Title: One Salt Sea
Autor: Seanan McGuire
Release date: September 6th - Available now!
Source: Bought in Barnes & Noble, Philadelphia
Warning: This is book 5 in the series, review may contain spoilers for earlier books
Description: October "Toby" Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She's actually dating again, and she's taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it's time for things to take a turn for the worse.
Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days' time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws...
My review: I love these books, so I couldn't wait to see what would happen to Toby in this installment. This has to be one of the most consistent series', for me, in terms of how the characters are treated and how much I like what is going on. I think what I'm trying to get at is that McGuire doesn't mess readers around - horrible things happen to the characters, but someone you think is one thing doesn't suddenly become something totally different. We are 5 books in to the series now, and I've never ended up suddenly hating a character, or throwing a book across the room feeling betrayed betrayed, or wondering if I want to keep reading. I have loved these books since the first one, and I love how each new adventure manages to meet the standards of the previous one, or even improve on it.
In this book, we start with Toby being asked to attend a formal event to help prevent a war. Of course, that doesn't work out, so she enlists her usual allies and starts trying to find out who took the missing boys and where they might be now. You'll have to read the book to find out how successful they are ;) As part of the investigation, she gets to visit a sea kingdom, and learn about some of the cool creatures there, which I enjoyed reading about. I hope we get to see a little more of them in the future.
Something I really liked about this book was that we got a little more time between the things that were happening to see what 'normal' life for Toby and her friends, like May and Quentin, is like. There was still always tension, but it was like being able to surface to grab a mouthful of air before you go back in to the water again. There's also plenty of enigmatic Tybalt to keep me happy, and also a lot more Connor, now he's no longer married to Rayseline. I'm not sure how I feel about the relationship between Connor and Toby - in previous books it always seemed like it was never going to work out between them as well as they'd like, and I can't help feeling that there's still a little of that here. I'll have to read it again for second impressions. Another of my favourite characters, the Luidaeg, answers several reader/Toby question about her but raises some even bigger ones - I feel like this is another character we got to know a lot better in this book.
Although there's some very sad parts towards the end of this book (I cried a lot, I'll admit) I do like the way things finish up at the end of it for Toby. There's a lot of potential for interesting things happening in the future for her, I think. It's going to take a little while for her to be completely back on her feet after this book, just as with any of the others, but I'm looking forward to when it does happen.
I'll give it 9 out of 10