The fourth book in the urban fantasy series about October Daye.

Publication year: 2011
Format: Audio
Publisher: Audible Inc.
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Running Time: 11 hrs and 51 minutes

Spoilers!

Toby’s life in far from normal because her fetch is her roommate and one of her closest friends is a bridge troll/taxi driver. So she’s not surprised when she’s called to attend the court of the Queen of the Mists, whom we haven’t seen since the first book. The Queen seems to be mad and has a grudge against Toby. So, Toby is quite surprised when the Queen appoints her the Countess of Golden Green, the Now which belonged to Toby’s friend, Evening Winterrose, before she was murdered. No other changeling has her or his own Now. However, Toby is sure that making her a Countess isn’t a favor, but a very clever ploy. But before Toby can solve that riddle, she hears that her good friend Lily is very ill.

Lily is the ruler of her own faerie Now and she’s a being composed of water, an Undeen, so she shouldn’t be sick at all. Toby and her friends rush to help her. Toby thinks that the water in the now must be tainted but she and her friends can’t find any evidence of that. Then one of Toby’s other friends falls ill and Toby is convinced that Oleander de Merelands is behind it all. Oleander was there, laughing, when Toby was changed into a fish for fourteen years so Toby has a personal grudge against her. Oleander is also one of the most dangerous and demented faeries around.

Once again, pretty much every character (alive) from the previous books returns which I enjoyed greatly since I like most of them. Tybalt, the King of Cats, has a significant role and I’m really curious to see what going to happen next with Toby and Tybalt. I still don’t trust Tybalt one bit but he’s always entertaining and, of course, because Toby is still a changeling, their relationship would be very, er, challenging. Tybalt is quite entertaining on his own, too.

We also got to see Sylvester in action more than in the previous books. We’re told a couple of times that he used to be a hero and even since then I’ve been curious to see more of him. Also, he has to face a lot of sorrow in this book which seems a bit unfair. (How about a spin-off book about Sylvester? That would be fun!)

I was sorry to see Lily go, as I rather liked her, but I think that when her instant healing abilities aren’t around to help Toby, things might get more dangerous for her. Also. Lily was one of the few faerie who isn’t predatory towards changelings. She has taken quite a few under her wing and now they are in essence orphans. Of course, Toby is going to take them in so she’s going to have more people to protect than ever so things going to be interesting for her. One of the major characters is new, Walter, who is one of Lily’s people and a teacher in the local university. He’s also a kind of modern day alchemist and eager to find out what has happened to Lily.

This time we get to know a lot of stuff about Toby’s past. This was great and I can’t wait to see the repercussions! Late Eclipses uses a lot of people and plot lines from the first book and that was great. We finally get to know, sort of, what happened to Luna and Racheline (spelling?) in their captivity and even Toby’s mother makes an appearance. This is all great for those of us who don’t care for the love triangle and instead want to get on with the story. 😉 We also get to know things about other people’s past, such as Toby’s mother!

Once again, McGuire blends action, humor, and pretty dark themes excellently. However, there’s again an air of tragedy on the story. Terrible things happen to a lot of people and some characters blame it on Toby. She comes face to face with the reality that even though she’s done great things to a lot of people, some resent her and blame her. No matter what she does, it never seems to be enough to some people. Without the comedic elements, this book would be very dark.

A great continuation to the series!