Title: A Killing Frost (October Daye, #14)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publication date: September 1, 2020
Print length: 336 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
When October is informed that Simon Torquill—legally her father, due to Faerie’s archaic marriage traditions—must be invited to her wedding or risk the ceremony throwing the Kingdom in the Mists into political turmoil, she finds herself setting out on a quest she was not yet prepared to undertake for the sake of her future…. and the man who represents her family’s past.
14 books in, what is there left to say about my super-duper favorite urban fantasy series? I love these books, and A Killing Frost is no exception!
For those unfamiliar with the series, October Daye is a changeling, born of a human man and a powerful Fae woman. Over the course of the series, October (Toby) has come into her own as a knight and a Hero of the Realm, gaining strength in her magical abilities and gifts and setting out on quests to right wrongs. As she so readily admits, hardly a day goes by when she doesn’t end up covered in blood.
Toby is an amazing character, and the series as a whole is a richly detailed world, set in and around human San Francisco, with complex rules, hierarchies, relationships, and power dynamics. The characters are so much of what makes these books so good — Toby has a found family by this point in the series, including her sort-of sister May, her fiance Tybalt, her squire Quentin, and an odd assortment of friends and associates who love Toby and keep her always on her toes.
In A Killing Frost, Toby and Tybalt (King of Cats) are getting closer to setting a wedding date, when Toby is informed that if she doesn’t invite her stepfather Simon to the wedding, he or anyone connected to him can claim offense. And in Faerie, that can lead to dire consequences, including forced servitude or other truly unpleasant outcomes.
Simon, however, is lost. In book #11, he traded his own way home in order to rescue his long-lost daughter. After having reformed his nastier ways, he’s back to being a bad guy, having forgotten all the good in his life. Toby’s only option is to search for Simon, bring him back, and find a way to break the spell so that he can truly be found again.
I won’t give too much away. Naturally, Toby ends up covered with blood — mostly, but not only, her own. There’s danger to her and to her companions, and the damage is truly gruesome at times.
I was scared for Toby, especially toward the end, when I couldn’t see a way that her actions wouldn’t end in disaster. Naturally, I ended up surprised in all sorts of ways, especially by a huge new development that will have major ripple effects from here on out.
I feel confident saying that if you’ve loved the October Daye series so far, you’ll love A Killng Frost too. If you haven’t started the series yet… well, go ahead!
Obviously, I adore October Daye, and I love basically everything written by Seanan McGuire.
A Killing Frost is a total treat. And now it’s back to the sad state of waiting a year for the next book in the series!