Ashes of Honor, Book 6 in the October Daye series, takes place about a year after One Salt Sea. Toby has loved, lost, and is now trying to get back to normalcy. Of course, in Toby’s world “normalcy” includes solving cases and facing danger head on. And those who love her most fear that her luck could run out.
She takes on a case for Etienne to find his teenaged daughter, Chelsea, a changeling whose been kept a secret from Etienne for all of these years. However, without her father’s tutelage to harness her powers, she inadvertently wreaks havoc on Faerie, and Toby and her friends are at the front lines to help.
This was a great book for character development. Being the cat lover that I am, I was particularly interested in the politics surrounding the Court of Cats and their growing disdain for Tybalt’s decisions. Toby and Tybalt have always had a complicated relationship, so the consequences have caught up and everything plays out accordingly. Romance or no, I find the books are always better when he’s gracing the pages, and this time there was a satisfying dose of him.
The adventure to find Chelsea was a little flat for me, though it ended well. I think Seanan McGuire has created an amazing world, so to go from the previous book where we took a trip to the Undersea where we could see Toby in all of her mermaid glory and compare their politics to land fae, this wasn’t quite as interesting for me.
Toby gets banged around a LOT here. Having self-generating abilities has its pluses, but I feel like at least a quarter of the chapters end with Toby passing out or getting knocked out, which came off as a bit too repetitive.
Even still, it’s a quality read and a very important installment to the series. It’s probably my favorite at this point. I always appreciate a series that gets better with age.
This marks my first review of Seanan McGuire’s popular series. Normally I prefer to review every book after I read it; however, for this series it was super difficult to become invested early on. I got through the first three quickly to keep my enthusiasm up for the series. But since I read them quickly I didn’t think I could write a proper review. But due to the high acclaim that the later books have received I decided to push through, and that turned out to be a good decision.
October “Toby” Daye, our favorite half-human, half-fae, is just a magnet for trouble. She means well, but when it comes to Faerie politics, nothing is cut and dry. She earns knighthood, an unprecedented achievement for a changeling since their kind are all but shunned when it comes to the fae community. So there is definitely an ulterior motive involved…perhaps the perfect scenario to make Toby public enemy number 1 after a number of grave incidents happen to those closest to her.
This is far and away the best book of the series so far. it’s the most emotionally charged book yet where loyalties are cemented, secrets are revealed, and the action is steady. Everything is a close call, keeping the suspense high. I really didn’t know what to expect from page to page for the majority of the book. We find out who Toby’s friends really are and just how far they are willing to go to protect her. Her friends aren’t perfect, but they’re honorable.
I finally found myself really starting to like the side characters. My favorite supporting characters are Tybalt, the Luidaeg, Connor, and May. Being the cat person that I am, I do wish Tybalt would get more page time. Though not my favorite, I do like Sylvester and sympathized with him quite a bit. Everyone is coming into their own, and more than willing to prove their worth. The character development is pretty compelling, especially when it comes to Toby and May. The mythology involving the plethora of fairie species evolves quite a bit, expanding the world even more. They are more vulnerable than we think and I’m interested in seeing where things will go next.
It’s not the first series to have a slow beginning. My favorite series, The Hollows, is the same way (though I became invested faster). I am glad that I stuck through it though because it’s definitely one of the best that urban fantasy has to offer. Book 1 to book 4 is literally like night and…daye.