Thursday, September 23, 2021

When Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuire


Amazing, satisfying, full of joy! The worst part of this book is the title - no sorrows here, only happiness!

I love Seanan McGuire. (Note: I review a bunch of her books so I am copying part of some of my other reviews here to save time.). She has quickly become my favorite living writer and I feel very lucky that she is so prolific. I was first introduced to her work when her book Parasite, written as Mira Grant, was nominated for a Hugo Award. I loved it and quickly devoured the Newsflesh series before I realized that Mira Grant and Seanan McGuire were the same person. 

I started reading her works under her own name, starting with Sparrow Hill Road, which is amazing, but I picked it because I was intimidated by her long running October Daye series. I had read some Urban Fantasy before, and I fondly remember Mercedes Lackey’s Diana Tregarde books, but my tastes run more to science fiction and then secondary world fantasy, so I was hesitant to dive into such a long series. I picked up the first book, Rosemary and Rue, when it was on sale as a kindle daily deal, and I found it somewhat disappointing compared to her other work. I reminded myself that it was her first published novel, so I cut it some slack. Then Incryptid was nominated for the Best Series Hugo in 2018 and I dove into that instead. I loved it! So I vowed to give Toby another chance. And I was so glad that I did! It is no one of my favorite series. 

I was overjoyed when The publisher and NetGalley awarded me an eARC of When Sorrows Come (I had already preordered a copy beforehand). Minor spoilers: this is the wedding we have been waiting for! October and Tybalt! And it’s everything you could want. Bringing back old characters, royal coup hi-jinx, so much stabbing, so much blood, and just marvelous character work. And the bonus novella just kept on bringing the joy! It’s all character work, with some long simmering tensions starting to thaw in a way that is incredibly satisfying. 

October Daye is on the top of my best series Hugo ballot - she deserves to win. This type of long running series excellence is what this award was designed for and none of the other nominees come close. 

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