Forbid the Sea by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I needed to scrub my brain after the last book I read. This seemed like a good bet. It's available for download free on Seanan McGuire's website.
"Forbid the Sea" takes place 10 years after the events of "Rat-Catcher." London's fae are only just returning to their homes. Everyone's favorite King of Cats, Tybalt, takes a boat ride down the Thames, where he meets a handsome young Selkie named Dylan. They become involved (yes, Tybalt, like many fae, is bisexual; you only don't notice in the present day because he's monogamous). Then Tybalt learns why Dylan's in London, and he has a choice to make between personal feelings and fae politics.
It's a fast read, though not because it's action-packed. It has the feel of a sweet summer romance throughout most of it, but there is that thread of menace running just under the surface. Tybalt is clearly lonely, and mourning the events that left his Court empty. This makes him overlook some aspects of Dylan he should've questioned. He's content to only dig into the first layer of secrets. And he shows Dylan (and therefore the reader) how much different he was when he was only Rand. There are hints of the Tybalt that appears to October Daye at sunrise in Rosemary and Rue, but he's changed through the centuries. By Chimes at Midnight, he's shown a lot more of the gentle tenderness we see in this story.
You don't need to have read "Rat-Catcher" to follow this story, though it does help with context. Even if you can't get your hands on the earlier story, I recommend reading this one if you're a fan of Tybalt. The download link is up at the top of the review, and it's author-hosted. So give it a read. It's chock full of insight into a fan-favorite character.
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