Today, we return to Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. We last left Toby, our changeling heroine compelled by a curse to solve a murder, recently shot and barely patched up, far closer to death than solving the mystery of who murdered Evening Winterrose with iron.
To catch up on this read and commentary or to review, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8.
Lily, the undine that patches Toby up, reluctantly lets her go with Julie and Ross as her only guard, another changeling and a thin blood respectively. All they have to do is get her to a cab, but on the way, the redcap shows up again, fatally shoots Ross, shoots Toby in the leg, and is only stopped when Tybalt leaps from a tree and tears him apart.
Reader Comments: Tybalt, awesome! I knew he would show up, and this idea that he’s keeping her alive so he can return the hope chest to her and, thus, keep his promise is such a cover. It’s probably true, but it’s a convenient truth. I think he’s going to become one of my favorite characters.
Writer Comments: On first glance, the story looks like simply the murder of Evening and Toby’s compulsion to solve her murder. I don’t know how it ends yet, but based on what McGuire focuses on, the purpose of the book is actually something else altogether. It’s about returning Toby to the world of fairy that she’s been avoiding since the curse that left her a fish was broken. How do I know this? Because, while things related to the murder are present in every scene, they are secondary to Toby’s interactions with other changelings and pureblooded fae. And, when I say interactions, I really mean reunions. This books is reunion after reunion, setting up a circle of contacts, allies, opponents, and enemies.
The driver of the cab Lily called takes her back to her apartment but insists she pay for cleaning the blood she’s leaving all over his backseat. Devin waits at her apartment, and when the driver, a troll, realizes who she is, he insists she doesn’t have to pay a thing. After all, Toby Daye once save his little sister’s life. Devin takes Toby inside, patches her up, kisses her, and carries her into the bedroom.
Reader Comments: So Devin is also a romantic interest. I have a feeling she’s going to have several. It should make her life complicated, which is always good.
Writer Comments: The thing with the troll cab driver comes out of nowhere, and, so far, doesn’t play a crucial part in the story. However, McGuire makes Toby is surprised by his existence and knowledge of her as the readers are. It makes it a lot easier to go with something as a reader when the author through a characters mouth acknowledges that basically, “Yeah, I know this is odd, but go with me for now.”
Thank you for joining me for these chapters of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. Join me next Monday to see what further trouble Toby gets herself into and just how badly the iron poisoning she’s suffering from will slow her down just when she needs to speed up to solve the murder and keep the curse from killing her. Until then, join me Friday for further forays into books, fiction, the speculative, and life.
And for everyone in the path of Sandy the Superstorm, stay safe.