Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
Published by Brillance Audio on Jun 8, 2010
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook from Purchased
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
The world of Faerie never disappeared: it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie's survival—but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, these second-class children of Faerie spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations. Or, in the case of October "Toby" Daye, rejecting it completely. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the fae world, retreating into a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, Faerie has other ideas.
The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose, one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby is forced to resume her old position as knight errant to the Duke of Shadowed Hills and begin renewing old alliances that may prove her only hope of solving the mystery...before the curse catches up with her.
The first part of the story is slow and quite confusing. It felt like there should be a prequel to explain Toby’s history with turning into a koi, how she became human again, and the first few years afterward. A lot of that situation is only referred to offhandedly, and is a bit confusing.
My favourite character was Tybalt, but he’s one of the least utilized people in the story. Every glimpse of him was exciting, and I wanted more. I fully expected to see the hate relationship between him and Toby develop into something else, and I was surprised when it didn’t.
Romance actually plays a very little role in the story at all, which is quite refreshing from most urban fantasy stories. Also unique is the fact that Toby gets hurt, a lot, and doesn’t instantly rebound. Yes, she does recover with some magical assistance, but she has realistic limitations, and can’t push herself past them with no consequence. It makes the action scenes more interesting because this is definitely not the typical action story where only the good guys land bullets with every shot.
I listened to the audiobook version, and would highly recommend it. The voice fits Toby quite well. There is a softness and maturity to the tone that I wasn’t expecting, but after the first few chapters, it seems appropriate. The accents were delivered well, and the overall narration provided a pleasant experience.
Overall, this was an exciting story that had some unfortunately confusing parts in the beginning. I’ve been told the series gets better after the first book, and certainly tend to continue it to see.