Review: The Unkindest Tide (October Daye #13) by Seanan McGuire

The Unkindest TidePublisher: DAW
Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 3rd, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of The Unkindest Tide through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Unkindest Tide is the thirteenth novel in the October Daye series, and once again we find Toby up to her neck in trouble. What a shock, we know. At least this time we know it’s because Toby is keeping a promise, instead of just having a talent for causing trouble.

The Luidaeg has called in Toby’s debt. It’s time for the Selkies to pay their debts. Generations ago, their forefathers slaughtered the children of Luidaeg. Now it’s time for the final price of that slaughter to be paid. And October is needed to see things through to the end.

This novel also includes an all-new novella, titled Hope is Swift. And it follows the one and only Raj. Here we see what he’s been up to, while his uncle and Toby were busy dealing with the Selkies.


“My family tree has a lot of thorns, and a tendency to draw blood.” (Seanan McGuire, The Unkindest Tide)

Spoiler Warning

The Unkindest Tide is a tale we all knew was coming. The Luidaeg herself warned Toby that her debt would be paid off when she helped her deal with the Selkies and their final punishment. But it’s still hard to accept that the time as finally come.

This was a fast-paced read, and in any story involving Toby, it ended up being a lot more complicated than one would originally expect. What had started out as a quest to conclude the payment and punishment of the Selkies evolved into something much larger.

But that makes sense. Nothing is ever done lightly in the world of the fae, and there are always consequences. There are also people who will always try to interfere. And people who won’t think past themselves when making a decision. That’s just the way of this life.

And it’s all something that Seanan McGuire perfectly captured here. That’s part of the reason that this read was just so intense. The emotional ties didn’t hurt either – if you take a moment to think about the Selkies and the named characters in that group, you’ll know exactly what I mean by that one.

Seeing more of the water side of the world of fae was fascinating. We already had an idea of how they worked, but seeing them in one court versus seeing them in another setting truly does change things. And it gives us a broader scope to work with.

Looking back on it, I can see some new crumbs and hints left out along the way over the course of The Unkindest Tide. I know that Seanan McGuire will pick up the threads in time, the real question is how long we’ll be left waiting on those bits.

While there was a lot going in this novel, there was also a lot to love. I couldn’t even begin to list out everything, even if I wanted to do something like that. And as per usual, I loved the inclusion of some of the side characters, mainly Tybalt and Quentin. Especially Tybalt, if I’m being honest.

I should warn readers – this book is going to be hard to put down. I was lucky enough to be reading it over the long weekend, which allowed me to stay up a bit later. I actually stayed up past three, in order to read the whole thing in one sitting. And it was totally worth it.

The Unkindest Tides was an amazing whirlwind of a read, one that I do not regret reading. Though I’ll confess that I’m sad to be finally caught up with the series. At least I still have all of the novellas to read through. That’s something.

Hope is Swift is the novella included at the end of this book, and it focused on Raj and what he was up to while everyone else was away. As it turns out, the Prince of Cats has been working hard on getting ready to take up the throne.

Since he’s been getting left out a lot lately, it was both delightful and refreshing to see more of the little cat. And his adventure was unexpected, though in some ways much calmer than what Toby had been facing.

And of course, it was so much fun to see the world through his eyes. Especially seeing how he felt about all of the characters we know and love. And of course, this novella made me desperate to read the rest of the novellas in the series. And now that I’ve read all of the novels, I think I’m going to do just that.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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