Review: The Winter Long

Winter Long, TheSeanan McGuire, The Winter Long

***Warning: SPOILERS for previous books in this series!***

Things finally seem to be looking up for October Daye. Now that the malevolent, usurping Queen of the Mists has been dethroned and the true queen reinstated, Toby’s biggest problem is having to dress up for court functions. But of course, this pleasant state of affairs can’t last, as Toby learns when Simon Torquill — the man whose spell once turned her into a fish for 14 years — suddenly re-enters her life. Shockingly, he doesn’t seem to want to harm Toby this time; in fact, he claims that he’s only trying to protect her from another, more powerful enemy. Toby knows she can’t trust Simon, but the more she investigates his allegations, the more it seems he’s actually telling the truth. Someone from Toby’s past is out to get her, and it’s the last person she would ever expect. Can Toby once again protect her loved ones, defeat the bad guys, and live to fight another day?

Seanan McGuire actually wrote a little intro to this book in which she said, “Everything I have done with October’s world to this point has been for the sake of getting here.” And indeed, this book is a game-changer for the series, shedding a whole new light on the events of previous books. I love the fact that McGuire has plotted this series so meticulously, and it really shows in this installment. Now I want to go back and re-read the entire series, so I can pick up on all the little clues I missed the first time around! So plot-wise, I really loved this book, and I’m very intrigued to see what’s next for Toby and the gang. At the same time, though, I’m a little nervous about the future of this series. With every new installment, it seems that the stakes get higher and higher, and Toby becomes more and more important in her Fae world. In the first few books, she seemed refreshingly ordinary, but now it seems that she’s some kind of Chosen One, which is a trope that often bugs me in fantasy novels. I’m definitely still hooked on the series for now, but I hope that I will still be enthusiastic after future installments!

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