I haven't laughed so often, so unexpectedly
at a book since the last time. The only thing wrong was not enough Raj.
I'll do a real review tomorrow.
ETA: the real review
Once Broken Faith, by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 420 pages. Book 10 in the October Daye series. Keeping it.
The High King and Queen of, well, basically North America, called a conclave in Queen Arden's kingdom to discuss the major alchemical breakthrough that Toby has brought forward from her friends at the end of book nine. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers.) Before we got to the actual conclave, we learned a lot more about the over-monarchs and some more about Quentin. And then the high and mighty arrived and started arguing about the vast implications of the change in magic, and then things got messy and bloody.
Oddly, Toby's role in this story ended up feeling smaller than it was on paper. She was the melody line through the whole plot, but there were a lot of strong secondary characters to understand and include in the conversations. The Luidaeg played a strong part as magician, aide, and general intimidation/muscle on behalf of the FirstBorn. Tybalt was an off-note for the first half of the story, though that awkwardness was deliberate and a part of the story line. Quentin was back to being a sidekick, and Raj was basically wallpaper for a handful of pages.
This was a fast murder mystery, given that the action really didn't start until the conclave started on page 65. The bad guy's magic trick of the book was intriguing, given that it sounded like tearing aluminum foil and didn't smell of anything
. And of course Toby was a bloody mess before the story ended.
There is obviously more story still to go in this series. There were at least five specific notable references and any number of inferences to some combination of The Luidaeg's history with the Roane, The Luidaeg's decision coming on the selkies, and Toby's favor owed to The Luidaeg which was going to be something to do with the selkies.
Literary footnote inserted here: Now is the time to go back and spend time and money on the short stories that fill in the gaps within the Toby Daye book series. "In Sea Salt Tears" will explain the line about "Broken any young girl's hearts recently?" from Elizabeth to The Luidaeg. "Full of Briars" will keep the oblique references to Quentin's parents and his current romance far less annoying. Once the conclave starts and the bodies start hitting the floor, both One Salt Sea and "Heaps of Pearl" are useful background for Patrick and Dianda.
I spent a lot of this book breaking out into spontaneous barks of laughter in all kinds of inappropriate times. For example:The Luideag waited until they were gone before she turned to me, "What happened?" she asked.
"The same thing that always happens," I said. "We were having a perfectly nice evening until it got ruined by a corpse."
Her smile was full of teeth. "Oh good," she said. "I was worried that it was something serious."