On Sun, 22 Mar 2020 21:32:03 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
165 One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
As usual, a visit with Toby Daye is an interesting and engrossing
experience, and as usual, I am left with a lot of questions.
In this book, Fae knight and part-time detective October Daye must
find a pair of missing children to head off a ruinous war between
the land and sea fae, and a third child to head off a tragedy of
her own. Naturally the most powerful people in her world are either
aligned against her, or powerless to help. The fact that the war
may tear her from the man she loves is simply icing on the cake.
The book moves along at a good clip, and Toby's voice remains an
entertaining one. Add to that the fact that we get a bunch of
revelations about the Ludiaeg and a picture of life amongst the sea
Why then can't I go five stars? I think for the following reasons
WHICH ENTAIL SPOILERS
I think the biggest thing that gave me a bit of nagging frustration
with this book was Toby's lack of gumption in her personal life.
We know from the first book that she makes poor choices about who
to love (or sleep with), and we were teased time and again in this
book with Connor's wishy-washiness. Toby is told several times
that he has a suspicious ammount of "but it wasn't my fault" in his
past, and she reacts time and again to the "I'm king, and I accept
my responsibilities and consequences" Tybolt, but the plot structure
saves her from having to come to a realization that she has chosen
badly by arranging for Connor to die a hero. Likewise, she avoids
taking the hard path of staying in her daughter's life even if it
is a human life. I can kind of see how being turned into a horse
terminally freaked Quentin's girlfriend out, but nothing worse than
what human kindappers would have done has happened to Toby's daughter
(I'm not saying that isn't bad -- it certainly was!). To just
accept that being around Fae would drive her crazy in itself seems
odd for the woman who is supposed to be re-writing the rules of
faery. Finally, the resolution to the war that Toby comes up with
entails her dropping her noble title and giving up her homestead.
This just feels like backsliding. We know Toby doesn't enjoy being
a countess, but the brief glimpses we get of her domain show that
she is trying something new and special, and to just give it up
(and to give up on proving the Queen wrong about giving her a
posioned chalice) feels totally wrong. If nothing else, she has
just sold Marcia down the river, and spit on the alliance with the
Also, Toby's detective skills continue to be fairly minimal,
consisting in this book of calling someone up on the phone and
asking if he knows who did it. As it happens, he does..
I'm also still trying to figure out why the villian thought his
plan would work out to his advantage, and why he thought a psychotic
girl would be a good confederate (and how he got access to her..)
And why an outnumbered army in a society which doesn't hesitate to
use tech for transportation or communication wouldn't invest in
I think any book with the Ludiaeg in it should be rated five stars.
And I am not biased at all.
There is a little problem with the fae and guns in that universe. Iron
is deadly. Toby can tolerate a little of it because she's only half
fae. Guns, unless you're going for something very exotic, contain a
lot of iron. And it's not all that clear that shooting a fae does
much other than make it angry anyway, unless you're using a silver or
iron bullet (silver and iron are toxic to different extents--there are
cases where to make sure you have to use both) and generally speaking
neither does any kindness to your gun barrel.
Note, there is a big hole in this theory, a lot of fae drive steel
cars and it doesn't seem to bother them.