Review: Once Broken Faith (October Daye #10) by Seanan McGuire

Once Broken Faith

Publisher: DAW
Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 6th, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Once Broken Faith is the tenth novel in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, and our chaotic knight is still going strong. And thank goodness for that! Though she still seems to have her talent for getting herself into trouble…

Following the events of A Red-Rose Chain, the realm is still reeling from some of the new innovations and changes made. And that means that a convocation of the monarchs is to happen. And since Toby was behind it all, she’s sort of being forced to attend. And we all know how well that is going to go…

Also, bonus points for us fans! This novel contains a novella titled Dreams and Slumbers. This novella is about Arden and her journey to wake up her elf-shot brother. You know the one I mean, it’s been a major point in the series as of late.


“If you wanted to be steel, you had to be steel every day of your life, until it came naturally; until you no longer had to beat yourself bloody trying to achieve it.”

Spoiler Warning

Once Broken Faith is one of those novels that starts with you expecting one thing, only to spin around and give you an entirely different tale. I went into this book thinking it would be a political story about the elf-shot and its cure. It’d be stressful, but not physically demanding on Toby.

What we got? Was the opposite. The political elements were still there, of course. But Toby’s life was on the line quite a lot more than I had expected. Which was probably a little bit foolish of me, huh?

The convocation of the rulers sounds like an intense meeting by any means. Especially when you think about the rulers we know, and that the Firsts also have a right to demand a presence. It’s a little intimidating when you put it that way, right?

And it certainly was to Toby as well. Naturally, Toby was hoping to be on the sidelines of this event, being that it was so political. And obviously, that didn’t work out too great for her. After all, this isn’t a tale about Toby if she doesn’t find herself covered in blood at least once.

This novel was amazing for a variety of reasons. It wrapped up a lot of the subplots that have been floating around for quite some time. It also gave us a chance to see some more of the rulers and politicians in the area – and how they acted (for better or for worse).

Once Broken Faith also answered some lingering questions and theories I had. I had made note of a couple of things about the way Toby’s magic and healing worked. And I made theories based on that. And I’m happy to report that this novel did, in fact, address those concerns. It’s refreshing to see it all out in the open, even if it has left me with more questions.

It was also shockingly emotional. I understand why certain characters had to behave the way they did. But I was surprised by how much it affected me while reading. I can’t imagine being in that situation or having to make choices like that one.

In short, Once Broken Faith was a fast-paced and shockingly intense read. I think it was a necessary tale for a lot of reasons. But it was also enjoyable as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what the fallout for these declarations will be. Which I’m sure we’ll start seeing as early as The Brightest Fell.


Dreams and Slumbers was the novella immediately following this novel, in every sense of the word. Here Arden continues her quest to wake her slumbering brother. Though naturally, it’s not that easy. Is anything ever that easy?

I was surprised by some of the twists and turns that occurred in this novel. I was also surprised by one of the characters brought into the mix. Though I won’t deny that it was a good call. This position is oddly perfect for her. And we’ll get a chance to see her a bit more, so no complaints here!

Reading this novella makes me realize that I really want to go on and read all of the short stories and novellas for this series when I get a chance to do so. Clearly, there are more details about this world that I need to catch.

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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