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August 29, 2022

Be the Serpent by Seanan McGuire ~ a Review

by MK French

October is married and is officially on a break from being a hero for the Queen of Mists. She's adjusting to her new normal, but apparently, there is an old ally who actually isn't. Toby is soon back to fighting for her life and the life of her community and found family, paying for sins that were never hers.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of fantasy novel Be the Serpent by Seanan
August 2022; DAW; 978-0756416867
ebook, print (368 pages); fantasy

Be the Serpent
is the sixteenth Toby Daye book, and it's been such a ride from the first book! Definitely read them first, it'll make so much more sense who the characters are, the complicated relationships that they have, and why they mean so much to Toby. They're worthwhile books, I promise. There's a teeny bit of summary of the last book, as well as the hilarious visual of Tybalt and Toby having their honeymoon in Disneyland. Faerie doesn't always sound logical, so keep that in mind; as Toby says, "making sense is something that happens to other people."

As with other books, the fun and camaraderie of the beginning quickly change, and then the story hurtles toward the end. Oberon had been found but still tries to hide away, Maeve remains missing, and Titania had disappeared. These three founders of all Faerie still play a role in modern-day fae due to the bloodline powers, and any Firstborn can develop new and odd powers that Faerie needs. Toby had her fun, but the murder of her best friend's daughter means that an investigation must be launched. Strange magic is around, including spells no one alive knows. Finding out what happened is a horror of its own, and leads to revelations about the nature of the Three, the curses laid out on several characters, and even why Toby has the power that she does. 

This has been an incredible addition to the series and its world-building and showcases not just Toby's love and humanity, but the growth she had over the six years in this 'verse. She's as impetuous as ever, but it's been tempered somewhat. The conclusion is surprising as well as inevitable, as they usually are in this series. There will be ramifications for future novels that I can't wait to read. The included novella showcases the Luidaeg and the origins of the geasa that Titania laid upon her. It's heartbreaking to see what was hinted at earlier in the series, so I hope her revenge eventually comes to pass.

Buy Be the Serpent at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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