Once Broken Faith (October Daye)
by Seanan McGuire
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Gayle Surrette
DAW Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756408107
Date: 06 September 2016 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
It's sleepover night so October Daye's squire, Quentin, as well as Raj, the heir to the Kingdom of Dreaming Cats, and Karen, a changeling who can walk in dreams, Chelsea, who is just learning to control her powers, and Dean Lorden from Undersea will be watching movies to help them learn about human culture and how it differs from fae society. Of course, this requires lots of food: pizza, cookies, and other treats.
Readers know the fun and excitement of the sleepover is--in spite of the chaos and noise of a houseful teens on a sugar high--the quiet before the storm. So, when Arden Windermere, Queen of the Mists, shows up on October's back porch needing her help, we know that there's going to mayhem, excitement, near death experiences that will leave October covered in blood, hurt, and heart sore. We can only hope that our favorite characters will survive to face another adventure but then based on past readings we can't be sure of anything.
Arden wants October to stand with her so Walther Davie will administer the elf-shot cure to her brother, Nolan, and her best friend, Madden. Arden has been informed that King Sollis sent word the cure should not be used until there's been a conclave of monarchs to discuss it. Arden wants to wake them before the Kind and his retinue can arrive or at least before it is obvious that she got the message before her people were awoken. Unfortunately, only Madden can be cured before the King arrives.
October as a knight and hero of the kingdom will need to attend the conclave. It's required because she was also responsible for aiding in the development of the cure. The fact that October is a changeling rather than a pure blood will mean that the nobles will not want to listen to her and may take her attendance as an insult. However, when one of the nobles is murdered and the king charges her with finding the killer things get even more difficult.
This is a bit different in that October has to work within the confines of Summerland politics and pure blood privilege. Politics is not October's strong suit at the best of times and she's more concerned with stopping the killer before more nobles die than playing nice. Putting finding the killer before all doesn't win her any Miss Congeniality awards but it does get her access to the help she needs and puts her firmly on the killer's To Do list.
The beginning sets up the personalities of the main characters as well and filling in some important background information so this book can be read as a stand-alone. The action is nearly nonstop. The dialog and by-play between many of the characters is playful and serious by turns. You come to really care about what happens and what the decision will be. Will the killer be found? Will the cure be sanctioned or forbidden? Will we have a happy ending or, will we have to settle for our favorite characters being alive and free of punishment for doing what needed to be done to get the job done?