November 13, 2021

Review: When Sorrows Come

When Sorrows Come When Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 15th installment of one of the longest-running (and few remaining) urban fantasy series out there. We are following the adventues of October "Toby" Daye, a half-human half-Fae changeling who was once cursed by her liege lord to be a fish for fourteen years, who fights and stabs and bleeds and solves mysteries and upends kingdoms, and generally makes herself a pain in the ass to all the high Faerie muckety-mucks. There is a great deal of complicated worldbuilding in these books, so much so that lately the author has been taking the first several pages of each book to recap all the things the reader absolutely has to know before continuing with the story.

That's all right, when the character's voice is as engaging as Toby's is. And this book is a pivotal point in the series, as Toby is finally getting married to her love, Tybalt the King of Dreaming Cats.

Of course, it wouldn't be an October Daye story without an attempted assassination and coup and a great deal of blood- (and in this case, ichor-) spilling. But once again Toby saves the day--this time, with the help of several members of her adopted family--and at the climax of the book, she and Tybalt are indeed wed.

As is customary with each new book, a bonus novella is included. Most of the time these focus on other characters, but the novella for this book, "And With Reveling," serves as an epilogue to the main story, focusing on Toby and Tybalt's wedding reception and seeding several plot developments which will probably come into play in future books.

I hope this series can continue its run for a while yet, even though the urban fantasy boom is over. (Maybe because this series has, for several books now, been focusing more on the deep lore and complex worldbuilding of Faerie, relying more on the "fantasy" and less on the "urban," is one of the reasons it's still here.) Also, I think it helps that McGuire's publisher, DAW, seems to be one of the few SFF imprints still putting out normal-sized mass market paperbacks? (I buy my share of hardbacks as well, but I simply do not like those tall narrow clunky things that many times these days serve as "paperbacks.") In any event, when the next book comes out I'm sure Toby will be back to her usual blood-soaked mayhem, but it was nice to see her have a chance to slow down and be happy.

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