Late Eclipses is the fourth book in the October Daye series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books.
Toby knows something isn’t quote right when the Queen of the Mists makes her Countess of Goldengreen. The queen has never liked her much so why this? Why now? She has little time to dwell on this new development when news reaches her that Lily, the Lady of the Tea Gardens, is ill. Desperate to save her friend and protect the subjects of the Tea Garden, who are too weak to be welcomed by other fae courts, Toby must race against time to find a cure. But when other fae start falling ill, she suspects her oldest enemy may be back in town; the woman who ripped her happy life away so many years ago.
The poisoning story is one that builds and builds, with plenty of opportunity for Toby to become embroiled even if it weren’t obvious someone wants to frame her. The reappearance of Oleander brings doubts to Toby’s sanity. Is she imagining the scent of her magic? Wanting to blame the illness of her friends on a known evil? Is Toby going to carry on walking into that trap?
The man can be insufferable when he wants to. Just like every other cat I know.
When the cats are ill too, it gives Tybalt the opportunity to place a great deal of trust in Toby. I am fond of the Court of Cats, seeing them as a motley bunch rather than the nobility of the other fae, perhaps in part to their feline nature. So, along with that of Lily, I found their stories heart-breaking. I’m not convinced by Sylvester’s response; he has always seen Toby as a daughter so why would he shut himself away at the risk of losing more of his family?
It’s a shame we must wait for Lily to be critically ill before we learn so much about her. I don’t think I clicked in previous books what an Undine was. She is made from water and in this case her water is polluted in some way. So that means they have to get their very own fae forensics analyst in! Actually Walther is just a chemistry professor who also happens to be fae, but I liked his inclusion in Toby’s world, bringing the story back round to urban fantasy crime cross-over territory.
There’s also a kiss to get excited about. Honestly, it says a lot about the sexual tension that one kiss stands out. But it’s not about the romance at all and Toby had lives to save. Plus she really doesn’t want to admit some things to herself.