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Rosemary and Rue (October Daye) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 313 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the October Daye Series

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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.)
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Review

Praise for the October Daye series:

"The top of my urban-paranormal series list! I am so invested in the worldbuilding and the characters.... The romance is real and awesome, but doesn't overshadow the adventure." —Felicia Day

"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." —Tanya Huff, author of the An Ancient Peace

"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." —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." —Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer

"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

"I can't believe McGuire can come up with another adventure as riveting as this one. But then I say that after every book in this series." —SFRevu

"McGuire has never lacked for courage in her writing.... The phenomenally inventive October Daye series showcases her narrative daring and ingenuity beautifully." —RT Reviews

"Prepare to be dazzled.... Like the best of urban fantasy, with each reveal and mystery solved, Toby's world grows ever more enticing. As seductive as faerie itself, this is one series I could never give up." —All Things Urban Fantasy

"These books are like watching half a season of your favorite television series all at once.... More than anything else, it's the fun of it all that's kept me returning to McGuire's books and to this series." —SF Signal 

"The plot is strong, the characterization is terrific, the tragedies hurt...and McGuire's usual beautiful writing and dark humor are present and accounted for. This has become one of my favorite urban fantasy series." —Fantasy Literature

"With Ashes of Honor, McGuire has crafted a deeply personal and intense storythat will keep you on the edge, hoping to be pushed over. In my opinion, it is, hands down, the best Toby to date." —The Ranting Dragon

"An urban fantasy detective series featuring a resourceful female detective.... [October Daye] should appeal to fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files as well as the novels of Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and similar authors." —Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Series: October Daye (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; 1st Printing edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756405718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756405717
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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