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Rosemary and Rue

Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire FINALLY! An urban fantasy that doesn't suck! My perseverance is finally rewarded!

October "Toby" Daye is a changeling--half Fae, half human--who lost fourteen years of her life to a Fae curse. She is struggling along in the human world when she is pulled back into the Fae world by the murder of an old friend.

Toby is a well-written character. She's smart and tough without being overly so, she's depressed, angry, regretful, and even a bit bitter without being whiny, and she is rational and reasonable but still makes mistakes and has a few glaring blind spots in her judgment. In short, she's very human and very relatable, something that I've not seen much of in this genre. She recognizes her limitations and works within them as best she can.

I am so, so glad that the character who immediately struck me as an unrepentant predator turned out to be the main bad guy and was neither absolved of his crimes nor tidily redeemed. I'm really tired of authors waving away predatory and exploitative behavior, or worse, redefining it as twu wuv.. Although Toby realizes that this character's behavior is problematic, she has conflicted feelings about him (which is quite realistic), but does the right thing when she realizes the extent of his abuse and treachery.

Tybalt, the king of cats, was great. Oh, cats. Of course you have your own magical court, and of course you are all total but adorable jerks. Cats.

The story meanders a bit and Toby is mostly clueless and on the defensive for at least the first half of the novel. But that's okay. There's enough going on that the pacing doesn't really detract from the overall read. I've already bought the second book in this series.