Format: Paperback, 346 pages
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Things are starting to look up for October "Toby" Daye. She's training her squire, doing her job, and has finally allowed herself to grow closer to the local King of Cats. It seems like her life may finally be settling down...at least until dead changelings start appearing in the alleys of San Francisco, killed by an overdose of goblin fruit.Toby's efforts to take the problem to the Queen of the Mists are met with harsh reprisals, leaving her under sentence of exile from her home and everyone she loves. Now Toby must find a way to reverse the Queens decree, get the goblin fruit off the streets--and, oh, yes, save her own life, since more than a few of her problems have once again followed her home. And then there's the question of the Queen herself, who seems increasingly unlikely to have a valid claim to the throne....
To find the answers, October and her friends will have to travel from the legendary Library of Stars into the hidden depths of the Kingdom of the Mists--and they'll have to do it fast, because time is running out. In faerie, some fates are worse than death. October Daye is about to find out what they are.
Chimes at Midnight is the Seventh installment in author Seanan McGuire's October Daye series. This is a series that has been on my favorites list ever since the first book, Rosemary and Rue, was released in 2009. This story begins what the author considers to be the next step in Toby's journey. It is a journey that has seen her attempt to make up for the Fourteen years she spent as a fish thanks to a curse placed on her by Simon Torquill. Now, she has a relationship with Tybalt, the King of the Cat's. She has her own squire in Quentin. Plus, she has her "sister" May the former Fetch, and her girlfriend Jasmine to help her get through tough and challenging situations.
But, nothing could prepare Toby for what happens in this installment. With Toby being a Knight of Lost Words, and a Hero to the realm, she is known to charge ahead often recklessly without thinking. Yet, she's never been banished from her home before. She's been imprisoned, and faced charges before, but nothing like this. Her relationship with the Queen of the Mist has never been a favorable one. The Queen loathes Toby mostly because of the fact that she is a lowly changeling who has done more good than harm. Even though Toby has earned her Knighthood from her actions in saving the realm, it only goes so far.
I know that sounds crazy, but so is the Queen. After Toby requests that the Queen help rid the kingdom of goblin fruit which is killing changelings for awhile now, the Queen gives her 3 days to get her things and get out. When the cloud settles, and Toby realizes that she has to make decisions quickly and do things she never thought possible. Her resources and friends become even more important to solving the issue of keeping Toby where she belongs. From reconnecting with her Aunt Luidaeg. To calling in favors from Li Qin. To visiting the secretive Library of Stars where she hopes to find any descendants of the lost King Gilad. Then, after finding the King's descendant, she needs to be able to convince that person to put their lives on hold and take up the title of Queen in the Mist.
It's really good to be back in Toby's world where Faerie intermixes with the Human world in San Francisco. I missed Toby, Tybalt, May, Quentin and Luidaeg. If you are curious about the relationship between Luidaeg and Toby's mother, there is a short story at the end of this book that answers a few questions about Toby's heritage and what her mother tried to keep her away from. I love Toby's attitude, and yes, sarcasm in the face of trouble. I love the way she tries to protect those close to her, but maybe she should be a little more less controlled and let them do what they do. I love Toby and Tybalt together. It's been a rough road, but they definitely love each other. I loved Magdalena of the Library of Stars. I love that Toby has become more comfortable with who she is. She's more fae now than ever, but has no intention of removing her humanity for the sake of fitting in.
I desire to continue catching up on this series quickly so don't be shocked when you see the next 3 books in this series being reviewed in the coming weeks. That means The Winter Long, A Red-Rose Chain, & Once Broken Faith.