Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from previous books in the series.
It’s been roughly a year since the tragic events in One Salt Sea. During this year Toby has become increasingly reckless with her life, and it’s starting to worry her friends. Before anyone has a chance to bring this up, Toby is asked to find another missing child.
This isn’t just any missing child however, it’s the unknown-until-now changeling daughter of Etienne, a fellow knight of Toby’s. It turns out Chelsea takes after her father; she’s a teleporter. It seems that her lack of knowledge about her heritage is a risk to Faerie since every time she teleports she’s opening realms that have been closed and/or locked for centuries, and with good reason. Toby quickly discovers that Chelsea isn’t acting completely of her own free will. Her strings are being pulled by someone with power and Toby will need to figure it out before Faerie is destroyed.
Let’s cut to the chase. Ashes of Honor is THE book. The one that Tybalt fans have been waiting for since the first spark of chemistry between them in Rosemary and Rue. Tybalt has been patiently waiting while Toby grieves, and while I appreciated that fact, I also appreciated that he is finally almost forcing her to acknowledge or sort out her feelings. Seanan McGuire did a good thing by not waiting throughout the entire book to introduce this subject and then only giving us a few sentences at the end. Nope, this is something that Toby has to think over for the entirety of the book. By the time we get to the end we know Toby is sure of her feelings and her decisions. I liked seeing the moment when Toby decides to take the leap (so to speak).
I almost felt like the rest of Ashes of Honor took a backseat to Toby’s emotions and relationships. This is okay because they are something Toby has to deal with sooner or later. The missing child case here parallels that in One Salt Sea and is a good catalyst for Toby to deal with the issues of losing Gillian. Chelsea’s storyline invariably leads us back to Tamed Lighting, which was featured in A Local Habitation. A few story threads are tied up in regards to the feud between Tamed Lightning and Dreamers Glass. I always appreciate when an author can go back and incorporate something from early on in a series into later books.
There are also problems brewing in the Kingdom of Cats. They play on Toby’s loss of Connor. She doesn’t want to go through that again. Toby has to see that danger is present anywhere and in many forms, but cats have nine lives. I liked seeing Tybalt in more of a King role defending his crown so to speak. A lot of times we only see Tybalt when he’s helping Toby, but this time the two instances coincide.
Like in the previous books, Seanan McGuire manages to make this one a challenge for Toby in various ways. Ashes of Honor adds more depth to the character and with the way things play out I’m excited to see new directions in Toby’s life in Chimes at Midnight.
Sexual content: Kissing