Saturday, December 13, 2014

THE WINTER LONG: A BOOK REVIEW

The Winter Long (October Daye #8)
Written by: Seanan McGuire
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: DAW
Language: English
September 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Series

Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

She was wrong.

It’s time to learn the truth.


+++++++++++++

I have been thinking a lot about my favorite series of late. Recently quite a few of them threw out some pretty heavy revelations that have been building for quite some time. But now that the revelations are out there on the table, do you really want the stories to end? Toby is like that for me. Things have been on a gradual build for seven books. There has been loss and heartache, new loves and new friends. We have had so many questions about Amy, her mother. We have had questions about why she was a fish for several years? We have had questions about a lot of things. Winter Long has some answers for you, but Toby’s story is long from over.

The new Queen of Mists is having a Yuletide Ball and while Toby isn’t exactly the fancy schmancy like to party type, she likes Arden and so that the gang heads to Muir Woods for the shindig. It is a happy time and Toby is declared a ‘hero of the realm’. It is a title that is well deserved as the woman has been threw a lot in the past few years. Of course the moment someone calls you a hero you know something bad is going to knock on the door and say hi.

He does and his names is Simon Torquill. Yeah, that Simon. Her liege’s brother and the man who turned Toby into a fish for more than a decade. But instead of showing up on her doorstep to finish killing her as she thought he had meant to do so many years ago, he says that he did it to protect her. And he would like to continue to protect her by turning her into a tree for the next hundred years. Can she really trust this man? Can she really trust anything he is telling her? Sadly Simon is under a geas and unable to reveal all of the details that Toby wants. So, Toby heads to the one person who has given her answers in the past, The Luidaeg. Except that is when things really go to Hell.

Things I liked:
Eight books in and I am still not bored with Toby and crew. I mean when you see the back cover of a book and that is all the description that you get you know this is going to be a doozy. It lived up to my expectations. We had revelations, more questions, and plenty of intrigue. Relationships changed in many good ways, but also in some saddening ways. Alliances have vastly changed and things are far from over. I like that Seanan has been building to this moment, leading us there with every new Toby installment. I am sure the little trail of clues is there as well if I went back and read the series again one after another.

The pacing is fairly breakneck, but a reason for it. A girl only has so much time before the world she has built can kind of go to Hell because of one big revelation. And Toby really has built a life in these past years. She has her cats and Spike, her boys, her sister and Jazz…she has a family. A family she spends a lot of time protecting and building. She has worked hard to be where she is at. She has saved Faerie more than once and there are many who owe her whether they want to admit it or not. She is a much different knight than Sylvester probably ever imagined. She’s stronger. She asks for help when she needs it. Sure she still doesn’t eat enough, but she is a much more confident and strong woman than she was in the events from Rosemary and Rue. In a way I think Amy might even be proud of who her daughter has become and how much further she has yet to grow. I know the Luidaeg is. Other people not so much. She is no longer quite so easy to manipulate. And woe to the ones who have kept things from her.

Of course there is always Tybalt, the man that leather pants were made for. Tybalt lovers will be quite pleased as I was though I always am.

Things I didn’t like so much:
I am a little over elfshot. It always proves to be extremely convenient. It’s not really a dislike because I like seeing a character’s progression even if it is not in a way that I want it to go. There was a time that I really liked Luna and Sylvester. That time is over. After everything she has done, how many times Toby has risked her life for the sake of Sylvester and Luna and…sigh.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. This is far from the end, but a nice little storyarc. I am ready for the season now. Please. Hurry. I will send you chocolate Seanan.

Part of:Part of the October Daye series
Book One: Rosemary and Rue
Book Two: A Local Habitation
Book Three: An Artificial Night
Book Four: Late Eclipses
Book Five: One Salt Sea
Book Six: Ashes of Honor
Book Seven: Chimes at Midnight
Book Eight: The Winter Long
Book Nine: A Red Rose Chain (expected September 2015)
Book Ten: Once Broken Faith (expected September 2016)

Also Recommended: Try Seanan’s other series as Mira Grant such as Feed, The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, The Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin, and for more fey loveliness Holly Black’s modern faerie tale series.

3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

No comments: