Review: The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire

winter longReviewed by Jen

Holy cow. This book rocked my socks off. It takes the series full circle in a way I never expected, but satisfies completely. Obviously, the journey itself is supposed to be a mystery. The blurb couldn’t be more cryptic:

Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score.

She was wrong.

It’s time to learn the truth.

But the thing is: the book is better for it. I’ll talk about what I can without spoiling the big reveals.

Obviously, some tightly held secrets are being revealed. Seanan McGuire says in the forward that this book was the culmination of her plans from the beginning of the series, and though I really struggled with Rosemary and Rue, the events of that book are pivotal to the way everything plays out.  It’s time for Toby to face her old ghosts and to finally better understand what started the chain of events that lead her to where she is now.

What’s so gratifying about it all is that her character growth has prepared her for this battle. She has cultivated allies that are critical to her survival. She has grabbed on to her magic with both hands, strengthening herself in ways no one expected. And she has stepped away from the blind faith of youth, allowing herself to see dangers she likely would never been able to face before.

One of the things I love about this book is that is forces us, as readers, to redefine how we see many of the characters. That makes sense with it being in first person and with Toby’s perspective changing so fundamentally. But in the context of how all this is revealed, it makes sense. I am so very impressed at how McGuire pulled so many threads together in ways I never considered to be connected. So many questions are answered… some I didn’t even realize I had.  It’s big. But it leaves many doors open. We don’t know everything. Specifically, we don’t know many of the “why’s” behind everyone’s behavior. Not every mystery is solved, and the door is left wide open for what is clearly more story on the horizon.

Even though this is a big plot driven book, it’s still deep rooted in characters and relationships. The big winners here, beyond Toby herself, are Tybalt and the Luidaeg. They are amazing and Toby’s connections to them made this exciting journey even more wonderful to read.

I couldn’t be more excited to see where this series will go next.

Rating: A-/B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Winter Long
by Seanan McGuire
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: DAW

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