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Rosemary and Rue

An October Daye Novel, Book 1
Written by: Seanan McGuire
Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
Series: October Daye, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2010 Seanan McGuire (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

"Well researched, sharply told, highly atmospheric and as brutal as any pulp detective tale, this promising start to a new urban fantasy series is sure to appeal to fans of Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It's ok.

The Reader doesn't have a great range for the story, making it hard to tell apart some characters, and the readers accents where horrible. The Story it's self is alright, but I found myself hating the main character. She is a bit of a marysue, and very selfish. She is pining for a home, and there is one right in front of her, though she doesn't want it for no real reason other then it doesn't fit her definition of 'Home'. Makes me think of the kid who thinks they have a horrible life because their parents will not buy them an Xbox. I found myself wanting to know more about some of the secondary characters, as the auther has created a world ripe with potential for some really good stories! I just ended up hating the main character.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • 2010-06-14

A fairy tale with grit.

An amazing beginning to a wonderful series. A fairy tale for adults. McGuire does a great job building this world and giving characters some nice depth, without sacrificing action or a nice pace to the story. The narrator was very good and enhanced McGuire's work. Very entertaining. I have already downloaded the second book (A Local Habitation) and look forward to the third book which should be released in September.

24 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • G Reinhardt
  • 2011-11-26

Missed Matched Pair

I am currently on my third attempt to make it through this novel. I've put some thought into why Rosemary and Rue isn't working for me. I know that audible reviewers giving negative feedback are rarely appreciated, but here are my thoughts. It seems that McGuire has some fun ideas for her story line. In this case, however, they fall flat. From the opening scene, I found myself a little curious to see what would happen next but mostly completely unaffected by the main character. There is absolutely no character development and I kept thinking "Why is she doing this?" "Why should we care?" "Why so dramatic?" The narrator adds to this sense of blah. Its like watching a soap opera with monotone actors. You know there should be some drama in there somewhere, but can find it in the performance. I can only recommend this book if you are ready for a strange pity party. There are so many fun options in this genre. I would definitely recommend the Mercedes Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs, The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris or Stray by Rachel Vincent long before I sent you to Rosemary and Rue. Good reading

108 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dandylion
  • 2011-12-31

Brand new Daye

This was the first book I bought from here ,I read all of them in a mouth I love October Daye the main lass of this tale ,a fairy detective with a fantastic group of friends and foes ,shes warm, smart, tough , kind and funny each sole has a story of there own and no one is forgotten I can not recommend this book and all that follow more please please give it a bash, I fell like I've found a new group of friends.I hope someone else has this pleasure .

16 people found this helpful

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  • Starling
  • 2011-09-10

Engaging Faerie Tale and Talented Narrator

The woman who reviewed Rosemary and Rue and had only negative things to say about Mary Robinette Kowal couldn't be more wrong. I'm so glad I ignored her comments and gave both McGuire and Kowal a chance. What a fantastic novel. I'm downloading the next two books in the series as I write this. If you like faerie mythology, suspense, and a good detective story, then you've got to give the October Daye books a try. I'm not easily impressed, but this series has enchanted me. The characterizations are fantastic, and I've never heard a narrator successfully engage so many different voices, personalities, and accents. I really felt as though the characters were alive as Kowal read. Toby Daye has won my heart. I hope this is only the beginning for Seanan McGuire. She's a gifted and imaginative writer.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Caleigh
  • 2013-01-25

Narrator's performance is sub-par...

The narrator read the heroine rather mediocrely, without much variation, but her voices for all of the other characters were painful to listen to. Julie's voice was stilted and strange, almost like a bad impersonation of Shatner and the cheerleading coach from Glee on drugs. Her Japanese accent was horrible and so was her Irish...at least I think it was attempting to be Irish. Tybalt was ridiculous. All her character voices seemed so halting and slow, it didn't really make sense to me why she made that choice. The story itself didn't seem all that magical. All the realms of the Fae at your disposal, and they're out in San Francisco, without any history of how they all got there, or why. And she's a detective? Seems a bit unnecessary in the fairy world. Toby didn't make me care about her, maybe because she doesn't care about anything. She's just not likeable. She didn't really seem to try to get her family back, not even any attempted explanations. I'm only about half-way through, but I'm going to hang in there till the end and possibly amend this review.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • HARRISON
  • 2010-09-23

Wonderriffical

I love this story and the characters. I read a couple of reviews that found fault with the narration and the audio, but I found Mary Robinette Kowal's voice to be wonderful, and her characterizations fun (well, most of them. I didn't enjoy her Lily.). Seanan's text - the story itself - is engrossing and entertaining, and I will definitely be buying the rest. I love this series, and MRK's voice will forever be Toby's voice in my head.

10 people found this helpful

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  • bluestategirl
  • 2012-01-11

I'm ambivolent.

Once again a book about the fey falls flat. But this time I'm pretty sure the reader is the problem. Mary Robinette Kowal does an adequate job of reading the story -- her voices, except for Lily, are decent, but there just isn't any intensity. The scenes where Toby is shot ect., are read with the same level of emotion as every other scene. Consequently, I felt nothing. It chugs along, but doesn't really entertain. I do have a feeling that reading this series would be a lot more interesting than listening to it.

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Page
  • 2015-11-30

Meh...

Overall, this book was not my cup of tea.

October was a horrible detective. It was shocking how much sleuthing she didn't do. I'm sorry but stumbling around town looking for answers by while wielding a snarky, bad attitude with no magical skill to back it up does not a cool heroine make. She didn't even ask good questions; just cashed in on favors. Though I found it pretty hilarious how much she got her butt kicked throughout the book. This did nothing to make me root for her, or feel sorry for her. I wanted October to have or find some kind of strength - moral or physical; but alas, neither was found. So in the end, I found October to be a dissatisfying lead.

A large contributor to this was because of how fickle I found October to be when it came to romance. Was I really to believe she was so torn up about her circumstance with her ex-fiancé, when she was in the verge of falling into bed with practically every magical ex-lover she'd ever encountered? It left me scratching my head and not understand where she was coming from.

What I did like was that this book was full of fairy lore, and it did a decent job of laying the framework for the magical system in the series and did enough world-building to make the fantasy come alive. That said, you would have already had to be knowledgeable about fairy lore to keep up. There was tons of magical information thrown at us with no explanation.

I could go on picking apart this book, so I won't. I also won't be reading anymore of the series.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Felicia The Geeky Blogger
  • 2014-04-15

A little slow

Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 2.50
Story Rating: 2.00
Character Rating: 3.00

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire had interesting characters but it took 70% of the book before anything happened. I am guessing the rest of the series is probably faster at getting to the point.

Read It File It: Ever had a book that overall didn't do much for you but you know that the rest of the series is probably right up your alley? That is me with Rosemary and Rue. While I spent most of the book just waiting for something to happen, once it did I was hooked. I am going to give book 2 a whirl. I have a feeling it will be a different experience.

Audio Thoughts:

Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal /Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins


Mary did an excellent job with Rosemary and Rue. She was great with October. I felt like she was her. I will be continuing this series in audio.

Final Thoughts: Rosemary and Rue was a great world builder for this series!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jesslyn H
  • 2014-01-11

Narrator Notes

At first, I really didn't like the narrator, but grew accustomed to her voice. It helps that the story was so well done. This is a re-read for me, I did the series on my Kindle and have switched to audio for this re-read.

My only complaint is that I don't care for the vocalization of Tybalt. I hope the narrator changes the voice as the series (and his character) develops.

3 people found this helpful