Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1)
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Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  12,527 ratings  ·  1,246 reviews
October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Even...more
Mass Market Paperback, 346 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by DAW BOOKS Inc (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This started off strong, but it lost a whooooole bunch of steam as it went. The story never really felt like it was driving forward, just sort of meandering onward.

Toby is likeable enough, but she's sort of ineffectual. She spends a large portion of the book constantly being battered about and recovering from various near-fatal injuries and in the grand scheme of the plot and what she's attempting to do, very rarely does she ever actually accomplish anything herself. Which is not to say that sh...more
The Flooze
ETA: I've continued reading this series and want to point out I gave books four and five considerably higher ratings. Four stars each.

I can't make up my mind what to rate this. The unforgiving and frustrated side of me wants to saddle it with a two. The part of me that loves depictions of the fae, their powers and lands leans towards a three for effort.

My problem with Rosemary and Rue is this: Nothing really happens.

Sure, there’s a lot of running around. Bullets...more
Michelle Dockrey
Sep 10, 2009 Michelle Dockrey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Michelle by: Seanan McGuire
Shelves: favorites
Full disclosure: this review may be doubly biased; not only is the author one of my best friends, but I'm in the proofing pool. I'm in an unusual position. I've had the privilege of watching this book and this series grow over drafts and years, from an unruly child into a beaming graduate. If authors are essentially releasing their children out into the world to make it on their own, I feel like I'm part of the proud family that's watched them grow up, or at least perhaps one of its well-loved t...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Rosemary and Rue is well-written urban fantasy. This novel is full of the melancholy. Not what I would call fatalistic or depressing, but instead in touch with the sad, the weary, the timeless angst of the faerie folklore and myths. San Francisco is a beautiful setting for this story, this grand old city of hills, water, and mists. It's not difficult to believe that Faeries would situate their courts in this place. There is something magical to this setting that does half of the world-building i...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay this is one of those, "I've got good news and I've got bad news" situations. So what would you like first?

I suppose you've already seen some of the "good" news in that I went all the way to a 4 star rating. For me that says a lot. I don't give a lot of 5s and I'm also careful with the 4s. We only have a 5 star system here so for a book to be rated 5 stars I figure it has to be excellent. A 4 can't be that far behind.

This one held my interest, didn't fall into the things that have driven me...more
For a book that managed to hit a rough spot with me on the first page, I liked Rosemary and Rue.

The rough spot was in the pronunciation guide. The author (or someone) noted that kitsune* was pronounced kit-soon, when the closer pronunciation would be kee-tsoo-neh -- Japanese transliteration doesn't leave silent letters. For that matter, I wasn't too thrilled with the use of a kitsune character in a book about fairies, because it felt like an afterthought to have a Japanese fox-spirit in a book a...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Holy Terror
May 08, 2011 The Holy Terror rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Merry Gentry or Melissa Marr
In retrospect I think I was blinded at the time to this book's promising start. I give it 3.25 stars.

October Daye used to be a private investigator until she was turned into a fish and left in the Koi Pond in the Japanese Tea Gardens of Golden Gate Park. The spell lasted 14 years and October lost her entire life. She's trying to start over and then she receives a message on her answering machine from a friend. The friend knows that she's about to be killed so she curses Toby into finding out who...more
Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read these days, but my love for it really began in the '80s, when I was reading Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and the fabulous Bordertown anthologies. I love a good vampire story, and werewolves are growing on me as well (peculiar image, right?), but my true favorites are the stories of the fey, not the itty bitty cutesy faeries, but the elegant and dangerous ones found in the ballads of Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin. I've simply had a harder time fin...more
Oct 20, 2010 Megan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves fae stories or is a hard core UF fan & isn't bothered by extensive world building.
Rosemary and Rue really isn't bad. I can't complain about the writing, the action, the mystery or the protagonist, October "Toby" Daye. But somehow, this book just never got a hold of my interest. I blame the world building ~ there is a lot of background information given. A lot. And frankly Toby Daye isn't all that different from so many other female protagonists found in UF books.

Author Seanan McGuire obviously put quite a bit of thought and time into constructing the world in which Toby liv...more
October Daye, a changeling (half-fairy) whose life was ruined after being turned into a fish for 14 years in a San Francisco pond, has recently returned to human form and is working as a cashier at Safeway. Unfortunately, "Toby" is called upon to investigate the death of a fairy Countess, Evening Winterrose, and must acquiesce, since Evening cast a curse upon her that will kill her if she fails.

Rosemary and Rue begins well. It's fast-paced and presents a lively setting of fantasy, murder, and a...more
Going in, I didn’t realize just how different an Urban Fantasy the October Daye series was going to be. In a genre flooded with witches, vampires, werewolves and other paranormal creatures, one doesn’t necessarily expect to find a UF take on the fey. This unexpected realization was what at first made me hesitate, but at last made me fall into Rosemary and Rue, which should be no surprise to those of you who know my love of the YA UF fey series, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.

As I neared that poin...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
The 2 stars is mostly because I like the idea of it. I like the world and I'm kind of a sucker for all things fae. And I really like certain aspects and characters - I like Sylvester and Luna, and I really like Tybalt, and there's a part of me that would like to see more of them but, like, in their own stories or something because I don't think I'm into reading another story from October's perspective.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In many ways this is a bog-standard urban fantasy whodunit, co...more
At the start of this book, Our Heroine gets ambushed and turned into a fish, which is a bit of an unexpected opening. However, it is just the prologue, and by the start of the story proper, 14 years later, she', bipedal, again. (As a Changeling, she's not human.)

Anyway, there she is, only recently unfished, and doing a lousy job of putting her life back together again, when she finds herself bound and cursed to investigate a murder. Things, naturally, get somewhat messy from there on.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacob Proffitt
I wanted to like this book, I really did. The characters were interesting and the world was a good twist on the typical faerie lore. Further, the heroine is an excellent mixture of cynical and vulnerable that is both engaging and charming.

The ending, however, left me scratching my head and angry at both the author and heroine--I couldn't really tell if the fault was in the character or author as the (in)action seemed to me to come out of left field. Details in the spoiler.

(view spoiler)...more
This was a recent book club pick, and while many (most) of the books that have been picked for the 1st half of this year elicited an underwhelming amount of excitement, I was at least moderately looking forward to this one: they almost always let me down, but I can't keep myself from reading about faeries.

This one, unfortunately, was not an exception to that rule. I missed the first part of the book club meeting, but from what I did see, it seemed that the disappointment was pretty universal. I...more
This book is completely average urban fantasy. There was basically nothing engaging at all about it, from the unsympathetic narrator to the predictable world building. Throughout the entire book, I kept waiting for Toby to do something proactive or clever but instead she just wanders through the world, waiting to react to the other characters, none of whom are engaging in any way either. No explanations are given for characters behaving in illogical ways, and the "mystery" has no build up at all...more
I would love to stop and review this book, but in truth I'm in too much of a hurry to get started on the second one. It's crazy good. Yet another addition to my auto-buy series list.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of

ROSEMARY AND RUE, which gets its title from Shakespeare’s A Winter's Tale, is a gritty and glorious true urban fantasy. I defy you to put this book down after the first chapter.

The world building in ROSEMARY AND RUE is among the best I've ever read in an urban fantasy. The world of the Faerie is as dangerous and beautiful as a glass rose. In the human world, unbeknownst to us, Kelpies lurk in dark alleys, Pixies wage wars over grocery store tu...more
Overall I loved the world McGuire created and the plot had some unexpected surprises which was nice. I also liked the relationships between the characters. The murder mystery was great, I had no idea who the murderer was, totally did not see that coming. It was also an easy read!

What was a downer was the clues did not fully come together, in retrospect it felt like there were some unnecessary tangents that did not move the story like or keep it interesting. I think all of the back story just got...more
Rosemary and Rue is a promising start to what I can already see shaping up to be one of my favorite UF Series. From the beginning itself, McGuire's novel starts out differently from most other UF Series - with our protagonist being turned into a fish for fourteen years. Thus, when the book really kicks off, Toby Daye, our changeling heroine in question, is determined to avoid her past as a faerie knight and PI. What I really love about this set-up is that it allows us, the reader, to be newly in...more
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
This was a very easy book to get into. From the opening scene I knew I would like October Daye. She's funny without being an annoying smart ass. She's brave but knows her limitations. And although she doesn't like all the pomp and circumstance of the Faerie courts, she knows how to be respectful when she needs to be. She was just very likeable.

The world-building an plot were a little harder to wrap my mind around. It seems quite complex, and we've only just scratched the surface. And some of the...more
October "Toby" Daye is a half-human, half-faerie changeling living in modern day San Francisco with her human (and faerie-oblivious) boyfriend and their mostly-human kid. The novel begins with a prologue: in 1995, Toby is trying to solve the mysterious kidnapping of a faerie Duke's wife and daughter. She bumbles into a trap set by the perps, and ends up cursed to live as a fish in a koi pond in Golden Gate Park. For fourteen years. Sounds like a good beginning, right? Magic, mystery, intrigue......more
When a book starts off with a sassy changeling detective being turned into a goldfish and left for more than a decade in the pond of a tea garden, you know you're reading something unique.

This wasn't the most brilliant urban fantasy I've ever read, to be honest. Toby is sometimes a little *too* whiny and oblivious, (that pouty, slumped teenager look she has on the front cover pretty much carries through the entire novel), and Devlin is SO skeezy and just... yuck... that whenever Toby started ha...more
This is a tough one to rate.

I liked the world, and that alone has me interested in continuing onward, but this story as a whole was pretty unsatisfying. It was really circular... like, every 3 chapters ended with Toby almost dying, and accepting it as she sank into darkness... and then being surprised to wake up. I mean, seriously, she was "dead" about a half dozen times in this book.

It just didn't feel like any real forward progress happened in this story at all.

I'm going to give the author th...more
Changeling in San Francisco is dragged back into faerie business when she’s forced to solve a murder.

I responded tepidly to this book. It had that quality where there’s this whole plot with a mystery and clues and danger, but I was left with the overwhelming impression at any given moment that nothing was happening. Kind of impressive, when you think about it. A whole lot of tell, with a sort of and now we tour all the faerie species vibe.

I dunno, I’ll give the series another book, because I hav...more
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Got to do a super fun panel at Comic Con with Seanan and was lucky enough to get a copy of the book before it came out. So much fun to read and very engaging. Pick it up and be prepared not to want to put it down :)
Maria Snyder
I snagged an advance reading copy and I'm going to be interviewing Ms. McGuire on my blog in September!! And giving away a free signed copy of course ;>
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  • A Fantasy Medley 2
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Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and...more
More about Seanan McGuire...
One Salt Sea (October Daye, #5) Late Eclipses (October Daye, #4) An Artificial Night (October Daye, #3) A Local Habitation (October Daye, #2) Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6)

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