Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 1st, 2015
A Red-Rose Chain is the ninth novel in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, and it’s amazing to see our chaotic knight still kicking and getting herself into trouble. I’d like to say that this time the mess isn’t Toby’s fault. But she did sort of dive into it headfirst, so there’s that.
This novel brings the Kingdom of Silences into focus. They’re the neighboring Kingdom, and have never looked kindly on changelings or humans. Nor do they seem pleased about the change in rulership, if their declaration of war is anything to go by.
So once again our Toby has found herself in a position where she’ll have to try and prevent a war. But the situation is completely different from before, and preventing a war may be the easiest part of the situation.
“Sometimes the high ground is reserved for the people who think honor is more important than living.” (Seanan McGuire, A Red-Rose Chain)
This will surprise exactly no one, but A Red-Rose Chain was an amazing and fast-paced read. Toby really does have a talent for getting herself into trouble. While the war declaration might not have been her fault (not directly, at least), she did still manage to get herself put in a situation where she had to be the one dealing with it. And I wouldn’t have expected anything less from our girl.
This novel was, in some ways, the tensest one of the series. So far, at least. There’s still a lot left to Toby’s story. Seanan McGuire managed to up the ante in ways that I had never expected. We’ve seen a threat of war before, but never had I expected to find myself thinking that maybe preventing the war wasn’t the right call.
Of course, this is Toby we’re talking about. Her world is never so black and white, so if anybody can find a third option in this situation, it’s her. And I’ll confess that I adored the way she went around handling this specific set of circumstances.
I feel like this novel went a long way in showing us how horrible changelings can be treated. I’m not sure that we needed an example, emotionally speaking. But it was important to remind us what Toby was fighting for. And what so many others had been willing to ignore.
The politics and scheming in this novel went above and beyond. I’d say I want more like this, but I would never wish something like that on Toby. I’m not that mean. It was brilliantly done though, and all things considered, Toby did a great job of it.
Some of the secondary and tertiary characters were given a chance to shine in A Red-Rose Chain. Our favorites were there, of course, May, Quentin, and Tybalt (the day he isn’t in a novel is the day I’ll find myself weeping). But Walter got a bigger part as well, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Up until now, he had been an understated and overworked character. And now we know so much more about it.
I can’t help but feel like this whole ordeal is the start of a new chain of events for Toby to deal with. Or perhaps it’s the title leaving me concerned about that. I’m not sure. But I guess I’ll find out soon, huh? Heading right on to Once Broken Faith now. Wish me luck!