Review: The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #13)

The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #13) // VBC Review

The Unkindest Tide (October Daye #13)
Seanan McGuire
Published: Sept. 3, 2019 (DAW)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will contain references to previous events in the series. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of Rosemary and Rue.

Centuries before many of the fae alive can remember, and certainly before the humans currently alive can recall, the Luidaeg’s children the Roane were savagely murdered by their kin. That brutality forced the creation of the Selkies, but with a caveat: One day the Luidaeg would call in the Selkies’ debts and return the Roane to the world.

Toby finds herself involved not only because she owes a boatload of debt to the Luidaeg already, but also because she’s Dochas Sidhe and her blood magic will aide in the transition of the Roane. So to the Duchy of Ships our group embarks. But when they arrive, our group stumbles upon a conflict between Dianda Lorden of Saltmist and her brother Torin. When Dianda is taken prisoner and marked as a traitor, as the hero she’s named, Toby is compelled to step in and see justice served no matter who she has to cross in the process.

The Unkindest Tide gives readers a wonderful high-seas adventure. Seanan McGuire certainly knows how to play the long game with this series. I absolutely love how everything that happens has been built upon and built upon so successfully that the transitions from one ultimate conflict or confrontation are seamless.

The idea of family has always been the backbone of this series. In fact, while I appreciate the fact that we finally got a map of the Kingdom of the Westland within the last couple of books, I’d like to formally request a family tree.

Family is so completely wonderful and so completely complicated at the same time. We see this in the tentative, though terribly scarred, relationship between Toby and Gillian. We see this in the found-family Toby has formed with Quentin, May, Raj, Tybalt, Jazz, etc. Here, it’s probably best illustrated in the contrasting relationships between Dianda and her brother Torin and the Luidaeg and her sister Captain Pete (aka Amphitrite).

Besides being supremely happy to see Toby and Tybalt beginning to building their relationship back up—after Tybalt needed to step back and heal from his kidnapping by Amandine—I loved seeing the support and love between the Luidaeg and Pete. The Luidaeg has always been a character cloaked in ambiguity. She puts forth the air of a monster, someone to be feared, but we’ve seen the moments of kindness, we’ve seen her work around her rules to keep Toby alive, or Gillian alive, etc. So seeing another piece in the puzzle in the interactions between her and her sister, was wonderful. I guess I just liked knowing that the Luidaeg had family that she liked. Someone that could be on her side if possible.

As always, Seanan McGuire leads Toby on a twisting and turning mystery adventure where she ends up challenging the edicts of Faery. The way she works around certain restrictions is always a joy to watch (despite her propensity for bleeding). The mystery itself didn’t feel too overly involved or complicated instead I felt like the issues between the Luidaeg and Selkies took center stage.

Seanan McGuire gives readers a pretty straightforward nod as to where we can eventually expect the series to go. Whether or not it’s within the next book, we’ll have to wait and see cause, as I said, Seanan McGuire likes to play the long game. Regardless, this has always been a series I can count on to deliver.

Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex

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