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WesternSFA
Ashes of Honor
by Seanan McGuire
DAW, $7.99, 353 pp
Release Date: September 4, 2012
This is the sixth episode of the ongoing saga of the exploits of October Daye, Knight of Fairie. At the onset Toby is presented with difficult dilemma. Etienne, a Henchman of Duke Sylvester comes to her confessing that he broke his oaths to the Duke when he unknowingly fathered the human/fairie halfblood Chelsea with a UC Berkeley Professor of Folklore. Worse, Professor Bridget Ames understood what Etienne was and hid the child from him. Now the child, aged 16, has disappeared. Such children are dangerous if not contained and made fully human or fully Fae. Often they die. He wants her to help him without informing the Duke. Reluctantly she agrees.

Initial investigations show that Chelsea possesses enormous powers. She is opening gates to parts of Fairie closed eons ago by Oberon. The very structure of the Fairie Realms is endangered. Now Toby, Sir Etienne, the enigmatic Tybalt, King of Cats and Toby's Squire Quentin must find the girl.

Toby desperately seeks a solution that will preserve Fairie, save Chelsea 's life and allow her and her parents happiness. Things got worse when she discovers that rebellious Fairie nobles plot to use Chelsea for their ends. To top it off, her ambivalent relationship with Tybalt is changing.

The story has many full-bodied believable characters. The plot carries you along with unpredictable patterns. Even characters who appear briefly are sketched out so skillfully as to seem real. The story holds through to its unpredictable ending.

In spite of Toby's generally gloomy view of things the story leaves an upbeat impression. Toby has not become a Romantic, but she sees the possibility of happiness. ~~ Gary Swaty

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