cover image The Brightest Fell

The Brightest Fell

Seanan McGuire. DAW, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1331-6

This impressive 11th entry (following 2016’s Once Broken Faith) in the saga of October “Toby” Daye, changeling private detective, sees Toby enjoying a rare moment of peace and happiness as she and her friends celebrate her engagement to Tybalt, King of Cats. Then Toby’s mother, Amandine, one of the most powerful and unpredictable fae, crashes the party. Amandine kidnaps Tybalt in order to force Toby to track down August, Toby’s sister, who’s been missing for a century. To accomplish this, Toby recruits one of her greatest foes, Simon Torquill—her much-hated stepfather. Their search takes them through faerie and mortal lands alike, with Toby forced to confront the uncomfortable loose ends of past adventures as well as her complicated family dynamic, leading to moments of sacrifice and sorrow. By this point in the series, McGuire has become extremely skilled at twisting the knife, putting her characters through emotional and physical wringers; she proves that no dangling plot thread is too obscure when it comes to terrorizing Toby. This compelling mystery with intensely personal stakes and genuine surprises is one of the strongest installments to date. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Sept.)