rymenhild: gears from anime series Princess Tutu (The gears of the story)
[personal profile] rymenhild
Seanan McGuire's The Winter Long (October Daye, volume 8) is coming out next week, so it's time to start making guesses about which mysteries the book will solve. I keep seeing dark hints that this book is a major transition in Toby's story. I'm really looking forward to finding out what's going to change this time.

Loose ends, mysteries, speculation:

Rosemary and Rue: Evening Winterrose clearly knew everything about everything. She also had memories edited out of her blood when Toby drank it. The Luidaeg didn't describe her as dead: "I don't know who pruned the Winterrose."

Also, we haven't seen Sylvester's evil twin Simon since R&R. What's up with Simon?

A Local Habitation: In certain circumstances, Toby can raise the dead. She raised Alex when she was pretty underpowered. Also, almost everyone who died in ALH is basically cryogenically frozen and could, theoretically, be resurrected. January can't, and I can't remember about the murderer, but the rest of them are just waiting for something to happen.

An Artificial Night: I actually think there aren't many loose ends from that book. Blind Michael's dead, Acacia's a Firstborn, Luna's a Blodynbryd, Karen's an oneiromancer, and mixed marriages create mentally ill fae. We've seen the consequences of all of these things. We can move on.

No, wait, maybe we can't. If the children of Maeve and their remaining few descendents are mostly mentally ill, what if one of Toby's destinies is to clean up their bloodlines to ensure their survival?

Late Eclipses: Amandine tells Sylvester to tell Toby that the Lady of the Lake has never forgiven her her story, but she should beware of Morgane [sic], who's worse. There's probably going to be some mixed-up Arthurian magic in there. Also, the Queen hates Amandine and Toby, not because of anything they've done yet, but for whatever they will do. Amandine seems to have had other children besides Toby, who are clearly all dead. I should reread Oleander's dying curse, because I'm sure it's relevant.

One Salt Sea: I started typing, "I don't think there are any loose ends here," but then I remembered the Selkies and the Roane, who are one heck of a loose end. The Selkies had a year and a day after the end of the book before the Luidaeg called in the Selkies' debt. We've got to be past that now. Also, I think the Roane prophet Mary said something ominous about Toby's destiny. I should reread that part.

Ashes of Honor: Why are the older lands of Faerie closed? What's wrong with fae fertility-- am I right to think there are there just too few fae to populate Faerie? Will Duchess Riordan ever get out of Annwn? What favor does Li Qin want from Toby? And, most crucially, what happened to Oberon, Maeve and Titania?

Chimes at Midnight and "Never Shines the Sun":

Eira Rosynhwyr is Titania's eldest daughter, the Firstborn of the Daoine Sidhe, and the Luidaeg's great enemy and opposite number. She has a "Snow White" act and can die temporarily and be reborn. In completely unrelated news, Evening Winterrose never did show up with the night haunts.

Toby still owes Li Qin an ever-larger favor. I am remembering all of those cryogenically frozen corpses in Tamed Lightning. Can Toby raise them?

The Luidaeg is missing. I find this extremely alarming.

The former Queen is missing too. When Toby was rebalancing the former Queen's blood, she heard a thought that was basically, "She'll kill me," and I don't think she is Toby. In other, obviously completely unrelated news, Evening Winterrose put the ex-Queen on the throne. I wonder why?

There's a great deal Toby seems not to know about her life, her history and her destiny. Amandine knows everything and refuses to say anything; the Luidaeg knows everything and isn't allowed to say very much; Evening knew everything, never said anything, and has been out of play for the last six books.

Why did Amandine weaken Toby? (To protect her from the fate of the Dochas Sidhe and Amandine's other children?) What loss is Amandine grieving? (The loss of her children? The loss of her husband?) Who was Amandine's fae husband? (Simon Torquill, before Oleander drove him mad? Would that even have worked, since Dochas Sidhe and Daoine Sidhe are from very different lineages and probably create messed-up children? Except that Amandine could have cleaned up her children's bloodlines, of course.)

I think The Winter Long must be the book about Evening/Eira and her long feud with the Luidaeg. The Dochas Sidhe have some place in the solution to that feud, or at least the Luidaeg hopes that they will. Amandine has previously refused to take on her responsibility, whatever it is.

But if Evening is Eira, who was Evening's sister Dawn? Back in R&R, we learned that Toby earned her knighthood through solving the mystery of Dawn's murder. If Evening is Eira and the mother of the Daoine Sidhe, Evening's sister would be another Firstborn, and would be recognizably not Daoine Sidhe. Wouldn't Toby have known this?

I hope we get some more answers about Amandine. I am also wondering about the Selkies -- it must be time and past time for their debt to come due. Will Toby transform them?


What do you all think? [personal profile] azurelunatic? [personal profile] muchabstracted?
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