One Salt Sea (October Daye Series #5)

One Salt Sea - Seanan McGuire October Daye, the new Countess of Goldengreen has a new mission and never has so much rested on her.The children of the Duchess of Saltmist, an Undersea realm bordering the Kingdom of Mists, have been kidnapped. Worse, the suggestion is that the Kingdom of Mists is involved – war is very much in the air. But it’s a war the Kingdom of Mists will not be able to win – and even if they did, the cost in immortal fae lives would be far too high.The only chance to stop a war is to find the children – unharmed – and find out who has taken them and why. But on a more personal stake, October’s own daughter has also gone missing – and the same perpetrator is indicated. Saving the children now includes saving her own, mainly human, daughter as well.There are few distractions from this main plot in this book – despite the running of Goldengreen and her knew squire – October has a kingdom (and children) to save in a mystery that takes her to the bottom of the ocean, confronts old enemies, follows a long path of clues and calls upon all her friends and allies to help.The world building of this series continues to be amazing – and draws me in each book with as thirst to know more, especially now the whole concept of Undersea has opened up. Even almost-throwaway things like the origins of the Selkies are beautiful rich additions to an extremely varied and well planned world. I get a really huge sense of vast numbers of notes, maps, biographies and histories on Seanan McGuire’s desk that goes into making this amazing world.The story itself is extremely well balanced and paced. There’s a maintained urgency without rushing and the story blurring. We take the time to be fully exposed to the emotional impact and consequences of what is happening without maundering around or getting bored by it or reduced to yelling “just rescue them already!” at the book. It’s well put together between emotional depth and exciting action with revelations coming often enough to keep things interesting without them being cheap or overwhelming.And all of it was well written – the emotional scenes were strong and painful, the sense of tension and threat and the looming horror of war was fully presented and conveyed, the pain of the parents, the sheer amount at stake was all powerfully presented without being excessive or melodramaticThe story itself has sufficient clues and twists to keep it interesting as a mystery without so many that it becomes lost and convoluted – there are no loose ends, no excess distraction and the investigation is actually sensible and reasonable rather than relying on coincidences or random leaps of logic – again, a really well balanced story with the mystery and the logic working well together even in a world of fae and magic.If I had one quibble about the story it would be that fairly early in the books the Duchess of Saltmist realises and seems to believe that her children have not been kidnapped by the Queen of Mists or her agents – so I’m not entirely sure why she is pursuing the war and imposing such a tight deadline on it as well.Read More