A Killing Frost
October Daye, Book #14
By Seanan McGuire
Author’s website: seananmcguire(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
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.
“The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a -ripping, nip his roots.
And then he falls, as I do.” – William Shakespeare, Henry VII
As Toby and Tybalt are finally planning their wedding, Diana and Patrick Lorde from Saltmist tell Toby that Simon Torquill is legally her father under the eyes of Faerie. While this news is not a big surprise to Toby, they do anger her once she learns that she needs to invite him to the wedding or else he could claim offense against her.
Now, Toby needs to retrieve Simon (after she left him in the Thorn Road where Eira Rosynhwyr sleeps). The only problem, and the hardest, is that Simon’s mind is currently lost to the quest that he took over from his daughter August, and to free him Toby is going to need to find the lost King Oberon first.
It has taken fourteen books in the October Daye series, but we are finally going to meet the enigmatic and missing King of Faerie, Oberon himself. Well, we will meet him if Toby manages to find him. A Killing Frost was an exciting and fun read for me, as a fan of the series I enjoy coming back to see what the characters are up to and learn more about their secrets. Of course, the reason to find the missing King Oberon had to be Toby and Tybalt’s wedding, it doesn’t matter that there are plots from the Firstborns to overthrow them and take over, or Purebloods that want to have Faerie for themselves; nope, it’s that Toby and Tybalt are getting married, and something has to stop their wedding plans.
I liked A Killing Frost, most of all I liked that Toby continues to grow throughout the series, and even her magic and knowledge about how things work among the Fae also continues to grow. We have seen her do extraordinary works of magic in the previous book, The Unkindest Tide, with the help of The Luidaeg, but in this book, she is able to hold her own and fight against the magic of others. With every new story, we get to see what a Dóchas Sidhe truly is, and I’m starting to believe that not even Amandine knows Toby’s true potential.
“August was still clinging to Simon. ‘I know enough, and you’ve taught me more about blood magic than she ever bothered,’ she said. ‘I don’t think she understands everything I can do. I don’t think she cares. Daddy, I’m lonely. She doesn’t know how to be a mother. She only knows how to be an owner. I can’t do this. I can’t lose you.’”
Simon Torquill has been a thorn in Toby’s life for many years. But as we have learned in the past, he was naïve and believed he could outsmart his Firstborn to try to save his daughter and make his wife happy. In the Brightest Fell, Simon was able to atone for his past sin by giving up his home to save his daughter August, but as a consequence, he reverted back to his evil self and went back to serve his mistress Eira Rosynhwyr. Now as Toby finds Simon, she also has to clean up his new mess of Elf shots and try to save those that he injured. In the end, everyone deserves a happy ending and Simon gets to have his, there are still people that care for him and love him.
One aspect that I loved from this series is that blood and who you officially consider your family has power over you. The bloodlines are divided among the King and Queens of Faerie and whomever their children chose has power over them. In this new book, we are able to see how much those choices affect the characters, and the alliances among them strengthen or break in some cases. The divorce scene and later wedding scenes at the end were very interesting and beautiful, they also give us an idea of what to expect for Toby’s wedding.
“’I declare my line for Simon Torquill. I shall only ever be of his descent, and Oberon’s, for I cannot set my blood aside.’ That part of the declaration had been dictated to me by May, a serious expression on her face and a mascara wand in her hand. I couldn’t refute Oberon, even if I’d wanted to. Mom was another story.”
As we have learned over the course of the series, nobody is who they say they are. The Fae are mischievous by nature and tend to give half-truths that borderline on lies. That’s how we get to meet Oberon, a character of great importance and power, and he has been there under our noses all along in a disguised craft by himself that not even his children could see him. What an entrance and a great scene for Toby, that shows us how much she has changed from that girl that was turned into a koi fish all those years ago.
“My name is October,” I said, staring at the man. “How do you know my mother? But her name isn’t ‘Almandine,’ it’s ‘Amandine.’”
“Oh, Jenny, you always were fond of shortcuts,” said the man. “Forbidden places, forbidden flowers—forbidden hearts. My girl never saw a rose she didn’t think was ripe for plucking.” “I’m sorry,” I said. “I don’t know you.” “How do you not know me?” asked the man. “You were the one who brought me home.” The world shattered then, and fell down around me in prismatic, candy-colored shards, and everything was different, and everything was exactly the same.
I wonder now, where are Titania and Maeve? I have the feeling that one of them is close by.If you are a fan of the October Daye series and the works of Seanan McGuire, then I recommend you, A Killing Frost. In this new quest, Toby finally meets Oberon, King of Faerie, and her grandfather.