Off The Shelf
Rosemary and Rue
by Seanan McGuire
Review by Larissa March
“It’s really f***ing good, go read it.”
That’s the review I threatened to write about Rosemary and Rue,
but that would say so little about a story that pulled me in and kept
me bound to the last word. Seanan McGuire has long been one of my
favorite authors, both for her addictive fiction and her excellent
non-fiction, such as Aphelion’s ongoing feature Thoughts on Writing.
(I should admit that Seanan and I have been friends for quite a long
time, but that’s got surprisingly little to do with this.)
October “Toby” Daye, a sometime PI in San
Francisco, is a changeling whose life caught between two worlds has
been torn apart by the unwelcome attentions of Faerie again and again
and yet again. Ever since escaping from a fourteen-years-long
magical captivity, all she really wants is to live a normal mundane
life and be left alone. But when Evening, the Countess of
Goldengreen, traps her in a death curse that will require her to solve
Evening’s murder or die, Toby carries through with the vices
of her virtues – pride, loyalty, devotion, and stubborn will.
Seanan’s fairy tale noir is gritty, bitter, beautiful,
strange, bewitching and ugly all at once, and vividly unforgettable.
Through Toby's eyes, we are given glimpses into the interconnecting
politics of a dizzying array of supernatural creatures, without the
book ever falling into the trap of "encyclopedia exposition"; this is a
good thing, because the story's relentless pace would be hard to
sustain if we stopped to examine every facet of faerie society in
minute detail. Seanan gets the balance just right, giving us
everything we need to know about the various creatures and factions
without ever resorting to stilted digressions or letting the story lose
Rosemary and Rue
is a marvelously original story that will stay with you, leaving you
taking second looks and sideways glances just to wonder what might be
hiding behind the world you walk through.
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan Mcguire will be released by DAW books on September 1, 2009.
Read an excerpt from the novel.
Review © 2009 by Larissa March
Larissa March is a New Englander who has been sucessfully
transplanted to Georgia, where she has put down roots with her husband, two
cats, and an improbable number of books.
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