Seanan McGuire, One Salt Sea

Posted October 31, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

One Salt Sea (October Daye #5)One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye, 5
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fifth in the October Daye urban fantasy series based in San Francisco and revolving around Toby Daye, a private detective for humans and the fae.

The Story
Life is good. Well, as good as it’s gonna get when Sylvester insists on teaching Toby how to use a sword and saddling Toby with a squire. Even worse, Quentin wants to be her squire! Still, life is good. All the changelings who used to live in Lily’s Court in Golden Gate Park have all moved to Toby’s knowe, Goldengreen. May has settled in as her roommate and the cats and her rose gremlin are happy. And Connor is a free man.

Well, as happy as life can get when the Luidaeg turns out to be sitting in her apartment’s living room. War is coming between the fae and the Luidaeg requires that Toby stop it…as payment Toby owes the sea hag.

Tension has been building for a long time between the Undersea and the land fae. Then the Lordens’ children are stolen. Stolen from the Court of Saltmist! When children are sacred to the fae! And Rayseline is in the middle of it. Then Tybalt brings news that Gillian has been kidnapped…

The Characters
October “Toby” Daye has recently learned she is Dóchas Sidhe after her adventures in Lost Eclipses—something more than changeling, still different from Daoine Sidhe. While she is knight errant for Sylvester, she still needs to make a living if she wants to live outside a knowe and being a private detective satisfies her. Almost as much as Lucky Charms cereal soaked in coffee.

The Luidaeg. One of the Firstborn. A sea hag. Ya just know she’s different when she prefers salt and sour cream in her coffee and we learn more of her history as well as survive her demands.

Dugan Harrow is one of the Queen of the Mists’ courtiers with a mad hate for Toby. Connor O’Dell is a selkie no longer married to the traitor, Rayseline, the daughter of Sylvester and Luna, Duke and Duchess of Shadow Hills. Stacy Brown is a changeling friend of Toby’s while Bruce O’Malley is a Glastig and a seller of information both of whom Toby knew when she lived at Home, Devin’s place.

Tybalt is a local King of the Court of the Dreaming Cats, a Cait Sidhe, and very protective of Toby. Raj is also Cait Sidhe and Tybalt’s heir. Seems Connor and Tybs hung out together while Toby was recovering from her stay in prison. May is, or rather, was Toby’s Fetch. Once Amandine, Toby’s mother, altered Toby’s blood enough, the bonds between May and Toby broke. Etienne is the captain of the guards at Shadow Hills; he trained Toby in the concept of knighthood. Danny is a Bridge Troll, taxi driver, a friend of Toby’s, and the only Barghest Rescue operator ever. And Walter, the Tylweth Teg chemist, again plays a critical role.

Peter and Dean are the sons of Dianda, the Duchess of Saltmist, and Patrick Lorden, her land fae husband. Their kidnapping by a fae heralds the start of war if the children are not returned unharmed. Gillian is Toby’s human-fae daughter faced with a life-changing decision. Quentin is Toby’s squire, a blind fosterling in Sylvester’s Court.

My Take
Betrayal on so many levels! McGuire certainly knows how to keep the tension up and running as she introduces us to yet more facets to the fae when Toby shapeshifts with the Luidaeg’s help and goes underwater to investigate at the Court of Saltmist—I see a new career path for Toby as a security consultant.

As part of her investigation, Toby learns too much of the pain Raysel endures. On the bright side, Toby does get the opportunity to take care of a few enemies!

The truly torturous part is that I have to wait until September 2012 for the next installment, Ashes of Honor!

The Cover
The cover is the antithesis of how I imagine an underwater kingdom would appear with its bubbling orange background against which Toby relaxes into her transformation to a mermaid in Tybalt’s poor, abused leather jacket, her long, wavy, red hair swirling in the surf. The title is odd. Yes, there is salt in the sea to which Toby journeys. But I don’t grasp the reference of “one”.

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