Recent Read: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rosemary and Rue follows the story of October Daye, changeling private investigator and knight to a fairy lord. As urban fantasy goes, I found Rosemary and Rue an enjoyable though predictable read. The first book in the October Daye series, I was intrigued initially because it sounded like a version of the Dresden files with a female main character, and limiting itself to the realms of the fey instead of branching into any and every kind of supernatural phenomena the way the Dresden files did.

With those expectations, the book was exactly what I was looking for, my love of things fey was indulged, the female heroine was tough as nails, there was witty banter and an interesting mystery to solve. I adored the references to Shakespeare (Tybalt, the King of Cats), the mythology of the fey and mortal world, and the way powers work. A solid book, but I am undecided as to whether I shall continue with the series or keep this book as long as the others I have discussed on the blog already. There are elements that I found irritating in characterization and plot. For example, how willfully oblivious October was to other character’s motivations, the lack of development given to important story elements, and the fact that every interesting male character is apparently in love with October Daye.

Ninety percent of the men in the book were in love with October, and I did not see any reason for it. She is not described as beautiful, she is not really interested in them, and the men all seem to have decided that October has returned from her imprisonment strictly to be their romantic partner. If these men had fallen in love with her for her morals, honor, or sparks of knight errant mentality, I would say go for it. But it isn’t explained and it annoys me. Like the endless stream of women falling at Harry Dresden’s feet, I feel like it detracts from the books.

As the romance isn’t explained, neither is the plot that starts out the novel (possibly the series arc, but it was interesting and never tied in to the current plot) nor am I happy with how difficult it was for October to put together the pieces of the mystery. Yes, it is hard to think after you have been shot, but I wanted either a scene explaining that men’s minds were a mystery to October, or for her to pick up more clearly on the slip ups on the bad guys part. Hey, this seems wrong… Really October? Maybe you should THINK about it.

If you are in the mood for a simple mystery embellished with entertaining fey, hot men, and the occasional well done serious moment, pick up Rosemary and Rue from a library or from a friend, then decided if it is the kind of story you would read again.

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