SF/F Read Alongs: Late Eclipses, By Seanan McGuire. (Week 2)

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The SF/F Read Along for Late Eclipses (Book 4 of the October Daye series.) continues.

There WILL be spoilers beyond this point – and Squeeing, lots and lots of squeeing!

This read along of Late Eclipses was organized by the SF/F Read Along group on Goodreads, and has been broken down into four parts and participants are asked some questions on what they think so far.

The read along to Late Eclipses has been broken down as follows;

Week 1: Saturday 2nd July, Chapters 1 to 9, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2: Saturday 9th July, Chapters 10 to 18, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog

Week 3: Saturday 16th July, Chapters 19 to 27, hosted by Books By Proxy

Week 4: Saturday 23rd July, Chapters 28 to End, hosted by Hisham… Hey – That ME!

The banner I’m using is a based upon the original cover art by Christian McGrath. I created the banner using free wallpapers from Seanan McGuire’s website.


The Book

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Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire. (October Daye #4)

October “Toby” Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again…”

~ Goodreads Description.

This is book four! (As with all October Daye books, this will be a re-read for me!)


Previously on October Daye…

Last week, Toby was ordered to attend the Queens court – where she was unexpectedly gifted the title Countess of Goldengreen. Surely a trap of somekind! Oh, and Tybalt kisses Toby! UH-HUH!

Lily is strangely sickening – and nobody can explain how or why!

Karen visits Toby in a dream to show a memory of Amandine and Oleander – a memory that Toby doesn’t seem to recall!

Toby also attends a party in Shadowedhills where Luna is seemingly poisoned! Toby understandably suspects the work of old foe – Oleander.

This week, Sylvester reacts badly to Luna’s poisoning. Raysel is prepping to take over Shadowed Hills and blame Toby for her mothers death under Oberons law the moment Luna might die! Connor is revealed to have been attacked when he tried to summon aide (When Toby discovered Luna).

Lily has died! The Fae of Goldengate park and the Tea Gardens mourn for her – but also worry for their own futures and security!

The Cait Sidhe has also been attacked, some of the meat that the weakest and most vulnerable cats eat has been poisoned causing tragedy amongst Tybalts Kingdom.

Toby seems to be jumping at shadows, seeing Oleander in various places – Toby is beginning to believe that she might actually be going crazy! She secures from Tybalt a promise, that If she is guilty of all of the deaths and suffering – that if she really is crazy, Tybalt will kill her!


The Questions for Week Two of the SF/F Read Along by Lynn;

1. Lily, Luna and then Tybalt’s people – why are they being targeted?

Every victim has so far been either a close friend or ally of Toby – or associated with her (The Cait Sidhe through Tybalt and his relationship with Toby!), surely this must be part of some intricate plot to weaken Toby? It’s also all happened very quickly after Toby was named Countess of Goldengreen! Is this possibly a powerplay by some other Fae to remove Toby from the peerage and make Goldengreen available to the guilty party?

2. Last week we saw the Queen again and she had apparently been through a transformation of sorts herself just before announcing that Toby was to be Countess – what, if anything, do you think might be the connection between these poisonings and the happenings last week.

I’m still not sure about the Queens apparent transformation/changes (It’s been a while since I read this book – and it’s all very hazy in my memories!) – But I’m thinking the Queen may not be closely involved in the poisonings. If the Queen wanted Toby dead, she wouldn’t mess around so… Indirectly? I think the Queen would be a lot more – hands on with Toby! 😉 (But that’s not to say that the Queen might not be doing some other party a favour or repaying some secret debt!)

3. We visited Tybalt’s Kingdom – what were your impressions? Toby herself was caught wondering just how vast Tybalt’s court actually is – do you think there’s any significance or just a quick thought?

*zips mouth shut* I won’t comment on this other than to say, If after reading Late Eclipses – you still want to know more… read the novellas Rat Catcher (available as part of A Fantasy Medley 2 or in the ebook Issue of Lightspeed #70) and Stage of Fools (Available currently as a Patreon reward!) 😉

4. What I’m particularly puzzled about is the absence of the Luidaeg – I’m not sure what’s going on in that respect and one part of me wonders if somebody is attacking all of Toby’s other friends and loved ones might the Luidaeg also be under threat – as difficult to believe as that might be.

I’m still leaning towards the theory that the Luidaeg couldn’t help because of some kind of incompatibility with Lily’s/Undine make-up and or magic! Fresh Water v’s Salt Water? Otherwise, has anyone actually contacted her about Luna or the other attacks?

5. Do you think Toby is going insane? Why is she seeing Oleander but nobody else is doing so?

I think she might be suffering some poisoning of her own! lets recall something… Toby has had a ear constant head-ache since Luna was poisoned – But she hasn’t been using much in the way of magic at all! She’s been showing symptoms of exhaustion – but HAS been sleeping… I think she was poisoned too. Maybe it’s the same poison Luna was exposed to – but just reacts differently to different type of Fae – maybe it’s a different poison. But, why was there so much description of the new Hob serving wine at the Shadowed Hills party? Hmmmm….?

6. It also seems that Raysel is doing her utmost to poison everyone against Toby – what are your thoughts on Raysel and her own motives?

Raysel is getting more and more sinister. But, If Oleander did have a part to play in her disappearance all those years ago – could she have suffered Stockholm syndrome and become allied with Oleander? Could Raysel be using Oleander to bring down Toby whilst also securing Shadowed Hills for herself?

Other Thoughts….

What about Simon? Where the hell is he?

Poor May, she’s just about established her own identity and style – and wham! Her Fetch connection has kicked in re-styling her as Toby. Not just the old Toby whom she was a copy of in Artificial Night – but the current Toby! Blind Michael scars and all! (Does that mean her memories from Toby have also been updated?)


Week Two was a doozy! What did you think?

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