Ashes of Honor is the sixth book of an urban fantasy series focusing on a half-fae living in San Francisco. October (or Toby) Daye works as kind of a detective for the Duke of Shadowed Hills, and she has to find a missing half-fae girl whose powers are going out of control.
Something about these books really speak to me. The characters are diverse and unusual. Their relationships are complex. And the world-building is complicated and exciting. I’ve mentioned a few times already that Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors.
First, the characters. This is the sixth book in the series, so I know these characters by now. That doesn’t stop them from growing. The main protagonist’s journey over the course of the series is particularly meaningful to me, with the way that she came out of an isolation and had to learn to reconnect with the world. She can do things on her own, and is even inclined to, but has gotten to the point where she doesn’t mind the support she gets from her friends, either.
There’s this poignant sense of loss in this book, as Toby knows the sacrifices that will be made even if the girl she’s looking for is found. And Toby can relate to this, having recently experienced loss herself. There’s also a sense of moving on that kicks in a little later in the book, even as I don’t know how this is going to end.
I couldn’t possibly guess whether or not Toby would save this family at the end, because the endings in this series have never been clear cut. Yeah, Toby figures out who did it eventually. But she doesn’t always do it in time to save the people she’s trying to save. So right up until the end, I had no idea which way this book would go.
It’s fun to watch the relationships develop, too. The moment where one character says that another character had become his best friend, even though people like them weren’t supposed to be friends with each other? I liked that moment. And this book is about recognizing the changes that are happening in our lives, in a way.
The world-building in this series has always been great–the author used to study folklore. I once again have no problem with the complexity of the world. Seanan McGuire always builds upon the the work she’s already done for her series and introduces us to new places, new characters, and new stories.
In short, no complaints from me.