WOTN: A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire

A Killing Frost

Fae Laws And Complications Abound in A Killing Frost

A Killing Frost is the latest novel to come from the October Daye series. Once again, fae law is making Toby’s life difficult. You think being a hero would earn her a break or two, but that is not the case.

Can you believe that October Daye is fourteen books in at this point? In many ways, it still feels like the series is brand new. Probably because Seanan McGuire keeps finding ways to infuse the world with more adventures – and complications.

An obscure (to Toby) fae law has put Toby in a precarious position. For her to get married safely, she has to invite her father. Not her biological father – the man she considers to be her dad. But the fae who was married to her mother then, and thus in the eyes of the law, her real father.

A task easier said than done. Otherwise, it wouldn’t warrant an entire book for Toby to get the job done. You just know that before this novel completes, Toby will find a way to get herself all covered in blood. Again.


Any novel in the October Daye series guarantees a few things. One that Toby will find herself in over her head or be surprised by fae customs. Two, Toby will get covered in blood at some point in her quest. Usually her own. And three, Toby will persevere, regardless of the risks or personal cost. It’s just who she is.

A Killing Frost delivers on all three of those promises and then some. Once again, we’re diving back into the complex world of changelings and fae. It seems like each and every book proves that there is still so much to learn about these magical and deadly creatures – and their laws.

It’s a thrilling read that brings all the high stakes that fans are used to and adds a personal touch here and there. After all, Toby is literally doing all of this simply because she wants to get married.

At this point, fans know most of the characters in this series like the back of their hands. Yet there’s still a shocking amount of room for development. Toby is growing up, in a way, as are her allies and her teenage ward(s).


A Killing Frost is a fast-paced read with dozens of twists and turns. It is a quest of Toby’s, so there’s no surprise there. What is surprising is how high the stakes become before the end. This tale started one way and warped into something larger than life before the end.

It’s incredible how so much of the larger world was pulled into what had seemed to be a (relatively) straightforward quest. At least Toby knows where it all begins; that’s more than she’s had in the past.

What is impressive is how, throughout a few books, including this one, McGuire has managed to turn on villainous character into somebody infinitely more sympathetic. It just goes to show that the fae are complex creatures.

All of the events in A Killing Frost felt like a full novel in every way that the fans deserve. Yet it also reads like McGuire is setting up for something more. Only time will tell, whether it be Toby’s wedding or something larger in the fae world.

Short Story

As has been tradition lately, A Killing Frost also has a short story bundled in with it. Shine in Pearls is set long before the events of A Killing Frost, but I would strongly discourage anybody from actually reading them in chronological order. The impact is much stronger following the conclusion of this novel. I promise.

In this short story, McGuire takes the character development of certain fae and brings it to a new level. Suddenly the surprising revelations they made make more sense, as the story provides insight into their emotions and thoughts.

Honestly, that’s one of the many reasons why the short stories for October Daye are so amazing. They rarely focus on Toby but instead showcase the characters revolving around her.


A Killing Frost is a novel I waited all year for, alongside many other fans. It is also a novel very much worth that yearlong wait. Even after all of these years, Toby’s story is still going strong. The real question is, what sort of mess will she get into next?

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

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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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