Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #14
Released: September 1st, 2020
I received a copy of A Killing Frost in exchange for a fair and honest review.
As hard as this may be to believe, we are now fourteen books (and at least twice that many short stories) into the October Daye Series. A Killing Frost is the latest novel in this series by Seanan McGuire, and it is absolutely worth the wait.
October Daye, aka Toby, is a Hero, with a capital ‘H’. She saves the day, and keeps people safe. Now, all she wants to do is plan her wedding and have a few peaceful days to herself. It is a wish that is not so easily granted.
You see, fae law is a complicated beast, and it turns out that in order for her wedding to happen, Toby has to track down her legal father (legal in the eyes of the fae, that is), invite him to the wedding, or at least get his blessing It’s that or risk Simon Torquill’s anger – or the wraith of any who chooses to take offense for him.
“Better him than me. Of the two of us, he’s the one who actually speaks ‘diplomacy’ with something other than a knife.”
Toby really just can’t have an easy day, can she? A Killing Frost is no exception to that rule, throwing her into one mess from the next, and giving her plenty of opportunities to get covered in blood (usually her own). As per usual.
That being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Toby is an amazing character, one who has changed so much over the course of these fourteen novels. While I do very much want her to have her happily ever after with Tybalt, I do still love seeing all the adventures and messes she keeps getting into.
While Toby has changed a lot, there’s one thing we can always count on her for: blundering through the world and politics of fae. She’s become more immersed over the years, but she is far from an expert. Hence the blindsiding she just received.
On the bright side, that means that we’re going to see Simon’s plot brought full circle, and I love that. I don’t love his character, but nobody deserves the fate he found himself in at the end of the last book.
I’ve babbled enough about the fae politics and Toby’s tendencies, it’s time for me to move on with the rest of my review. There are a ton of elements and moments that I simply adored in this book. While not every character had a chance to shine (there are too many of them, at this point), plenty of fan favorites had a chance, as well as a few characters not shown for a book or two. That’s one of the many things I love about this series, if I’m being honest.
There were a lot of shocking twists and turns over the course of Toby’s latest adventure, and it seemed like every one of them raised the stakes. In that sense, it really is the perfect October Date story.
The conclusion was surprisingly (and pleasantly) positive, it brought about an event I’ve been waiting for – just not in the form I had anticipated. At all. Leave it to Seanan McGuire to continue finding ways to surprise her fans!
A Killing Frost was a dark and thrilling read, one that did justice to many characters who needed it, while laying the groundwork for bigger changes down the road. I don’t know what that means yet, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
Shine in Pearls
Shine in Pearls is the short story included at the end of A Killing Frost, and it’s one of those short stories that really does need the context of the book to make sense. More than that, it runs with the impact formed in the main novel, and turns it into something else.
I really don’t think the story would read the same, if not read in order. So don’t go jumping to the end to read this!
“The sea holds all manner of wonders you have yet to discover or explore.”
Shine in Pearls, like many of the other October Daye short stories, provides insight into other characters that flesh out the world. In this instance, there are two main perspectives, but three main characters.
Their story is compelling and heartbreaking, all the more so because of what we now know from A Killing Frost. Once again Seanan McGuire has managed to make secondary characters more likable, by providing an essential view on their lives – and pain.