Book Review: Seanan McGuire’s “Of Things Unknown”

Posted November 3, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review:  Seanan McGuire’s “Of Things Unknown”

"Of Things Unknown"


Seanan McGuire

urban fantasy that was published by DAW Books on September 5, 2017 and has 61 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads four-stars

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Indexing, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Half-Off Ragnarok, Midway Relics and Dying Breeds, Games Creatures Play, The Winter Long, Sparrow Hill Road, The InCryptid Prequels, Pocket Apocalypse, Black as Blood, Blocked, White as a Raven's Wing, The Ghosts of Bourbon Street, IM, "Good Girls Go to Heaven", A Red Rose Chain, "Full of Briars", Reflections, Once Broken Faith, "Dreams and Slumbers", Shadowed Souls, Chaos Choreography, Magic For Nothing, Indigo, Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, The Brightest Fell

A short story that falls in at 11.5 in the October Daye urban fantasy series with this tale set in the San Jose area and revolving around Countess April O’Leary. It’s been three years since A Local Habitation, 2.

My Take

It’s all about love (and can be found in the back of The Brightest Fell, 11) and guilt in first-person protagonist point-of-view from April’s perspective.

I gotta say this was rather annoying for all the whining that April does, and yet it also makes for a fascinating insight into how a computer might think, if it were alive in the sense we understand. And it’s that combination of dryad-computer that provides April with her belief.

Now, I loved the outcome, but it doesn’t seem right. But then who am I to argue with a dryad-turned-lightning?

The Story

It’s been three years of grieving and guilt for young April. She feels responsible for her mother’s death. For so many deaths. And she’s terrified of losing her only other mother, for life goes on.

Yet her own beginnings give her hope. A crazy, farfetched sort of hope that her mother’s last project may hold the key.

The Characters

Countess April O’Leary, a.k.a., April ap Learianth, was the “daughter” of January, a fae of mixed blood — alchemy and blood-work — and April now rules the County of Tamed Lightning. A dryad who ran and became so much more. Li Qin Zhou had been January’s wife and the only remaining mother for April. Li Qin is also acting as custodian over the Duchy of Dreamer’s Glass since its true Duchess, Treasa Riordan, disappeared in Ashes of Honor, 6.

Yui, a kitsune descendant of Maeve’s, had been their alchemist engaged to Elliot, a Bannick also descended from Maeve who served as January’s and now April’s seneschal; Barbara, a Queen of Cats and Gordan’s best friend; Peter; Colin; and, Terrie had also been killed. Gordan is the fae who betrayed.

Sir October Daye is a knight errant of the realm. Quentin Sollys is Toby’s squire. Duke Torquill of Shadowed Hills is/was January’s uncle.

The Library of Stars is located in San Francisco.

The Title

The title is a hope “Of Things Unknown” that may restore the balance in April’s and Li Qin’s lives.


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