McGuire, Seanan: The Winter Long (October Daye VIII) (2014)

Cover artist: Christian McGrath

Cover artist: Christian McGrath

A geis can be compared with a curse or, paradoxically, a gift. If someone under a geis violates the associated taboo, the infractor will suffer dishonor or even death. On the other hand, the observing of one’s geasa is believed to bring power. (Wikipedia)

Imagine a person strong enough to place a geas on the Luidaeg, one of the Firstborn. Daughter of Maeve and Oberon. Doesn’t seem possible does it? Except there is a person who is just as connected to Oberon as the Luidaeg is, although Titiana is this person’s mother. And we know who this person is. We have, in fact, been given clues as to this person’s identity several books ago. Not that I got it, of course. Ms. McGuire had to give it to me in tiny helpings. Shows how good a detective I am.

Family is a strange matter. All of us are born to one family, one we do not choose. Some of those families are extremely dysfunctional. Toby’s mother is a great example of that. Amandine is a nutter. Perhaps being immortal does that to you even if you are genetically engineered for it. After all, what is there to see and strive for once you have lived for hundreds, maybe thousands of years? How would you deal with the death of mortals and their envy? Humans would envy immortals. Just look at the research that is being done to extend our lives and find the key to eternal life.

Toby is just starting her way down the path of an extremely long life – if she isn’t killed during one of her heroic deeds. It’s a good thing her human part has receded as much as it has. Without being faery to the degree that she has become, Toby would surely have died during The Winter Long. She comes close enough as it is.

I’m wondering what Toby’s chosen family will end up being like. The beginnings of it are there. We have the changelings, May and Jade, Tybalt, Raf, Quentin and the Luidaeg. Beyond that, well? Perhaps in some instances Toby has misinterpreted her relationships or maybe refused to see the world as it really is rather than as she wishes it to be. We all do that. Lie to ourselves. Except the Luidaeg. She can’t lie. But the rest of us? Some truths about ourselves and our surroundings aren’t fun to acknowledge, so we change them to fit our desires. So too with Toby.

I have to say that Seanan McGuire is an excellent writer. She keeps her text tight and tense while interspersing it with bits of humour and goo. I love goo. Ever since I met her through her Mira Grant persona, I have loved her writing. Definitely recommended.


The Winter Long on Amazon US

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