Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (October Daye, #1)

October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.

TITLE: Rosemary and Rue
AUTHOR: Seanan McGuire
YEAR: 2009
LENGTH: 346 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Queer Rep Summary: No canon queer rep.

Rosemary and Rue is drenched in blood and magic; October's path is filled with death as she races against time to solve a murder before it kills her. 

I love urban fantasy, stories with the fae, and murder mysteries, so I had a great time reading this one. It's so fully centered in the convergence of those genres that if that combination doesn't sound like a good time then this maybe isn't the book for you, but it was perfect for me. Stories with the fae have to decide how relatable or inscrutable they'll be, and I especially liked this book's take on changelings as a way to bridge the reader's understanding of the other supernatural creatures. While many of the tropes were familiar, the way the Faerie elements are treated here was a great mix of leaning into the genre and building something fresh and new. The resolution was surprising while also fitting the story that led up to it. A lot of ground was laid to sustain a long-running series (at the time of my review the 14th book in this series has been published), so I'm excited to dig into this one. The main story in this book was wrapped up to my satisfaction, but it's obvious that the world traced here can hold so many more stories.

CW for sexual content (brief), ableism (brief), cursing, drug use (brief mention), alcohol (brief mention), toxic relationship (backstory), vomit (brief), blood (graphic), gore, violence, gun violence (graphic), child abuse, physical abuse (not depicted), injury detail (graphic), torture (brief mention), self harm (brief), murder, major character death, child death, death (graphic).

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A woman in a leather jacket stands in front of a blood-spattered iron gate.


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