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#86 Rosemary and Rue by Seannan McGuire

(Note: this review is based on an ARC. I'm not sure how much, if any, the book has changed since the ARC.)

October Daye has just lost fourteen years of her life. Born a changeling, half-faerie/half-human Toby has lived a life in two worlds. When a quest for her liege lord leaves her trapped in the body of a fish for fourteen years, she wakes up to discover her life in shambles. Her marriage is ruined and human family refuses to speak with her. Toby decides to distance herself from the fae, but when a friend is murdered, Toby finds herself pulled back into a world of magic and danger.

I picked up Rosemary and Rue at a library sale a few months back, and was inspired to read it after thoroughly enjoying Feed (written by McGuire under the pen name Mira Grant). One unfortunate result of enjoying Feed so much is that Rosemary and Rue just had too much to live up to. I found I liked Rosemary and Rue, but not on the same level. One thing I did appreciate from the beginning was it's fantastic world building, which draws mainly from Celtic mythology, as well as Shakespeare and Japanese folklore. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about different parts of Toby's world. What was a little more uneven for me was the murder mystery plot line. It took a little while for it to grab my attention, but once I got into the novel, I found myself enjoying it. Unfortunately I felt as if the twist ending, although surprising, seemed a little forced to me, and I wish a little more time was put into explaining why certain characters did certain things.

Rosemary and Rue is filled with a fascinating cast of characters. The protagonist Toby is pretty typical in what you'd find in paranormal reads (tough girl, a little bit of a tempter, comes with emotional baggage, has multiple potential love interests), but has a really great sense of humor that I feel helps her stand out. I found myself laughing out loud at some of her one liners. Some of my favorite side characters include the temperamental Tybalt, and the kindhearted Lily. I felt as if some side characters, such as Julie, deserved some more development, but I suspect that will occur in future volumes of the series.

Rosemary and Rue is a well written novel that takes place in a fascinating world. Although I wasn't as pleased with the novel as I was with Feed, I found a lot to enjoy in this book and look forward to reading future volumes.

Rating: four stars
Length: 346 pages
Source: Library Sale
Similar Books: For other great books with faeries, try Tithe by Holly Black, Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (my review), Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan (my review), and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (my review)
Other books I've read by this author: Feed (under the pen name Mira Grant) (my review)

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