Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it may make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Rosemary and Rue.
The end of Red-Rose Chain found October Daye deposing another regent, this time in The Kingdom of Silences (and yes Toby is gaining quite the reputation). In the process, October and her band of merry accomplices also happened upon the cure to elf-shot. As you know, elf-shot is seen as a “safe” weapon of choice. It puts those shot to sleep for one hundred years, in lieu of outright killing them, and therefore gets the wielder of said weapon around the pesky illegality of killing another Fae. We’ll not even bother to mention the fact that elf-shot is deadly to changelings.
Now the High King and Queen of the Westlands are bringing together a conclave of those prominent Fae of the region to determine whether or not the distribution of the cure should happen. Toby has also found herself in required attendance, and of course where Toby leads, death will follow. When the King of Angels turns up dead, Toby find herself back in the role of investigator trying to figure out why the King of Angels was targeted and who might be next.
Right off the bat, I really appreciated the lovely map at the beginning of the book. Now I’m just waiting for the official Faerie family tree to be released! In all seriousness, though, the map comes in handy because Once Broken Faith introduces a lot of new regents and kingdoms and I liked being able to actually see where they are in relation to the Mists. So big thumbs up for that one!
On that note, I really liked getting to see more of this world. Yes, Toby’s investigations have caused her to leave The Mists before and travel to other Kingdoms, but so far, only to a select few. The best thing about Once Broken Faith was everything takes place within Queen Windermere’s knowe. So we kind of have this “locked-room” mystery happening, but it made handling the addition of so many new/different kingdoms really accessible.
I’d also go so far as to say that this has been one of the most straightforward cases for Toby to solve. Not a lot of outside influences because, again, everything takes place within one knowe. I think it’s the closest we’ll ever get to Toby having somewhat of a break and, trust me, when you read this one, you might think I’m crazy for that statement, but if you think back on the last few books in the series, you’ll see this one is a bit toned down, for me that was definitely not a bad thing. Plus, the Luidaeg keeping pretentious purebloods on their toes is never something to be missed.
One of the reasons for the milder mystery was the fact that the conclave’s determination on elf-shot is a really important moment for the Tobyverse. Just think of all the characters that have been elf-shot over the course of this series thus far. The decision made will greatly affect, good or bad, further storylines. I’m really happy that Seanan McGuire devoted time to the issue in this book.
Once Broken Faith will undoubtedly please readers of the series. Hands down this series is one of, if not the, best urban fantasy dealing with the Fae out there.
Sexual content: sex