Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
October “Toby” Daye is a changeling P.I. When one of her assignments goes wrong she’s turned into a fish for 14 years. At the beginning of Rosemary and Rue, Toby has been changeling again for about six months and all she wants is be left alone. The human life she built is gone and she wants nothing to do with the Fae. Of course it’s easier said than done.
One evening Toby finds a voicemail from a friend in trouble. Toby’s friend knows the end is imminent and curses Toby to avenge her death and find her killer otherwise she will die as well. Now Toby has no choice but to return to the life she left so long ago.
The beginning of the book drew me in immediately. I really like Toby’s character. She’s been through a lot, and unfortunately, if this book is anything to go on, this series will be one where our main heroine is put through the ringer in each installment. Toby, however, keeps getting up even when everyone around her is yelling and pleading for her to stay down.
All the characters are richly built. Tybalt is probably the secondary character that stands out the most for me, and like the cats that he rules over, he’s cunning and mysterious. He’s the type that shows up at just the right moment: when you least expect it. I look forward to learning more about him in future books.
Seanan McGuire really builds an interesting world. Much of the Fae mythology is familiar. I’ve found that authors don’t really deviate too much when it comes to the Fae. The same rules apply across the board (things like never saying “thank you,” the Fae can’t outright lie, etc.), but McGuire does a great job with imagery in how the Fae world overlaps and intersects with what we know as San Francisco. Where doorways appear out of nowhere and take you to a completely magical place. I really got caught up in the descriptions of Toby’s world.
The mystery in Rosemary and Rue was weak, though. Toby was supposed to be a private investigator in her previous life, and from the bits and pieces of information gathered while reading, she was pretty good at her job (aside from being turned into a fish). Here, however, I almost feel like instead of her pursuing the murderer and the clues she kind of stumbles around from place to place, and trouble happens to find her. While the reader, in turn, gets a lot of information this way about aspect of the Fae world, I would have liked to have actually seen Toby taking action instead of reacting. It felt too out of her control that way.
I can forgive this because it was just a first-book-in-a-series type deal. Yes, McGuire gives us a lot of introductory information, but there are still things that need to be dealt with in Toby’s past. Anyone who’s read other books with Fae in them has a good understanding of how the Fae will only tell you the bare essentials and have a way with bending the truth so they’re technically not telling a lie. I have a feeling there’s more going on behind the scenes in this world than we are aware of as yet. All actions have consequences.
There is really no romance in this book, but there are plenty of prospects. I’m interested to see what comes of the relationships based on the interactions in this book.
Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex