Urban Fantasy

The Brightest Fell – Seanan McGuire

5 Stars

I received an e-ARC of The Brightest Fell from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

The basics:

The Brightest Fell is book #11 in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, published by DAW and will be available in hardback (for the first time!) and Kindle formats on September 5, 2017. 

Audiobook TBD, but in production. available now through Audible!

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Cover Image courtesy of the publisher.

The publisher’s blurb:

The first Toby Daye hardcover is finally here, and Seanan’s wise-cracking, fast-talking, tough-as-nails heroine is at her best. Toby’s life has finally calmed down, and she’s got nothing on her mind except wedding planning and relaxing with family. So, of course, that doesn’t last long. Toby’s mother, Amandine, appears, making demands, taking hostages, and forcing Toby to hunt down a missing person—none other than Toby’s sister August, who’s been gone since 1906.

TL;DR Toby-Goes-A-Questing, once again! For once Toby actually has a straightforward task: find her sister to save loved ones. She’ll either accomplish it or not.

Spoiler Free Review: Even though she’s running across the realms of Faerie, Toby’s only really got one task. But The Brightest Fell isn’t really about that task. She’s got to find August (or her body) to move the overall plot of the series forward, but the real journeys Toby takes in TBF are emotional ones. She examines and is forced to make decisions in her relationships with Sylvester, Amandine, The Luidaeg, her own blood, and a whole host of other characters – friends, family AND foe. Ultimately these emotional journeys are the meat of The Brightest Fell, where the quest to find August is merely the skeleton on which to build the rest of the body.

The Brightest Fell is now in my top 3 Toby books (who could possibly choose just one?). Many elements from past novels in the series are reused, but they don’t feel used and stale. We return to the original Toby-Doesn’t-Get-A-Break-Unless-She’s-Knocked-Out drumbeat of a plot that was so quintessential “early Toby.” Because of this, the book speeds by and before you know it, you’ve run out of pages, but not questions. Never questions.

The ultimate goal of the series is laid out plainly. We’ve gotten hints and been able to guess from earlier novels, but it’s stated clear as day in The Brightest Fell. Of course, this means that while The Brightest Fell answers some lingering questions from previous novels, it leaves us with more than we started with.

My review of the included novella, Of Things Unknown, about April O’Leary is in a separate post, later this week!