself out from everything and everyone. That all changes with a frantic call and subsequent brutal murder of one the closest people from her past, Evening Winterrose. Now, Toby is on the case to find her friend's murderer, which leads her straight into the cruel and wondrous world she tried to forget. But did it forget about her?

As I mentioned above, for anyone who likes Urban Fantasy, the storyline is bound to draw you in. Unfortunately, there were a few problems that made this book difficult to read at times. Some of my explanations are a bit detailed, but I tried not to give away any spoilers:

1. Being a respected PI, Toby did not appear to be very good at detective work. Throughout the book she visited multiple people/locations to try to find some clues for her investigation, but she literally learned nothing new for the majority of the book. All the while, random creatures kept trying to kill her, which should've added to the suspense if she actually learned anything prior to being shot.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous debut novel July 2, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a great fan of writing and reading stories about protagonists in a heap of trouble digging themselves out to win the day. Rosemary and Rue is exactly that kind of book. In less than the first 100 pages, October "Toby" Daye, a half-breed Daoine Sidhe and former street kid, is cursed twice, loses everything she holds dear, winds up in a job she hates and has an unpleasant encounter with the King of Cats. Frankly, if I were Toby and I met Seanan on the street, I would punch her.

Yes, I really loved this book. Toby is a flawed protagonist in all of the right ways. She is scared, hurt, angry, and forced to do things she would have done anyway but resents the power that is forcing her to do exactly that. Every person Toby turns to for help she knows she cannot trust. Every person who loves Toby is hurt by this lack of trust. But, honestly, the reader cannot fault Toby. She is acting in a logical and emotional-if reactionary-manner to everything that is happening to and around her.

One of the best parts about Rosemary and Rue is the fact that while it is one step into the world of the Fey, changelings, pixies, trolls, and goblins, there is still a true sense of reality. Having once lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the story is set, I can imagine the world of Oberon's court just beyond visible sight. The places are real. The emotions are real. The pain, loss, and infrequent joys are real. So real that sometimes this is a hard book to read. Fortunately, it is a harder book to put down.

Seanan McGuire's funny, raw, and engaging style of writing has put her at the top of my "new favorite authors" pile. I highly recommend Rosemary and Rue as a fantastic debut novel and eagerly wait to see what comes next both in this series and from the author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars San Francisco and a mystery, what more can you want
I bought this book because of its good rating and because it takes place is San Francisco. The premise is unusual ... Read more
Published 4 days ago by K. Yoshiwara
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid series.
This is such a great series. I am not normally a fan of elves because they are usually portrayed as cold and cruel but the elves in this series have more range. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Janet
5.0 out of 5 stars Was very glad to purchase most of the books available in the ...
Started this series out of order. Was very glad to purchase most of the books available in the series. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Kerstin Zadrejko
3.0 out of 5 stars Another view of Fantasy Noir
I found this series in a "Home Improvement" anthology. I'm a big fan of Urban Fantasy, especially Harry Dresden and Rachel Morgan. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Thomas M. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome new series
This is the first in an awesome new series. It was her first published, I think, but I've been gobbling up every book of hers I've found ever since. Read more
Published 8 days ago by A. Ludwig
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad there's more!
Loved the book and the way the author weaves worlds together. The story takes place in our world with some otherworldly residents and locales seamlessly blended in. Read more
Published 18 days ago by S. Deming
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well written book
1st in the series, this is a very good book with well developed interesting characters, lots of action and mystery, a little bit of magic, and a great ending. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I hoped
It was just okay. I found it very dark, and the life of Toby very depressing. And for an investigator, I would have hoped a bit more intelligence and methodical skills rather... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jax
2.0 out of 5 stars A little slow
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 2.50
Story Rating: 2.00
Character Rating: 3.00

Audio Rating: 4. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Do you like your protagonists inept and flaccid?
If so, this book is for you.

All too often we come across books with what I like to call the 'I win button.' We all know them. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BCD1082
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More About the Author

Seanan McGuire is a native Californian, which has resulted in her being exceedingly laid-back about venomous wildlife, and terrified of weather. When not writing urban fantasy (as herself) and science fiction thrillers (as Mira Grant), she likes to watch way too many horror movies, wander around in swamps, record albums of original music, and harass her cats.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye, InCryptid, and Indexing series of urban fantasies; the Newsflesh trilogy; the Parasitology duology; and the "Velveteen vs." superhero shorts. Her cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, are plotting world domination even as we speak, but are easily distracted by feathers on sticks, so mankind is probably safe. For now.

Seanan's favorite things include the X-Men, folklore, and the Black Death. No, seriously. She writes all biographies in the third person, because it's easier that way.

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HELP! Not sure I want to Continue
If you like mysteries - this book is full of them...

Yes, there is a mystery about Simon and his true motivation for turning October into a fish; there is reason to question the motivation. He transforms October Daye in Lily's Garden. Why there? Read the text carefully - where is Lily and her... Read More
Dec 15, 2010 by Judy |  See all 2 posts
Is Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire....
It has a bit of past romance, but it is not a romance - it's an urban fantasy mystery/suspense novel. If you're looking for Romance, this is not the book for you.
Nov 7, 2009 by Rebecca Dawn |  See all 3 posts
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