Strangers in Court by Seanan McGuire (October Daye, #13.5)
Strangers in Court is a novella set before the events of Rosemary and Rue, providing some welcome backstory and a chance to see some of the characters mentioned there while they're still around.
This story was placed at the end of the first book in the series, Rosemary and Rue, and that’s definitely the right placement. It provides just enough context to make sense even if read separately, but the importance of many of the secondary details lies in how they inform the reader’s understanding of the first book. It fills in some interesting backstory which was hinted at in the main book, as well as providing some more history for the character relationships therein. It is complete enough to stand on its own, artfully balancing the need to focus on its own story while also informing the larger narrative. It was nice to meet this younger version of the MC and I definitely recommend it to anyone who’s reading the main series.
CW for pregnancy, gaslighting.
Clear Your Shit Readathon 2020 prompt: Shortest Book