Review: One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire

One Salt SeaPublisher: DAW
Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 6th, 2011
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

One Salt Sea is the fifth novel in the October Date series by Seanan McGuire. Frankly, you’d think we’d be surprised by how much trouble Tony can get herself into. But like her squire, us fans have gotten used to it all.

This novel brings Toby’s world at the brink of a war, with the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist aching for a battle against the Mists due to their missing children. And Toby seems to be the only one keen on preventing the war from happening.

Apparently, a race like the fae don’t fear battles and the inevitable death that comes from them – even though they tend to avoid talking about death at all costs. They should consider themselves lucky that there is a knight willing to do what it takes to try to stop the war from happening.


“Sometimes I think it’s a miracle Faerie can function at all, since we seem to be constantly in denial about how our society works.” (Seanan McGuire, One Salt Sea).

Spoiler Warning

Toby’s series has been an amazing read, and One Salt Sea is no exception. Seanan McGuire has a way of keeping her story going, without ever running the risk of it feeling like repetitious. I don’t know how long the series will run for (if an announcement about the ending has been made, don’t tell me!), but I’m happy to keep reading for as long as I can.

There was so much to love about this novel, I’m not even entirely sure where to start. I suppose the politics since that is what got Toby into this mess in the first place. I adore how complex the political system is in this series, and this novel has made it clear that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on these matters.

The politics blend and interact with the fae practices in interesting ways. I actually sort of adore that, and have found myself trying to predict how things are going to work out. But I should probably stop babbling about that all now, huh?

Other highlights in this novel include; Toby is forced to face one of her greatest fears, the Luidaeg being her awesome and cranky self (adore her), and a chance to see what the Underwater fae in this world are like. Oh, and Tybalt. Did I mention Tybalt? The more I see of his character, the more I find myself loving that sassy cat.

I’m amazed by how many quotable moments were in this novel. Okay, not really. October Daye has always been a quotable character within a quotable series. But I still enjoyed all of them. Especially because the quotes run the gambit – from sassy, to angry, all the way to heartbreaking.

I’ll confess that the end of this novel absolutely and completely wrecked me. It wasn’t just that it was so unexpected – but it was so sudden. I don’t have to words to describe how it made me feel, not without risking some major spoilers. But I will say that once I put the book down, I felt like I needed to find a way to not be alone for a bit. That’s how you know a book has hit home, I suppose.

In a way, I’m lucky that I have the next novel (Ashes of Honor) to head right into. I’m not sure how I would have handled a year of a wait after this one. Though I’m sure I would have managed. Though frankly, I can’t wait to see what happens next. I know it’s foolish to hope that Toby will get a break (especially since that would result in a novel being less exciting), but can you blame me?

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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