October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half far, 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 face world. Unlabelled to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position so knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into face society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realises that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.
This was a fun urban paranormal murder mystery. I loved the book being set in Seattle as opposed to a magical world because there’s always something exciting about real world places being in a more fantasy novel. The gardens sounded gorgeous! I was expecting some romance form this book which didn’t really come. There was some but I had hoped for steam, I always hope for steam in my paranormal books. What it lacked in steam, it made up for in mystery because this book kept me guessing all the way through.
Toby was an enjoyable character. She was obviously hurting and had been through so much that she was pretty tough. I also liked that she wasn’t good at everything. It’s so dull when a protagonist is amazing at everything so it was refreshing to see Toby get her butt handed to her or need her friends to help in a fight. I did feel like our introduction to this character was really odd, a huge thing happens to them and then we just move on. This huge thing surely should have or could have been the reason for her to feel the way she does but we seemed to just move on. I couldn’t move on and spent a lot of the book wondering why this wasn’t being addressed.
The world building was really interesting and I loved the idea of a faerie court but I think this needed to be elaborated as I didn’t know why there was beef between some of the characters. I felt like I needed to know more about where Toby sat on the whole court hierarchy, as a knight what did this mean in the context of the faerie court?
I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads as I liked the story and I did like it but it felt like I’d jumped into a series part way through. I felt like I had missed the required reading for this one and I had to double check that it wasn’t book 3 in a series, I have a bad habit of picking up books out of order. This book is the first in a pretty lengthy series and I believe that there will be more development in the next instalments e.g. the whole deal with her husband and child, her choosing between worlds, being knighted, her romance with Connor, her history with the court. A prequel of this book would be amazing and probably would have increased my enjoyment of this book. This definitely was book 1. I think that if I were to continue with the series that all would be revealed but that feels like a commitment I’m not ready to make.
I listened to the audiobook of this story and do have some issues with a lot of the voices used for some of the characters…choices were made and I’m not sure they were the right ones. This book also includes sexual assault/coercion and physical assault against kids (it also included physical assault between adults but I was expecting this, it’s just the hurting of the teens that was quite upsetting), so please be aware of this if you decide to give it a read, look after yourself.