Marcia's Reviews > Ashes of Honor

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire
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's review
Oct 12, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: maguire-seanan, favorites, influences
Read in October, 2012


(NOTE: I'm actually rating this one 5 1/2 Stars, even though it's not an actual option.)

When I finished Ashes of Honor last night, I was dancing on the seat of the Comfy Chair, fist-pumping, and yelling "Yes, YES, YEEEESSSS!!!" I can guarantee that this was not a pretty sight, but what else could I do? The book was definitely a home run for Seanan McGuire, and celebration was required! And for those who have been following this very good series, may I just say the reason is simple: Tybalt, Tybalt, TYBALT! There. Now you know. I love the King of Cats. LOVE. HIM. How can you not squeeeeeeeeee like a fan-girl when an author has created a character as wonderful as Tybalt?

If you have read none of the Toby Daye books, you'll just have to take my word for it, until you pick up the first book, Rosemary & Rue, and start reading the series for yourself. McGuire's world building is second to none in this genre, and as the series progresses, you are taken deeper and deeper into the complexities of the world of the Fae, complete with the personification of many Celtic myths and legends, and the complicated politics of the various Royal Courts. (And by the way, for those interested in such things, like me, the very beautiful titles of the books come from Shakespeare, and the referenced quote appears on the first page of each one.)

A week ago, I would have been hard-pressed to pick a favorite from this series--the one with Blind Michael, where the horrified night-whispers of "He rides...." make you shiver down to your toes? Or the one set in the vast and frighteningly beautiful undersea world of mermaids and selkies? Maybe the one that introduces the wonderful barghests and thorn goblins? I honestly would have had trouble choosing. But now I have no doubt in my mind. Ashes of Honor is far and away the best of the bunch, and that's saying a lot.

I had found myself getting a bit frustrated with Toby's hard-headed refusal to see what was right in front of her through all these books, but she has finally redeemed herself and is now back in my good graces. Oh, heck...why are you wasting time reading my rhapsodical review? Just go get the book, and see for yourself, if you've been following the series right along. If not, go get all six books, listed in order below. If you love well written urban fantasy, with unique and interesting characters, you won't be disappointed. That's MY story, an' I'm stickin' TO it!

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, Book 1)

A Local Habitation (October Daye, Book 2)

An Artificial Night (October Daye, Book 3)

Late Eclipses (October Daye, Book 4)

One Salt Sea ( An October Daye Novel, Book 5)

Ashes of Honor (An October Daye Novel, Book 6)

Bookin' It
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Lynsey   (A Bookish Life) Amen to that. And I see your "Squeeeeeeeeeee," and I raise you a "hee hee hee" plus clappy hands jumpy up and down!

Marcia A gal after my own heart, obviously! Glad you liked the book and my review, and thanks for commenting. It really WAS everything we had been hoping for, wasn't it?

Lynsey   (A Bookish Life) Marcia wrote: "A gal after my own heart, obviously! Glad you liked the book and my review, and thanks for commenting. It really WAS everything we had been hoping for, wasn't it?"

Absolutely! Although I have to say (view spoiler) In a good way, of course :)

message 4: by Marcia (last edited Oct 14, 2012 06:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcia I think he did it because he knew that in her heart, TOBY knew he loved her, even though she wouldn't admit it. Plus, he had certainly given her (and US) plenty of hints. I mean, that "Come back to me," line in the last book (or maybe the one right before it) was all *I* needed to be sure. I was waiting for him to say it every time he started to speak. For the last three books. So I wasn't surprised so much as I was ecstatic. FINALLY!!! And yeah, there was the whole bit where he didn't want to die without having said it to her, whether she responded in kind or not. *sigh* Man, I love that King of Cats.

(Why did no man with striped hair and malachite green, slit-pupiled eyes ever fall in love with MEEEE? *sniff* Even 40 years ago, before indulging in so much urban fantasy, I think I would have recognized the value in loving Tybalt! *grin*)

One other thing is, I think Seanan McGuire knew she couldn't tease us about it much longer without causing a wide-spread revolt. There was a definite uprising in the works. Much muttering, and mumbling, and shaking of fists in her general direction. :)

For myself, I have been pretty vocal about how much I disliked that wimpy, wussy, whiny Connor. What kind of man (and I uses the term loosely, in so MANY ways) loves one girl, lets his parents push him into marrying ANOTHER, and still wants to have Girl #1, too? Always sidling up to her and making Selkie Eyes at her, and wanting her to sneak around behind everyone's back. Ugh. I just can't picture Tybalt ever acting like that.

All in all, though...things are PERFECT now, and I thought the book ended on just the right note. What I can't figure out is what's coming up next. I hope it involves the two of them fighting side by side, whatever it is, and none of this breaking up and acting like they don't care any more.

Lynsey   (A Bookish Life) Oh, I loved that line too! The "come back to me" one:) It was sort of predictable that she ended up dating Connor (or 'Seal Boy' as I like to call him) just because he was the safe/easy choice and familiar territory. But it was equally obvious that he wasn't really right for her. Too weak. I wanted to scream what are you doing girl? I agree with you on all points about his character. Still, I was sad about what happened to him. Especially the way it was written where you didn't even realise what had happened at first, it sort of lulled you into a false sense of security, then BAM!

I, too, hope we don't start going backwards in the next book with Toby and Tybalt's relationship after all this waiting. And some nice intimate scenes wouldn't go amiss (although I don't believe McGuire is ever going to write anything too descriptive in that area. But if we have to read about Connor barking like a seal, we can at least have a few details about Tybalt ;))

message 6: by Marcia (last edited Oct 14, 2012 07:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcia Yes, I would like some romantic scenes between the two of them, but I'm fine with it not being too graphic. I'm not offended by graphic sex scenes, I just find them generally boring, and not nearly so moving as well described ROMANCE. I mean, I'm an adult. I know what goes where and why. But having it described too vividly makes me feel uncomfortably voyeuristic. There are ways to give us the full picture without so much...anatomy. *grin* So I would like to know more about kisses, and pounding hearts, and the LOVE part of it. But not necessarily so much about the microscopic details of how it all works.

Having said that, I'll take what I can get, though I agree with you that Seanan has shown no interest in writing detailed sex scenes, and that's fine with me.

Connor just grated on my nerves so much, I didn't even mind the death scene. Awful, I guess, but there it is. I was so relieved to have him out of the picture in a permanent way...seals don't have nine lives, do they?...that I just didn't care. My biggest fear was that Toby was going to somehow find a way to blame it on Tybalt. Like he didn't do enough to protect him, or to save his life, or something. If she had gone there, I would have been really upset with her.

I honestly do love other things about his series than just Tybalt, though. I don't know when I've seen more unusual and entertaining characters, good or evil. The whole concept is fantastic. Have you read Discount Armageddon yet?

Lynsey   (A Bookish Life) Nope, not yet but I have it planned (along with a billion other books) and also I have my eye on her zombie books, the Newsflesh trilogy, written as Mira Grant, which I've seen almost nothing but good things about.

Back on the romance bit for a sec. I agree with you; I think that's why I much prefer Urban Fantasy to Paranormal Romance, although I do read both and I do prefer my UF to have some romance in it (eventually). But it's all the lingering looks and small touches and meaningful read-between-the-lines dialogue that I class as romance, not just sex scenes. Sometimes, before I start a new series, I'll ask around to see if the series has romance in it, and I almost feel like I need to clarify what I mean by 'romance' first...I suppose everyone has a different take on it.

Marcia Well, my take on Romance sounds a lot like yours. And yes, I always like just about ANY book I read to have a good love story in it somewhere, at least on some level. But I definitely prefer Urban Fantasy to Paranormal Romance, overall. Some books kind of combine the two, but that's difficult to do successfully, I think.

I didn't even know about the zombie books. I usually don't care for rotting dead people so much, though I have read one YA series with zombies that I absolutely LOVED. (The Forest of Hands and Teeth is the first book of the trilogy). However, if Seanan McGuire is writing zombies, I'm willing to give it a try.

You should definitely put Discount Armageddon on your To Read list. It is hilarious, on top of having plenty of dangerous things happening. OMG. The Aeslin mice alone are worth the price of the book. I WANT some. Living in MY closet. And celebrating my every move as a new Goddess-related holiday!!!

Me: Yawning and getting out of bed.

Aeslin Mice, crying out excitedly: "LOOK! The Goddess arises!! All hail the Goddess! Kneel, mice, and salute her!!!"

Lynsey   (A Bookish Life) LOL! They sound awesome! Her humour is so...random. I love it. I'll move it up the queue!

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