Ashes of Honor is the sixth book in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. As we all know I am an unabashed Seanan McGuire fangirl. She’s one of the few authors I actually DO try to by the first week the books are in print, in a brick and mortar store to help influence her position in the NY Times Best Seller list. I adore all of her worlds and characters pretty much equally. This book is no exception.
Ashes of Honor takes place some time after the events of One Salt Sea. I am not going to spoil the end of One Salt Sea, by saying someone close to Toby dies, and she is changed. I really wish I could just make you all be read up to where I am so I don’t have to worry about spoiling anything in any of the books for you. Just know that, typically, a character you adore is going to die in any given Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant book or story, and get comfortable with that. Toby’s been grieving and getting used to the changes her adventures have wrought in her life, when Etienne, her Lord’s seneschal comes to hire her to find a missing child, the daughter he didn’t know he had until she went missing and her mother assumed Etienne had taken her. The girl is one of the rare changelings that is granted all the power of her Fae blood and none of the limitations, in direct opposition to what happens with most changelings.
As always, the plot is tight and well paced. The dialogue is excellent, as is character development. I’m not spoiling anything by telling you that you find out way more about Tybaldt in this book. Toby does a lot of coming to grips with past tragedies and finally growing up and dealing with emotional baggage she should have dealt with awhile ago.
One of my twitter followers said that while they enjoyed this book, they didn’t feel it moved the meta-plot along much, and felt like a placeholder to them. To an extent, I agree. Simon Torquill is nowhere in sight for this novel. But I’m ok with that. I like that Seanan took this book to develop Toby’s character, her relationships, and to heal her from past harms. I enjoy this book immensely and I am not at all upset that it has taken a break from the Simon Torquill Traveling Show of Evil Bullshit. And honestly, I would not be at all surprised if Simon wasn’t somehow behind some of the bullshit in this story after all.
To wrap up, I enjoyed this book immensely. It was everything I want and expect from a Toby Daye novel: A fast read, an emotional roller coaster, with a fairly intricate plot.
On a sort of unrelated side note: Someone asked me a while ago why I almost always give good reviews here, at least for books. Honestly, I typically only read things I enjoy. When I was younger I prided myself on finishing every book I started. However, two books broke me of that habit. One was a novel called The Black School, and I do not remember the author. I had thought it would be an homage to a Manly Wade Wellman short story of the same name. It was not. It was very not. And after the author spent a page and a half on a very sexualized description of a five year old girl seen through the eyes of a character that wasn’t supposed to be a pedophile, like he thought that was just how everyone saw five year old girls, I quit. Seriously, it was creepy as fuck.
The second book was one I had picked up at DragonCon I think, called A Portrait of the Psychopath as a Young Woman, which had a really interesting premise. But after the third time the lead detective broke protocols or gave away a piece of “secret” evidence only the real killer would know, all I wanted to do was mail the author an Ann Rule book. Ok, granted, I DO live in the serial killer capital of the US, but come on! Google it!
Life is too short to read bad books, so I generally don’t. Especially since I’m having to divvy up what used to be more or less uninterrupted reading time for things like writing, band practice, and being social with the Geek Husband What Rules.
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