One Salt Sea: An October Daye Novel
by Seanan McGuire
Edited by Sheila Gilbert
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Gayle Surrette
DAW Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756406837
Date: 06 September 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Toby Daye is recovering from the events of Late Eclipses. There's still a lot of healing and building up of strength but she's slowly getting back to herself. She's dating a Selkie and agreed to take on Quentin as her squire. Isn't this just when you ask: "What am I doing in this canoe, where are the paddles, and why is the water brown?"
War is on the horizon. The sons of the Duke and Duchess of Saltmist, and undersea territory, have been kidnapped. If they don't find their sons then they'll declare war. Toby get involved when she's asked to find the boys. A meeting with the Duchess Dianda Lorden becomes a headlong rush to the sea when they're attacked. Toby is forgiven for treating the Duchess in so common a manner since she did keep her alive. The Duchess believes that Toby will find her sons if it is at all possible before they can be killed or die from their being taken from the sea.
Toby goes to see the Queen and finds that she's all for a war and actually believes she can win. Toby and many others know the war can't be won, at least not by them, and is best avoided. With the help of the King of Cats, her Selkie boyfriend, her roommate May, and The Luidaeg, it is a race against time to find the boys and return them to their parents.
Once again, McGuire has written a multilayered story that will keep you turning the pages long into the night -- if not up all night. The characters continue to grow and develop and the world is totally believable. It's easy to identify with Toby, she's always running to keep up as more and more responsibility and awards are heaped upon her. Yet through it all, she remains grounded in who she is -- a mother who has lost custody and visitation of her only child because of a curse, a knight, a countess, and a person who doesn't judge others and always tries to do the right thing, even if it doesn't match protocol or the rules.
It's always a good book when the good guys win against odds that would make most people give up before they start. But it's also that they win with determination, reason, and perseverance -- not because of magic or spells.
This is another urban fantasy that really stands out from the crowd because of the completeness of the world and it's characters who could step from the pages and walk down the road in our own world.