Once Broken Faith: A solid entry

Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsOnce Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsOnce Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire

Once Broken Faith (2016) begins with a hilarious scene in which Toby & co. host a slumber party for a horde of fae teenagers, during which the kids devour unholy amounts of junk food and discover the joys of Disney movies. The festivities are then interrupted by Queen Arden Windermere, who wants Toby as a witness as she uses Walther’s elf-shot cure to wake Madden and Nolan. The High King decreed that no further use of the cure should take place until after a conclave of fae royalty can meet and discuss it, so Arden is exploiting a loophole. Madden wakes, but before Nolan can be roused, the High King shows up early.

The conclave will bring together all of the royal courts of the western United States, and Toby is also chosen to attend. Seanan McGuire introduces us to an inventive panoply of faerie kingdoms and their very different rulers and customs. Some of the rulers are in favor of making the elf-shot cure available for general use, while others want it suppressed, for a variety of reasons. The meeting becomes heated — and heats up even further when one of the monarchs is murdered. And naturally, since Toby has been overthrowing kings and queens right and left lately, some of the suspicion falls on her.
 October Daye Series


Once Broken Faith
is a return to the mystery roots of the OCTOBER DAYE series, as Toby tries to solve this royal murder while keeping her loved ones safe. It’s a solid entry in the series, featuring lots of derring-do and intrigue. Toby gives a fantastic speech about the hypocrisies of Faerie, everybody almost gets killed a few times, and more information comes out about Toby’s powers and her assorted brushes with death.

The book also includes the enjoyable novella “Dreams and Slumbers,” told from the perspective of Arden Windermere as she finally wakes Nolan from elf-shot. Something goes wrong, though, and now Arden must make a hard bargain to save him. We get to know her better, and learn more about some other fun secondary characters. We also get to see Toby through others’ eyes, as the force of chaos she sometimes is (the phrase “the ‘October Daye Occasionally Ruins My Life Club’” is used).

Published in 2016. Includes a brand-new map and original bonus novella! Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches. Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves. Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe. As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save. Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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