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Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire
Edited by Sheila Gilbert
Review by Gayle Surrette
DAW Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756405717
Date: 01 September 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Rosemary and Rue was a surprise--something totally different. It's an urban fantasy with the fae living among us, so you expect all the usual tropes and problems -- you'd be wrong.

October "Toby" Daye was a private investigator. She did the usual jobs but also did a few special ones for the fae. Toby is a changeling -- a true changeling half-human, half-fae but she chooses to live in the human world. She's got a man she loves and they have a child, a daughter. And once she follows the man she's been after to ground, she'll pick up ice cream and head home. Only things don't quite work out that way. When she comes to, fourteen years have past, and neither her daughter nor her lover want anything to do with her. She's adrift in regret and grief--working as a cashier and ignoring all the people from her past life.

Evening Winterrose, called Evelyn Winters in the human world, has not forgotten her and doesn't take no for an answer. She wants Toby to regain her PI license and starting living again. Toby hasn't been answering her machine and when she does Evening begs for help getting more and more desperate with each call until…finally, she compels Toby to find her killer or die.

Toby has no choice, it's not up to her anymore. She needs to fulfill the geis or she'll die. Whether she want to or not she must face her past and find the people who killed the Winterrose. In the course of the investigation, we learn much more about Toby's backstory, the world in which she lives, and the world of the fae.

Having read the first two chapters, there was no way I could put the books down. Toby lost everything she had--her child, her lover, her job--all because of her job. Yet, she still goes on. She lives with guilt and she's been out of things for a long time, but she must pick up and face all that she left behind when she came back and move on.

There's excitement, adventure, and really neat stuff in Rosemary and Rue. But this is a book that touches the heart, that shows just how often people are not seen, or ignored, or undervalued. Toby sees the world as it is and it's not such a nice place, but there are some outstanding people in some pretty strange places. The people you can trust are not always the people you think you can trust.

This is an outstanding story and Seanan McGuire is a writer to watch.

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