seanan_mcguire‘s Rosemary and Rue, the first of her October Daye novels, introduces us to the half-human, half-fey October Daye, whose career as a detective and peaceable family life with her human lover and their child was shattered by a single magical spell. After spending fourteen years trapped in the form of a fish in a koi pond, Toby has wrestled her way back into the mortal world, only to find that her lover belives her to have run on him and their child, that her detective license has expired, and that both the mortal world and the fey have moved on without her. Toby’s willing to ignore both worlds as long as she must and focus instead on her survival–only the fey world isn’t going to let her go. Lady Evening Winterrose has been murdered. And moreover, her dying curse is compelling Toby to find her killer.
Rosemary and Rue doesn’t bring anything truly new to the urban fantasy table, but that’s okay. What it does bring is style and skill, and an unusual blending of creatures from multiple mythologies all existing together under the banner of “Faerie”. The book’s not without flaws; some of Toby’s actions through the plot seem unfocused, and the appearances of several characters are cursory at best, leading one to wonder whether their positions in the world at large will be better developed as the series progresses. All in all, though, it’s a good solid debut. Four stars.