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October Daye #9

A Red-Rose Chain

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Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

367 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 1, 2015

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About the author

Seanan McGuire

494 books15.2k followers
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 (www.miragrant.com), 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 share my house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).

I do not check this inbox. Please don't send me messages through Goodreads; they won't be answered. I don't want to have to delete this account. :(

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 771 reviews
Profile Image for Choko.
1,200 reviews2,583 followers
May 9, 2016
*** 4.44 ***

A buddy read with the Fae inhabitants of BB&B!!!

Another wonderful installment in the October Daye series and the only thing that brings clouds on my sunny day is the realization that this was the last of the already published books.... What are we going to do while waiting for SM to create and publish the rest of the books??? We will miss our Fae and changeling friends terribly!!!

So, this was book 9 and by this point the fans of the series, which I consider myself to be a part of, have left objectivity far behind and are fueled by the love for the characters and the need to get whatever glimpse of their adventures we can in any form possible! I could honestly say that I get so lost in the story and relationships between the characters, that form of presentation is the last I think about... However, if anything was wrong with the writing style, I am sure I would have noticed it, since usually even in the depths of a story, glitches in the writing would halt me to a stop and this was never an issue here. I got to establish in the first several books that Seanan McGuire is a beautiful author and since have taken it for granted that she will present us with an engaging tale in an enchanting package, guaranteeing a good experience all around!!! And she has delivered consistently ever since!!!

Everything I want to say sounds so redundant with all my previous reviews, but I want to tell everyone how enjoyable this series is! As a whole, it is not either too dark nor too light, but this installment was a bit heavy on the pain and almost dying, even though given the propensity of Toby to get herself in mortal danger with frightening regularity, it was not too different from the previous books. However, we can see that she is growing, maturing, starting to utilize all of her resources and rely on her friends to do the smart and responsible thing, all with the higher purpose in mind... Toby is a Hero, at heart and by her given title, but most of all, she is a good friend who has managed to build a trust with the people around her and thus creating a bond which keeps all of them in a dynamic state of danger and safety, but with the knowledge they can always lean on each other... Good or bad, it is good to know you have someone to hold on to in a moment of need...

Toby, The Cat King, May the death omen, Quintain the squire, and Walther the alchemist are on a mission of diplomacy to the kingdom of Silences who has declared a war on the kingdom of the Mists. The Queen in the Mists is a very new young and inexperienced ruler and the King of the Silences has joined with the insane ex monarch of the Mists to topple her down and regain her seat and power. As undiplomatic as Toby and her retinue are, they appear to be the best choice for this mission, since they get to witness first hand the horrible conditions this tyrant has imposed on his subjects, and the yoke of slavery he has put on everyone who is not of pure blood and he perceives as inferior... And we all know that given the proper motivation Toby and the gang will always try to do the nay impossible but right thing!!!! So, she decides, or more accurately is pressed into action and pain, chaos and retribution ensue!!!

I recommend this series to one and all, young and old, lovers of fun, engaging and well written stories!!! Nothing inappropriate for anyone and all the enjoyment that could be had!!! What are you guys waiting for???

May you all derive pleasure from everything you read and may you read for many, many decades to come!!!!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
March 10, 2020
A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye #9), Seanan McGuire

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز هشتم ماه آوریل سال 2017 میلادی

عنوان: زنجیره ای با گل سرخ: کتاب نهم از سری اکتبر دای؛ نویسنده: سینان (شانین) مک گوایر (مکگیر)؛

برای نخستین بار در سالهای گذشته، «اکتبر "توبی" دای» توانسته است به زندگی خود نگاه کند - و آنچه را که میبیند دوست دارد؛ او دوستانی نیز دارد؛ او متحدینی دارد. او یک مربع برای آموزش و پادشاه گربه ها را برای دوست داشتن دارد، و شاید بتواند نگهبان خود را نیز تغییر دهد. و ...؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,607 reviews1,481 followers
May 27, 2016
Read with my UF girls at Buddies Books and Baubles

4.5 Blood Tells Stars

It seems like so long ago that I started book 1 in this series and thought.

Oh my gosh there are NINE books to go though in this series.

Well here I am at book nine and now my thoughts are more like

What???…there are ONLY nine books in this series and I’m at the last one

I’ve come to really love October Daye and crew in this series. I can’t believe I’m at the end of the published books and now I have to wait like everyone else for the next one to come out.
“Just thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve managed to wind up covered in blood,” I said. “It’s like a new trend. A blood-free trend.”

If you’ve read a single book in this series you know that this is not a trend that will last long. This was probably one of the darkest of the series as Toby must go as ambassador to the foreign realm and try to be a ‘diplomat’


I’m not saying that Toby isn’t good at smoothing out feathers….okay I’m totally saying she sucks at that. She is just as likely to cut you with words as she is to do it with a knife. But hey someone has to go and try to avoid war.

As always I love some of the very different characters in this series and the cameo’s they get. April is one of my favorites because she is unique being the first dryad living in a computer network. Her take on the possible upcoming war was my favorite
“What is wrong? Is this related to the notice I received from Queen Windermere that a war was being beta-tested, and might be cleared for release? I do not have time to allow my coders to be slaughtered. It seems very inefficient.”

There are some extremely intense moments in this and I really was on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book. I HATED the bad guys with the heat of a small sun and couldn’t wait to see what new and wonderful thing Toby would pull out of her hat to save the day.

The writing and characters have grown so much throughout this series and I’m so sad that I will have to say goodbye for a little while. I have become attached the writing and the world as most seems a bit unique and different. Especially with lines like this one.
“Even when she slept, she tossed and turned and squirmed, like she was secretly a hurricane forced into a girl-body and told to exist as best she could among people who had no idea what it meant to secretly be a weather pattern.”

But what a great book to end my run on and I guess I will just have to wait to see what the Luidaeg has planned for Toby. After all the action of this one I bet it is going to be great no matter what it is.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,969 followers
May 3, 2016
The series is still good and and still going strong!

The Knight Hero of the realm is about to go on a quest she's absolutely and perfectly suited for. Can you guess what it is? Did you guess that it was diplomacy and the prevention of war among the Fae? No? Um, yeah, I guess I kinda lied just now, didn't I? Sorry.

Still, what could go wrong? I mean, it's not like she has any issues with how changelings are treated among the full blooded Fae, right? There couldn't ever be any problems cropping up with either her unique abilities or certain deposed queens, could there? No, no. Nothing like that. We can expect Smooth Sailing. Or diving. Something like that. :)

There's a lot of interesting exploration of alchemy in this one, mostly revolving around elf shot, but I have to admit that the subplots around Walter is pretty interesting beyond what he obviously brings to the table. Tybalt was beginning to run the risk of being the stalwart and unidimensional BF, but by the end, he saved himself from that dire fate. :) It's not like they haven't had a lot of issues over the books, so I might forgive a bit of ease, but no, he's his own cat. :)

Still enjoying the series. :)

But I did suffer a most distressing misapprehension based on the book cover!

I thought that October was pregnant! Oh my! It's just a false alarm, people! False alarm! This book has No Pregnancy. Whew. The book cover just had her posed at an unfortunate angle. That was SCARY.

Profile Image for Susana.
988 reviews243 followers
August 23, 2021
3rd Re-read August 23rd 2021
Re-read September 5th 2016
Well, it appears that hell has frozen over, because the only reason I'm not giving this book two stars is due to the fact that it has been my favorite series for the last couple of years!

I'm sorry, but as much as it pains me to say it, this was fucking boring!
And repetitive! Over and over the same things. The same stories. The same patterns. Retold ad infinitum through out the entire book. WTH?
I've just only recently read "A Winter Long". Yes, that's right: I managed to hold of reading last year's release, so that I just could devour two brand new books in a row.
And you know what, I loved that one. Even if some things still bother me. Like the lacking of some steamy pages between Tybalt and Toby -_-
Yes, that's right, I've just said... what I've just said. *what is wrong with me?*

Winter Long was as good as the latest instalments in this series. This one?

For me it didn't work out. There were too many characters making stupid mistakes. Hello, May and her dry-cleaning task?
Toby was being her reckless self... and people were getting elf shot by the dozens.
As a side note, I have to say that I miss Toby's coffee addiction, especially when compared with her new one
Adding to my disappointment is the fact that due to this story's title, I was expecting this to be about Toby's mother: the elusive Ammandine.
I really hope that the next story won't be about Toby because the thing has become boring.
Oh, and can we talk about the fact that Toby has become Wonder Woman?
The women has become pretty much indestructible. Which allows for some "lovely"
What can I say?
My feelings are with Tybalt on this: I pretty much preferred if the woman wasn't practically eviscerated in every single book she enters! It leaves me oddly emotional. -_-
Profile Image for Kira.
1,241 reviews132 followers
May 25, 2019
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this knowing that it took place in a different setting, but it did not disappoint. Toby was on another mission to save the day, but since she was acting as a diplomat, it didn’t have quite as much action. That was a good thing though. It gave her more time to interact with her friends who went on the mission with her.

I loved it that Tybalt was with her for almost the entire book! Being away meant he didn’t have to rush back to deal with Cait Sidhe issues all the time. Tybalt is brilliant. He can talk about the most mundane things and makes them sound fascinating.

The King in the Kingdom of Silences made the old Queen in the Mists seem less evil. This kingdom was not a pleasant place to be for purebloods or changelings. It was fascinating to see the darker side of faerie. An interesting piece of information was learned about the old queen. It makes me wonder more than ever who she really is and how will it impact Toby when it is revealed.

The ending was a bit far-fetched. Toby more than once put herself in an extremely dangerous situation. Even with her abilities it didn't seem like she should have lived. Things worked out too perfectly. It's not that I don't want Toby and those around her to be able to do unimaginable things, but it seems like at some point that she should have to face consequences for putting herself in the line of fire so often.

Although this wasn’t my favorite or by far the most entertaining book in the series, I was left pondering how the events of this book will affect the future ones. Toby has made a fairly large impact on faerie. Although she gains more and more friends, she must be gaining more enemies as well.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,403 reviews1,851 followers
April 11, 2021
I was clearly as burnt out from reading these books as you probably are from reading my reviews because I started this and didn't finish it until four days later. I mostly blame a rewatch of Doctor Who but still. I was able to be distracted because too soon into this ninth installment, after the big broohaha from the book before, we were reunited with a villain I knew we'd see again.. just didn't expect to see so soon after temporarily vanquishing her. And we got a new nasty piece of work as per counterpart in this one, too.

I don't know, man. I find it really difficult to deal with some of the extremes of this world where there are so many rules, or maybe just a few really important ones, and how so many of the fae just let all these loopholes happen; these nasty loopholes that do so much damage and no one bothers with it. It's pretty tiresome. This one went in pretty extreme places, too, and I just found it hard to take. Particularly when held up against the same old same old when it comes to Toby & co. Not that they don't take things seriously when required but it's just.. again, the stakes.

Case in point : this elfshot poison that is the pureblood way around murder and instead sends them to sleep for a hundred years. Unless said poisoner has tinkered with the alchemy and it does horrible things while you dream, or slowly kills you over time. Or, if you're a changeling, kills you dead. But who cares, they don't count in the eyes of the do-not-kill law. It's this loophole that I hate (because we're supposed to, I get it) and just find frustrating to deal with.

I definitely know the problem is me because if I liked, or cared about, the characters, I would find it funny they joke about Toby not being covered in blood during one whole investigation or Tybalt being afraid to leave her side because inevitably something terrible will happen, etc etc. So, yeah. I wish I had quit reviewing this series six books ago because now I feel obligated to see out the last few (thank god only a few more left..) for consistency's sake. Sorry about that.


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,160 reviews458 followers
October 2, 2016
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

A Red-Rose Chain is the 9th installment in author Seanan McGuire's October Daye series. The story picks up (3) months after the end of The Winter Long. One could say that this is the third book in Toby's new story arc that started with Chimes at Midnight with Toby, May, Jazz, Quentin, and Tybalt taking down the Queen of the Mists, and installing her with the person who should have held the title after her father was murdered; Arden Windermere. But, nothing is ever easy for Toby or her friends.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews


Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
*Published*: September 1, 2015 by DAW
Profile Image for Veronica .
744 reviews177 followers
August 24, 2015
I won this ARC through Goodreads' First Read giveaway and it was another excellent adventure with Toby and her family-by-choice. This book had a less frenetic pace than the last two books which is fine by me since I thought Toby and her crew lacked some breathing room in those. That's not to say that this book was dull or lacking in any way. Seanan McGuire continues to add layers to this fae world of her creation and the stakes are no less dire for Toby or, well, anyone. But Toby is facing a battleground that is unfamiliar to her and winning is going to take more than sheer determination this time. Luckily for her, she has the best backup any Changeling Knight could wish for as she travels to new kingdoms and meets new allies as well as new (and old) foes. And Tybalt? Well, he's just about perfect.

"But ah, you see, I will have a wedding night. So long as you do not steal that from me, I can endure any trial the world sees fit to set before me."
Profile Image for Pippa DaCosta.
Author 69 books1,511 followers
August 14, 2016
2 stars - Goodreads rating: 'It was okay' and it was. I adore this series, especially the last couple of books. But this one just left me feeling completely flat.

Deposed Queen of the Mists is back, trying to kill Toby (who isn’t?) but this time she has a sidekick in the King of Silences, who uses changeling servants and generally treats anyone not pedigree fae as trash. Toby gets involved—by way of an ambassador role—along with Tybalt, May and Walther.

And yeah, that's kind of it. I kept waiting for something to happen. Some oomph. At 80% I commented on this:

""You will not fuck with me right now...I am here as a diplomatic emissary, and you are going to start respecting that title if I have to punch every single one of you assholes in the throat." There's my Toby! Go kick some ass, girl!"

I was so ready for the showdown, the payoff, Toby kicking some ass, 80% in, let’s do this!, but it didn’t happen. Nothing happened. You could skip this book entirely and you won’t miss anything.

The only saving grace was Tybalt.

More Tybalt! Gimme, gimme, gimme!

There’s a beautifully touching scene where Tybalt explains how he feels, and I totally welled up. Tybalt gets me in the feels every time.

Tybalt is the reason this book as any stars at all. (And maybe Quentin, ‘cos he’s cute and I love what’s hinted at with him).

Look, I rate a book on how I feel about it (I feel really mean giving it 2 stars, but that's the truth). And this one just didn't mesh with me. But I still love the series, and I will read the next books, because I KNOW Seanan will deliver the goods.
Profile Image for Jo.
957 reviews201 followers
May 26, 2016

04/05/2016 Yay, it's our weekly TnT buddy read over at BB&B with my fellow October Daye addicts.

“Preventing a war is always the right thing to do,” he said gravely. “War is not a game, for all that some would play it as they would a round of whist. War is a tragedy in motion. Everyone is innocent, and everyone is guilty, and the crows come for their bodies all the same. The only ones who benefit in war are the night-haunts, and even they would rather their feasts came in smaller portion.”

Once again October Daye has been asked to save the day. This time by playing a diplomat, which is not at all her speciality, trying to stop a war between the Mists and the Kingdom of Silences. Along for the ride is her fiancé Tybalt, the King of Cats, her squire Quentin, her sister May, our favorite death-omen, and Walther, Toby’s go-to alchemist.

But nothing with King Rhys and his kingdom is what she thought it would be. An evil from Toby’s past, one that has been silently biding her time, is finally ready to take that which Toby took from her, and will stop at nothing to get it back. And hoping that she will kill Toby in the process.

Oberon might not have been willing to forbid the things that we did to each other, but maybe he should have—and maybe that was why so many of his descendants were heroes. Because we had to fix what he couldn’t, or hadn’t, or wouldn’t.

Toby has somewhat become known for her heroics in bringing those who abuse their powers to justice, and for fighting for those who can’t. In this instalment she faces two monsters, two evil fae who believe in only the rights of the pureblooded, and the horrendous ways they treat the changelings and humans are shocking and appalling. The danger to Toby and her friends were very real, and very scary, and there were many intense moments where I feared for their lives.

Learning more about Walther, and what the alchemists are able to achieve in this world, was very interesting, and I really enjoyed the plot of this story. Also knowing the power Toby has in her blood, and what others would be able to do with it should they be able to harness it, is very frightening.

As always, I enjoyed spending time with the characters of this series. They have become part of my book family, and every moment with them is a treasure.

“But since you have returned to us—since the waters of the Tea Gardens gave you up, and gave you back to me—not a day has passed without my considering the fragility of your smile, or the color of your eyes. You insinuated yourself into my heart like a worm into an apple, and I am consumed by you.”

The romance between Tybalt and Toby is swoon-worthy, and I adore it. The romantic things Tybalt says to Toby, the way he cares for her, is there for her, and loves her, is some of my all-time favorite moments in a book series.

“Ah, but, you see, I have wooed and won the woman of my dreams. Admittedly, some of those dreams would be more properly termed ‘nightmares,’ but I don’t believe we get to be that picky when talking about such things.”

My only real complaint with this book was all the many scary times Toby was in trouble and fighting for her life. It seems that I had constant panic attacks, and I have no idea how Tybalt survives the fear he feels every time she is in danger.

This series is fantastic, and I can’t recommend it enough. A must read for all UF lovers.

Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews613 followers
September 16, 2015
If THE WINTER LONG was a cataclysmic event completing so many of the series' arcs, A RED-ROSE CHAIN is a triumphant rise from the ashes. Toby and her friends are thrown into unfamiliar waters with the highest of stakes, and the narrative sparkles along as they alternately quip and kick ass through this mystery. A return of everything fantastic about this series, A RED-ROSE CHAIN proves that with good and the bad revelations in her rearview mirror, Toby's adventures march triumphantly onward.

True to her growth over the course of the series, Toby doesn't face danger alone. While Tybalt may object to belonging to a Scooby Gang, this band of trusted friends both raises the stakes and adds rich dimension to the story. The villains they face are racist bigots, making it all the more satisfying to see the teamwork and skills of so many "lesser" individuals triumph in the end. Equally touching is the backstory of a familiar favorite. Walther accompanies Toby to a home he never hoped to revisit, and in the process achieves new intimacy and vulnerability with his friends.

At several points in this story, I found myself smiling and hugging the book to my chest. An adventure made all the more wonderful by these rightly beloved characters, A RED-ROSE CHAIN is romantic, hilarious, and just the right balance of peril and triumph. There seems to be no end to McGuire's magical world of faerie, and I can't wait for my next opportunity to adventure with Toby and her gang.

Sexual Content: References to sex, scenes of sensuality.
Profile Image for Lauren.
2,273 reviews162 followers
September 24, 2017
Red-Rose Chain
3.5 Stars

Changeling Knight of the Mists, October Daye, is not known for her diplomatic skills, but when the court of Queen Arden Windermere is threatened by the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby is dispatched to negotiate a peaceful settlement. However, after witnessing the atrocities committed in the realm, Toby must decide whether to act in defiance of faerie or do nothing and allow others to suffer.
While Red-Rose Chain is slower and rehashes several plot points from previous books, there is some good character development including intriguing details on Walther and glimpses into Tybalt's enigmatic past. The insights into the nature of Toby's blood and her related powers are also compelling.
The villains are profoundly evil and the last few chapters are particularly intense with one or two touch and go moments for Toby.
One annoying element that actually pertains to the series as a whole is the fact that the fae rarely receive their just desserts. Consequently, the ending failed to appease my growing blood lust. Ah well, one cannot have everything…
In sum, Toby and her friends are very appealing characters and it is always fun and exciting to read about her adventures. Looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Maria Dimitrova.
744 reviews139 followers
May 7, 2016
Weekly buddy read with the Toby Daye fanatics at BB&B

What are we going to do now that we've read all the books that are out? How do you go from one book per week to one per year? I don't think I can handle the withdrawal! I barely handled it when I had to stay away from the next book for a couple of days! *inconsolable sobbing*

And just when we all thought that we're finished with Miss Crazy Bitch #2 aka the former Queen of the Mists she's back and making life miserable for all the denizens of the Mists. As if it wasn't enough to live under her rule for more than 100 years now she wants to fuck things up even more by making her puppet king wage war on them. That puppet king proves to be one hell of a bastard and I can honestly say that the ending he got was not satisfactory. For one thing it was off-screen and for another I don't think it was bloody or painful enough. Not after all the things he's done to the poor people of the Kingdom of Silences after Miss Crazy Bitch #2 installed him on the throne. Killing people I can accept but Nope, nope, nope. And the way he treated changelings? And here I thought that Evening was bad. I get that racism is predominant among the purebloods but that was too much even for most of them.

At first I thought that sending Toby as a diplomatic emissary was the stupidest thing ever but after seeing how bad things were over at Silences I had to admit that maybe that's the best thing that has happened to those poor souls. Because there was no way in hell that she would have left things as they were. Even if somehow she had managed to talk that megalomaniac bigot out of the war she would have found a way to get him dethroned. Maybe it would have involved less of her blood but I think that The High King would have been repulsed after hearing her story. A man who has raised Quentin can not be cruel and cold enough to ignore something like that. Too bad that we'll never see Rhys face when he realizes who Toby's little squire truly is.

King Rhys actually stole the show from Miss Crazy Bitch #2 this time. Even her craziness can't overshadow his fanaticism. He's like a Fae Hitler! God, I wanted him to suffer so badly I could feel my chest hurt!

I loved every page of this. It was so good to be with my friends May, Tybalt, Quentin and Toby again. Oh and don't forget Spike! The rose goblin finally got some page time again! I missed the little fellow. Meeting Fae from another Kingdom was fun in itself. And the diplomatic situation proved lots of opportunity for hilarity.

I'll miss having these weekly meetings with the characters that have become so dear to me. But the journey isn't over yet so I guess I'll have ample opportunity to hang out in Faerie again.
Profile Image for Lana *Lifeinwordsandlyricscom*.
557 reviews123 followers
May 23, 2019
All over the series the subject of race was very prominent and loud but not nearly as much as it was in this book. You can't help but see the parallels with what's going on all over the world and how the author made a point of showing what the world would look like if we didn't start treating each other like equal human beings we all are.

Over and out
Profile Image for Ina.
229 reviews49 followers
January 26, 2019
"If we can bring about a kingdom's downfall in less than a week, I feel sure Arden will give you some sort of reward."
"Yeah, like a plane ticket to someplace really far away from the Mists. Maybe a nice tropical island."
"With our luck, the nice tropical island would be filled with dinosaurs."
"Still less annoying than what we're dealing with here."
"Sad but true."

- October Daye in a nutshell. Fighting dinosaurs would really be a pleasant change for Toby and co.
Re-read: January 2019

It's funny how much my view of this book changed. When I first read it, I wasn't its biggest fun. Now, it's one one of my favorite October Daye installments and I can't even explain why. Maybe it's because I finally got well acquainted with the world she lives in. Maybe it's because I completely fell for the characters. Maybe it because this series is no longer as depressing as it was in the beginning.

Now don't get me wrong. October Daye will always have that sad, melancholic feel to it, at least in my eyes. It deals with serious issues ranging from interpersonal relationships through addiction, slavery and sexuality. All those issues are touched up on from the perspective of fantasy, but they are still there. But unlike in the beginning, when Toby was fending for herself and was left to her dark moods, now she has friends and family that she can joke with even when shit is hitting the fan. I definitely appreciate this change.

Original review: February 2017

It’s real pity Toby is so against using modern technology, because if she was willing to use the Internet, I would definitely recommend her to read this wikihow article:

How To Stay Out Of Trouble

I have to admit I didn't enjoy A Red-Rose Chain as much as I enjoyed the previous books in this series. Yes, it was different than the other books, but I still felt like I was reading the story I already read before.

There was despotic monarch who needed to be dethroned, there were people wanting Toby dead, there was Toby bleeding and Tybalt being worried. Don't get me wrong, I love Tybalt, Quentin and May, but I was kind of hoping Toby would to to the Silences with someone else (maybe Luna or Arden? It probably wouldn't make sense for her to go with someone else, but I wanted to see something different for a change).

And I hate to say this, but Toby is kind of getting on my nerves. She only calls most of her friends (including Danny, Walter, April, etc.) when she needs something. I think it's sad that when she calls them, the first thing they say is "Do you need my help?". That's not how you treat your friends.

However, even though it probably sounds like I didn't like this book, it's quite the opposite. I enjoyed it. I liked the new, gory details (for example Rhys cutting various body parts off of people) and hostile environment. It's just that a lot of things seemed like we've already experienced them before.

I hope that the next book will introduce new interesting characters and maybe completely new plot.
Profile Image for Indiana.
307 reviews12 followers
September 25, 2015
A disappointing entry in this series which has been very up and down for me. They say happiness makes for dull reading and I suspect that is a bit of what this book suffers from. October Daye is pretty happy in her life with a great fiancée and a solid group of good nice friends and while such things are great and desirable to experience in real life, they aren't so exciting to read about. So the action has to come from the outside and sadly this round of adventures for the Scooby game was just not interesting enough to hold my interest.

Can I just say there is A LOT of traveling in this book. Traveling in cars, traveling on buses, traveling through the Shadows. I used to be bothered by October endlessly guzzling coffee but now that she has given that up, my patience is worn thin by the amount of traveling they do. There is also lots of talking. But there isn't much action. And just when you think there is going to be action, its...zzzzzz.

October's former worst enemy the Queen is back but she is not the formidable foe she once was. There is a racist King who is just a caricature which is too bad because he is the King of Silences which is basically Portland, Oregon and I would have liked if he had been more interesting. The visit to his kingdom and their day trip to Portland was probably the most fun part of the book. I enjoyed seeing such familiar places a Voodoo Donuts woven into the story. But that wasn't enough to raise my enthusiasm for this book which was dull dull dull.
Profile Image for Julia.
2,513 reviews66 followers
August 31, 2015
If THE WINTER LONG was a cataclysmic event completing so many of the series' arcs, A RED-ROSE CHAIN is a triumphant rise from the ashes. Toby and her friends are thrown into unfamiliar waters with the highest of stakes, and the narrative sparkles along as they investigate, quip, and kick ass. A return of everything fantastic about this series, A RED-ROSE CHAIN proves that with good and the bad revelations in her rearview mirror, Toby's adventures march triumphantly onward.

True to her growth over the course of the series, Toby doesn't face danger alone. While Tybalt may object to belonging to a Scooby Gang, this band of trusted friends both raises the stakes and adds rich dimension to the story. The villains they face are racist bigots, making it all the more satisfying to see the teamwork and skills of so many "lesser" individuals triumph in the end. Equally touching is the backstory of a familiar favorite. Walther accompanies Toby to a home he never hoped to revisit, and in the process achieves new intimacy and vulnerability with his friends.

At several points in this story, I found myself smiling and hugging the book to my chest. An adventure made all the more wonderful by these rightly beloved characters, A RED-ROSE CHAIN is romantic, dangerous, and just the right balance of peril and triumph. There seems to be no end to McGuire's magical world of faerie, and I can't wait for my next opportunity to adventure with Toby and her gang.
Profile Image for Pia.
93 reviews
September 28, 2015
About time too. It took me almost a month of plodding through this. If not for my stubbornness I probably wouldn't have finished it (believe me, it cost me).

In hindsight, I might as well have skipped this installment.
For one thing, IMO there wasn't enough story there for a novella, let alone a whole book, and this story felt almost as a stand alone, adding nothing to overarching storyline. Ugh.

For another, it was boooooring. A lot of repetitions of stuff we already knew from earlier books, or worse, from this one, and far too much over-explaining of almost everything. Seriously, I read because I like filling in the blanks myself. Reading stimulates my imagination. With this book, I might as well have been watching some bad soap on television ("over the top drama" included, as it was in A Red-Rose Chain - did not feel it). Ugh.

It seems that yet another UF heroine has fallen to the curse of all overextended series.
Pity, really. I used to love Toby, but I refuse to be strung along any further.
If in the next one, I'm done.
Profile Image for Beth.
3,129 reviews263 followers
September 24, 2015
This series is an automatic pre-order for me. I might not get to it right away but as long as I know I have it I'm good.

Toby and crew once again must save the day, but this time she is going in with an ambassador's role. Her new role leaves less battling, but don't worry its Toby...there is always blood shed.

I love the cohesiveness that has been found in Toby's crew. The character development has been marvelous throughout.

Looking forward to seeing where this will head next, of course I'll have it pre-ordered as soon as its available.
Profile Image for Theresa .
1,362 reviews75 followers
November 2, 2018
4.5 Stars... On the brink of war, October, Tybalt, Quentin, May, and Walther must confront a twisted King and a deposed Queen in order to restore peace and balance to Faerie... Using her signature writing elements, Seanan McGuire thrusts her readers into the core of political and magical machinations where every turn could be deadly and friends can easily become enemies... Learning to trust herself and those she loves, October brings new meaning to "Hero of the Realm" as she uses her bevy of magic and her natural instincts to fight for her survival and those she loves as well as all of Faerie... Another thrilling installment in this fascinating and intriguing series.:)
Profile Image for Melindeeloo.
3,068 reviews158 followers
December 31, 2015
I am fond of these books in audio -they revived my interest in the Series- and it was definitely worth waiting the extra week.

I enjoyed Red Rose Chain. This far into the Series, I am pretty attached to Toby and the cast- so, I could pretty much be happy with everyone doing mundane things as long as the gang's all here. But the plot is doesn't leave much time for the ordinary. When Silences declares war on the Mists, Toby and crew have to play diplomats, and there is no way to forget they are in enemy territory with both old and new enemies trying to get them. And now that Toby's secrets are out, she's more vulnerable than ever. But of course she's a Hero so you know she'll win the day and she's Toby so it will involve lots of blood and near death.

So, I enjoyed Toby's latest adventure, and I am looking forward to the next book, especially since something happens at the end of this story that has potential for for some interesting/troublesome repercussions for the Fae...
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,971 reviews1,177 followers
July 13, 2021
Another soild read, what is interesting is how the world of the fairies expands through the series. Will read the next book ASAP.

Review for book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review for book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review book 3: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review for book 4: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review for book 5: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Review for book 7: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Ronda.
857 reviews131 followers
September 24, 2015
Another excellent novel from Seanan McGuire about our very own October Daye. I love the way Ms McGuire portrays our favourite characters and brings them through another totally enchanting adventure. She is an amazing author that always leaves me wanting the next taste of this series.

I am excited for the next book!!!
Profile Image for Suz.
2,263 reviews67 followers
September 7, 2015
Poor Toby, she always gets put through the ringer.

Wonderful story, as always. I love seeing the way October is still growing, and how her relationship with Tybalt pushes them both to grow.

I ADORE watching Tybalt be in love with Toby. It's nice that she loves him back, but Tybalt is totes sigh-stuff.
Profile Image for Jeffe Kennedy.
Author 88 books1,229 followers
May 25, 2018
Excellent story! The series has very much hit its stride now.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews478 followers
February 15, 2017

Toby, why do you like to risk your life so much? Why? Why?

The October Daye series is one of my favorites UF series. It has a great magical world with some crazy faerie in it. It also has a super strong female character, willing to do whatever is necessary to keep evil at bay. It doesn't matter that during this process she ends up covered in her own blood and on the brink of death at least a dozen times.

“Just thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve managed to wind up covered in blood,” I said. “It’s like a new trend. A blood-free trend.”

A Red-Rose Chain has Toby being sent by the new Queen of the Mists, Windermere to act as a diplomat in the Kingdom of Silences, run by King Rhys and whom recently issued war against the Mists. Anyone who knows Toby knows she's the least capable person to behave as a diplomat. It's hard to keep Toby silent while she witnesses injustices or abuse of power which describes Rhys to a t. Worse is that Rhys is accompanied by the deposed Queen of the Mists. Someone who hates Toby and wants her dead.


What a mess! Poor Toby, she's always getting thrown into dangerous situations. Half the time she has no idea what the true motives are. I wasn't happy with Windermere sending her to Silences. Windermere should have known she was risking Toby or Toby's friends lives. Toby's friends don't let her go to battle alone anymore. She has great friends and an even more awesome fiancee.

Tybalt stole some great scenes for me. He was funny, sarcastic, sweet, romantic, and just the perfect mate for Toby. As King of Cats goes, he is formidable.

“Ah, but, you see, I have wooed and won the woman of my dreams. Admittedly, some of those dreams would be more properly termed ‘nightmares,’ but I don’t believe we get to be that picky when talking about such things.”

I love so many of the characters. Quentin is becoming so much more. I do hope we can see his coronation at some point. Walther had a very important task in this novel. I can see how what he does is going to be a game changer, bringing so much happiness but also a lot of problems which I'm sure would become trouble for our dear Toby.

“Change sucks. No one’s going to argue about that. Change is hard and painful and sometimes we wind up losing things we wanted to keep forever.”

One thing that I missed on this story, was the epic battle I have come to expect. Who knows, maybe I'll get one in the next book.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Ivy.
1,462 reviews76 followers
May 4, 2016
An awesome installment in the October Daye series.

Review to come later this year.


Apparently I forgot to write the review for this book. Well, now here it is.

5 stars

An awesome installment in the October Daye series. Glad Walther found the cure for elf-shot and we finally found where he was/is from. Interesting to see the false Queen of the Mists again. Also sad to find out who betrayed the Kingdom of Silences. Can't wait for Toby and Tybalt's wedding!!!!

Can't wait to read Once Broken Faith!!!!

Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books700 followers
August 28, 2016
I have to give credit to Seanan McGuire. It's a pretty great feat to keep a series entertaining and engaging after nine books; and that is just what she has done here with this latest installment in the October Daye series. She crafts new stories and circumstances for her characters that feel fresh, while she still draws on their rich history and past connections to make them relevant. She is consistent without ever being boring. But perhaps most importantly, she continues to infuse these characters with depth and emotion, making them easy to care about and root for.

As the story begins, Toby is engaged to Tybalt, working along with him, Quentin, and the gang to keep the Mists safe, as usual. But normalcy goes out the window when the new Queen's second in command is elf-shot and the neighboring kingdom declares war. Toby has helped to stop a war before, but this time things are more complicated because what the King of Silences wants is something she'll never allow: the old queen back on the throne. To make matters more complicated, Toby is sent to Silences as a diplomat, a role ill-suited to her disposition. Toby does her duty, though, which sends her to an unfamiliar land with deep-seated prejudice against changelings.

Toby spends much of the book, trying to stop a war that seems almost a foregone conclusion. She must endure treachery, traps, and ridicule. Even worse, she has to worry about the safety of the team of family and friends she has brought with her, most of whom are hiding major secrets, like May's origin as a Fetch, Quentin's royalty, and Walter's true identity. It's in her connections with her people that Toby is most sympathetic. Obviously, Tybalt wins the top spot for me, but all of Toby's relationships help make her who she is, and each character has his own, clear true voice, as well as history and depth.

I enjoyed the plot and the conflict. The pacing is good. The worldbuilding is expanding, but is still easy to understand and thankfully, it's never overwhelming. I liked seeing the characters continue to grow and evolve. Specifically, I love the idea of Toby as a Kingbreaker. There is very little I didn't enjoy.

I feel like McGuire goes out-of-the-way to be LGBT inclusive. From early on, these books have pointed out that the Fae community is accepting of gay relationships, which is cool. I've enjoyed May and Jazz and, frankly, didn't give their pairing any more or less thought than I would any other secondary characters. But I felt like there was more a "message" in this installment, perhaps due to the inclusion of a trans backstory for one of the recurring characters in addition to a surprise new possible m/m pairing, and a little spiel about human intolerance. I personally didn't feel like making that particular character trans added anything to his story and it felt to me like it was there just for the sake of being there. You could say that's a good thing for the bigger picture in the world we live in and I would agree. But it also took me out of the story as I wondered why the thread was introduced if it didn't advance his plot development or his character.

Overall, this is a good new installment to a series I have come to enjoy quite a bit. I think fans of the series will satisfied. And I'm already looking forward to book 10.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by publisher
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