Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference previous books in the series. Check out VBC’s review of book 1, Rosemary and Rue.
Toby’s curiosity is peaked when she receives a summons from the Queen of Mists. When called to court, Toby is given a Countess title over Evening’s former fiefdom of Golden Green. Toby is uneasy at the Queen’s motivations, but that unease is quickly put aside when Toby learns that Lily, Lady of the Teagardens, is sick. In order to avoid drawing attention to Lily’s illness, Tybalt and May are enlisted to cause a wonderful distraction in court allowing Toby to sneak away.
The problem with Lily’s illness is the fact that, as an Undine, she should not be susceptible to illness because she is of the water. As Toby faces another mystery to unfold, she must keep up appearances that everything is normal for the sake of Lily’s people (keeping those who would try to take control of the Tea Gardens away). Hence why Toby finds herself at Beltane ball at Shadowed Hills, where Luna is the next in line to become seriously ill. Unfortunately Toby is the only person with her when this happens and Rayseline decides this would be a perfect time to sully Toby’s name.
What Toby tries to tell everyone else is that Oleander De Merelands is back. Oleander is one of the people responsible for Toby’s fourteen-year stint as a fish, among many other evil deeds. No one wants to even think Oleander is back, and given the fact that no one else has seen her, Toby begins to wonder whether she’s even seen Oleander. Now, it’s Toby’s life on the line while she’s trying to save the lives of those closest to her.
In Late Eclipses the readers finally learn more about Toby’s past, and gain a little more insight into her relationship with her mother. I find it interesting that Toby’s mother has always been hovering on the outskirts of the main action of the story. Seanan McGuire makes sure to mention Toby’s mother frequently in each book, simply because she’s important to Toby eventually understanding who she is. We learn a lot more about Toby’s past, revelations that Toby herself didn’t even know, but not things that were unknown by everyone else. I look forward to the day when Toby and Amandine confront each other in the “real” world (whatever can be termed real in faery).
Much to my delight and happiness, Tybalt was more of a featured player in Late Eclipses. Even Toby acknowledges that things between her and the King of Cats are on the strange side. Toby just locks it away, instead of dealing with it, telling herself that he’s just acting like a cat and that he still feels contempt for her.
Of course you can’t have one without the other, and Conner gets his own page time as well. For me, Connor certainly represents a Toby of yesteryear, someone she’s grown out of considering everything that’s happened to her. I think that he is an idea that Toby would very much like to attain, to be able to go back to what looks like a simpler time. But when faced with Toby’s revelations in this book, even Connor is unsure. Tybalt, might I add, doesn’t flinch.
This is definitely a series that keeps getting better. I can’t wait to read more. I’m almost caught up!
Sexual content: Kissing