Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire

Candle-Ends: Reviews
Erin Bellavia

Chimes at Midnight

Chimes at Midnight (DAW, September 3, 2013), the seventh book in Seanan McGuire’s October “Toby” Daye series, hits shelves everywhere this week. I was lucky enough to once again find myself in the possession of an advance copy.

My feelings about Seanan and Toby haven’t changed since my review of Ashes of Honor last year. Opening any of the books in this ongoing series is like going on an adventure with an old friend, and Chimes at Midnight doesn’t disappoint. This time, Toby finds herself investigating a series of deaths caused by the extremely addictive and deadly goblin fruit.

As the plot unfolds, Toby once again finds herself at odds with The Queen of the Mists—but this time, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been. Toby is exiled and has only three days to save herself and the kingdom from a queen who, it seems, rose to the throne under very suspicious circumstances.

Among her many strengths, Seanan has a gift for creating complex, believable characters that make the reader care. This book is no exception. Toby is aided in her quest by her usual close-knit group of allies: her squire Quentin, who reveals some vital information about Faerie; her fetch May, once a harbinger of Toby’s death, but now a trusted friend; the once-feared, now-loved Luidaeg; and, of course, Toby’s love interest Tybalt, the King of Cats. I think all of the Toby-Tybalt shippers will be pleased with the way the relationship is progressing. In Chimes at Midnight we’re also introduced to some fantastic new characters, including Mags, the Library of Stars librarian.

At the heart of this story are Toby’s ongoing struggle between her fae and human natures and the increasingly complex politics of Faerie. Seanan’s skilled worldbuilding brings the reader into a world that, while fantastic, always feels real. And as always, Seanan weaves a satisfying tale that leaves just enough unanswered questions to leave the reader eager for more.

Fans of the series will not be disappointed with Chimes at Midnight. And if you’ve never heard of urban fantasy, or aren’t quite sure where to start, the October Daye series would make an excellent entry point.

Chimes at Midnight is on the shelves now.


Seanan McGuire wrote Finding Your Fairy Godmother: A Guide to Acquiring a Literary Agent for Absolute Blank in September 2009. We interviewed her alter-ego, Mira Grant, in April 2011. You can find her at Live Journal and on Twitter as herself and Mira Grant.


Email: billiard[at]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email