Review – A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire

A Killing Frost

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  • Writing - 9/10
  • Development - 8/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
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Fae Laws And Complications Abound in A Killing Frost


A Killing Frost is the latest novel to come from the October Daye series. Once again, fae law is making Toby’s life difficult. You think being a hero would earn her a break or two, but that is clearly not the case.

Can you believe that October Daye is fourteen books in at this point? In many ways, it still feels like the series is brand new. Probably because Seanan McGuire keeps finding ways to infuse the world with more adventures – and complications.

An obscure (to Toby) fae law has put Toby in a precarious position. In order for her to safely get married, she has to invite her father. Not her biological father – the man she considers to actually be her dad. But the fae who was married to her mother at the time, and thus in the eyes of the law, her real father.

A task easier said than done, otherwise, it wouldn’t warrant an entire book for Toby to get the job done. You just know that before this novel completes, Toby is going to find a way to get herself all covered in blood. Again.


A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire
A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire

Any novel in the October Daye series guarantees a few things. One, that Toby will find herself in over her head, or otherwise be surprised by fae customs. Two, Toby will, at some point in her quest, get covered in blood. Usually her own. And three, Toby will persevere, regardless of the risks or personal cost. It’s just who she is.

A Killing Frost delivers on all three of those promises, and then some. Once again we’re diving back into the complex world of changelings and fae. It seems like each and every book proves that there is still so much to learn about these magical and deadly creatures – and their laws.

It’s a thrilling read, one that brings all of the high stakes that fans are used to, and adds a personal touch here and there. After all, Toby is literally doing all of this simply because she wants to get married.

At this point, fans know most of the characters in this series like the back of their hands. Yet there’s still a shocking amount of room for development. Toby’s is growing up, in a way. As are her allies, and her teenage ward(s).


A Killing Frost is a fast-paced read, one with dozens of twists and turns. It is a quest of Toby’s, so there’s really no surprise there. What is surprising is how high the stakes become, before the end. This is a tale that started out one way, and warped into something larger than life before the end.

It’s amazing how so much of the larger world was pulled into what had seemed to be a (relatively) straightforward quest. At least Toby knows where it all begins, that’s more than she’s had in the past.

What is impressive is how, over the course of a few books, including this one, McGuire has managed to turn on villainous character into somebody infinitely more sympathetic. It just goes to show that the fae really are complex creatures.

All of the events in A Killing Frost felt like a full novel, in every way that the fans deserve. Yet it also all very much read like McGuire is setting up for something more. Whether it be Toby’s wedding or something larger in the fae world, only time will tell.

Short Story

As has been tradition lately, A Killing Frost also has a short story bundled in with it. Shine in Pearls is set long before the events of A Killing Frost, but I would strongly discourage anybody to actually read them in chronological order. The impact is much stronger, following the conclusion of this novel. I promise.

In this short story, McGuire takes character development of certain fae, and brings it to a whole new level. Suddenly the surprising revelations they made make more sense, as the story provides insight into their emotions and thoughts.

Honestly, that’s one of the many reasons why the short stories for October Daye are so amazing. They almost never focus on Toby, but instead showcase the characters revolving around her.


A Killing Frost is a novel that I, alongside many other fans, waited all year for. It is also a novel very much worth that yearlong wait. Toby’s story is still going strong, even after all of these years. The real question is, what sort of mess is she going to get into next?

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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