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Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire: Read, Part 11

Today, we return to Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, starring Toby Daye, a changeling cursed to solve the murder of Evening Winterrose. If she fails, she dies. If she doesn’t fail, along the way, someone will will try and make sure she dies.

To catch up or review this summary and commentary, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and Part 10.

Enjoy!

SPOILERS!

Chapter 20

Toby returns to Devin’s office and learns from him that he made a deal with an extremely powerful and dangerous creature to save her life. He claims that it was a gift for Toby, but she’s never known Devin to give gifts. Everything he does comes with a price tag. But Toby has bigger problems, like solving the murder before Evening’s curse kills her. She goes to Wintergreen, Evening’s knowe, with Dare and Manuel, only because Devin demanded they accompany her.

Reader Comments: Okay, in my last post on this, I suggested that Devin was the guy behind Evening’s murder. But here, I’m not as sure. This deal with the uber-powerful creature, with no expectation that Toby pay him back, seems pretty good guyish. So I’m doubting my initial assessment a little. However, if I’m right, she’s half handing herself over to Devin. She just better be lucky he’s in love with her, or she might already be undeniably dead.

Writer Comments: This is a transition chapter. Every book seems to have a few of these. The trick for pulling them off is to have tension and conflict in their own right tied to the chapter itself. In this instance, McGuire uses the disagreement between Devin and Toby over her healing and then Devin sending guards to create this tension.

Chapter 21

Toby drives to Wintergreen and demands Dare and Manuel remain with the car. They very reluctantly agree, and as Toby walks away, she hears them get out of the car. However, she enters Wintergreen alone, as far as she can tell. There, she runs into Connor, the man she once loved and who’s now married to the girl she failed to rescue fourteen years before. Connor explains that the marriage is purely political and suggests that he and Toby could start something. Toby refuses. She also learns that, despite Devin claiming he called Sylvester to assure him that she was safe, he never did, and Sylvester is searching for her in a panic. Then hears the approach of someone and the distinct sound of a bullet being chambered. She flees, dragging Connor behind her. They run and run until they literally run off the edge of a cliff.

Reader Comments: Well, that’s pretty much literally a cliffhanger. I’m not too worried for Toby though because Connor is a selkie and will undoubtedly save her.

Writer Comments: The key clue here, whether it’s a red herring or a true clue, is that Devin lied to Toby about calling Sylvester. At the very least, this suggests that he’s maneuvering to get Toby back for himself. However, it could tie into the murder. It helps to highlight significance of this when another character points it out to the hero. Neither Toby nor Connor have jumped to the same conclusion as me, but it has at least given Toby pause. Utilize secondary characters to convey important messages, and consider how a hero will receive that message based on the character that delivers it. In Toby’s case, she trusts Conner, so at no point does she doubt his word. Devin, however, is clearly another matter.

Thank you for joining me today for this read and commentary of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. For our next segment, join me Monday, and for further forays into books, writing, the speculative, and life, join me Friday. Until then, don’t forget to check out the authors I tagged for The Next Big Thing.

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