October “Toby” Daye is hearing wedding bells in her future—or she would be if her mother, Amandine the Liar, hadn’t just walked back into her life with an ultimatum: Find her missing sister, August, or suffer the consequences. To ensure Toby’s obedience, Amandine has taken hostages: Toby’s fiancé Tybalt, the local King of Cats, and Jazz, the Raven-maid girlfriend of Toby’s Fetch. …
It is no secret that I adore the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. THE BRIGHTEST FELL is book eleven in the series and the first slated to come out in hardback.
Over the series, Toby has changed, grown, and become comfortable in her own skin. She’s got friends, allies, a dysfunctional family that is slowly on the mend, a loving fiancé, and a squire who has grown along with her from teenager to young man. Of course, McGuire can’t leave Toby so happy. This is a book where some past debts and past demons come home to roost.
It’s one of the reasons I enjoy the Toby books. Nothing written in the series is a throwaway line. Everything has a purpose. Even actions I didn’t understand when they happened. A lot of those questions are cleared up with THE BRIGHTEST FELL. This book feels a bit like a tour of Toby’s life. She is forced to travel with an old enemy and to revisit some of the scariest places she’s been. There, she’s required to face the consequences of past actions and to understand why certain people have hurt her so badly.
The best this about this book is McGuire’s ability to give the reader another point of view. To make you want to sympathize with the most evil of characters. To understand why they did what they did. Even to cry for them a little. None of this stops you from still wanting to punch them in the face, but does give you a better understanding of their motivations.
It is one of those books in the series that a new reader can pick up and enjoy the ride. While they may not get the same emotional impact that long-time readers of the series will get, they will still feel the urgency of Toby’s quest and the hard choices she’s required to make. For new fans and old, this is one of those don’t-miss novels.
THE BRIGHTEST FELL includes an original novella, OF THINGS UNKNOWN, set in the County of Tamed Lightning. I cried throughout this novella. That’s all I’m going to say about it.