by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Chimes at Midnight.
Goblin fruit. It gives Faeries pleasant dreams, but it hooks humans and changelings with an addiction to fantasies that spirals down to death, and October “Toby” Day finds out that a lot of changelings are dying, but the Queen of the Mists won’t intervene. In fact, the monarch banishes her for bringing up the subject. Now, Toby has three days to change that decree…even if it means overthrowing the Queen…in Seanan McGuire’s Chimes at Midnight.
Toby is a Changeling with the power to slide anyone’s blood up and down the human/Fae scale. Tybalt, her boyfriend, is King of the Cats, her squire is of unrevealed origin and her friendly neighborhood “sea witch” always seems to come up with the weapons, creatures, and tools a girl needs to accomplish a superhuman task. How do you dethrone a Queen whose voice commands all who hear her? Find the true heirs and keep bugging them until they’ll do anything if you’ll just leave them alone.
I’m a librarian, and I have to love a book that says “Librarianship is a form of heroism. It’s just not as flashy as swords and dragons.”
The action veers from deadly combat to pie-in-the-face humor, with thoughts on drug abuse, the responsibilities and abuse of power and the comparative worth of mortal reality and fantasy. McGuire has created a wondrous secret world in and around San Francisco, which is a pretty wondrous and secret world in its own right. There are Faerie hills in cliffs, a sea-kingdom at the edge of the Bay and possibly more paranormals than hippies.
Toby has a lot of friends that help her through every scrape, testing passageways for booby-traps, calling on their royal parents to provide armies and fetching coffee–but that’s what friends are for, right? There’s a lot of kissy-face with Tybalt, but cats are very loving, right?
Apparently, Toby has to be near death several times a book (supposedly, she has died twice, already), and McGuire finds interesting ways to get her to death’s door (One of her friends is actually a Death). It’s a strange, strange world, but it’s an interesting one. At the end of the book, by the way, stay tuned for a special short story that reveals relationships and explains things that happened before the series started.
To enter to win a copy of Chimes at Midnight, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Chimes,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 16, 2013. U.S. residents only.
Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.