October Daye Reading Order: How to read Seanan McGuire’s Series?

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Written by American author Seanan McGuire, this October Daye series is an urban fantasy series in which the world of Faerie never disappeared, it continues to exist parallel to our own. To survive, the faeries rely on secrecy, but no secret can be kept forever. When the Fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born.

That’s how October “Toby” Daye, the daughter of Amandine of the Fae and a mortal man, was born, between two worlds.  She hoped to leave the Fae world behind her, but things didn’t turn out like that. She has to work for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills and prevents the worst that could happen to the Fae and the Mortal worlds.

How to read October Daye Books in Order?

October Daye Books in Order

Reading The October Daye Series in Publication Order:

  1. Rosemary and Rue (2009)
  2. A Local Habitation (2010)
  3. An Artificial Night (2010)
  4. Late Eclipses (2011)
  5. One Salt Sea (2011)
  6. Ashes of Honor (2012)
  7. Chimes at Midnight (2013)
  8. The Winter Long (2014)
  9. A Red-Rose Chain (2015)
  10. Once Broken Faith (2016)
  11. The Brightest Fell (2017)
  12. Night and Silence (2018)
  13. The Unkindest Tide (2019)
  14. A Killing Frost (2020)
  15. When Sorrows Come (2021)
  16. Be the Serpent (2022)
  17. Sleep No More (2023)
  18. The Innocent Sleep (2023)

Reading The October Daye Book Series in Chronological Order:

The Prequels

Those short stories take place before the main series began. That said, it is recommended to read them after having at least read two or three books in order to really understand what this is about.

  1. “The Fixed Stars” – There was a time when things were different. This is the story of the battlefield where it all began to change. Originally published in the anthology Shattered Shields.
  2. “Rat-Catcher” – All stories have to begin somewhere, and this is where the story of Tybalt, King of Dreaming Cats, began. Originally published in the anthology A Fantasy Medley 2.
  3. “Forbid the Sea” – For ten years, the young King of Cats known throughout the Kingdom of Londinium as Tybalt-once known to family and friends as “Rand,” a gentle Prince who had never aspired to the throne-had ruled his Kingdom alone, refusing to let any other of his kind enter the city while it is in his care. But even a King can get lonely…
  4. “Never Shines the Sun” – In 1959, Faerie came for a little changeling girl named October Daye and presented her with the Choice that her mother had been struggling to prevent her from ever needing to make. Included in the paperback edition of Chimes at Midnight.

The Main October Day Series

  1. Rosemary and Rue
  2. A Local Habitation
  3. An Artificial Night
  4. Late Eclipses
  5. “Through This House” – The knowe known as “Goldengreen” has been locked and alone since the death of Evening Winterrose…which is why it’s a bit of a problem when Toby and her allies are called upon to reopen the knowe. Knowes can have minds of their own, you see, and they don’t take kindly to being disturbed. Originally published in Home Improvement: Undead Edition.
  6. One Salt Sea
  7. “In Sea-Salt Tears” – It was 1972, and a teenage girl named Elizabeth Ryan thought her world was coming to an end. The daughter of two Selkies, Elizabeth had just been passed up for a skin. But when a mysterious cousin who calls herself Annie appears, Elizabeth finds other things to think about…
  8. Ashes of Honor
  9. “No Sooner Met” – It may have taken them years to reach the point of admitting that there was a mutual attraction between them, but now that they have, it’s time for October Daye and Tybalt to begin exploring their relationship, such as it is, and deciding what it is going to mean for them going forward.
  10. Chimes at Midnight
  11. “Full of Briars” Quentin Sollys has survived more than he ever expected to. He’s a squire, working toward his knighthood; he’s a student, a friend, and well on his way to becoming a hero in his own right. None of this means he ever wanted to see his parents in a room with his knight, the often unpredictable and definitely complicated Sir October Daye.
  12. The Winter Long
  13. “Heaps of Pearl” – Baron Patrick Twycross was an unlanded, comfortably unambitious man. He knew that one day he might inherit his family’s estate, but as that day was hundreds of years and most of a continent away, he was content to spend his time fiddling in his workshop and trying to keep his friend Simon from doing something foolish enough to get himself killed. He was happy; he had no aspirations. So how did he wind up married to a mermaid?
  14. A Red-Rose Chain
  15. Once Broken Faith
  16. “Dreams and Slumbers” – By the standards of Faerie, Arden Windermere is little more than a child. Yet, despite her youth, she has already lost almost everything of importance: her parents, her brother, the life she expected to lead, the life she built for herself out of the ashes. Now Queen in the Mists, she is still struggling to find a place to stand. It seems impossible. And yet… Originally published in the print edition of Once Broken Faith.
  17. The Brightest Fell
  18. Night and Silence
  19. “Suffer a Sea Change” – A Toby-universe short story focusing on Gillian Daye-Marks as she adjusts to the events of the latest book. Available as part of the print edition of Night and Silence.
  20. The Unkindest Tide
  21. A Killing Frost
  22. When Sorrows Come
  23. Be the Serpent
  24. Sleep No More
  25. The Innocent Sleep

What is the plot of the October Day stories?

For more information about the books in the October Day series by Seanan McGuire, you’ll find below the official synopsis for all the books:

Rosemary and RueThe murder of Countess Evening Winterrose, one of the secret regents of the San Francisco Bay Area, pulls October “Toby” Daye back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant to the Duke of Shadowed Hills and begin renewing old alliances that may prove her only hope of solving the mystery…before the curse catches up with her.

A Local Habitation – Like her mother, October “Toby” Daye is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning-otherwise known as Fremont, CA-to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O’Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment-but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

An Artificial Night – Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children-and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of October “Toby” Daye’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home, Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

Late Eclipses – Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, October “Toby” Daye must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.

One Salt Sea – To prevent a war between land and sea, October Daye must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She’ll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Ashes of Honor – It’s been almost a year since October Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities, but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

Chimes at Midnight – Things are starting to look up for October “Toby” Daye. She’s training her squire, doing her job, and has finally allowed herself to grow closer to the local King of Cats. It seems like her life may finally be settling down…at least until dead changelings start appearing in the alleys of San Francisco, killed by an overdose of goblin fruit.

The Winter Long – Toby thought she understood her own past; she thought she knew the score. She was wrong. It’s time to learn the truth.

A Red-Rose Chain – When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, October Daye finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.

Once Broken Faith – Politics have never been October Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches.

The Brightest Fell – Things are slow, and October “Toby” Daye couldn’t be happier about that. The elf-shot cure has been approved, Arden Windermere is settling into her position as Queen in the Mists, and Toby doesn’t have anything demanding her attention except for wedding planning and spending time with her family. Maybe she should have realized that it was too good to last.

Night and Silence – In the aftermath of Amandine’s latest betrayal, October Daye’s fragile self-made family is on the verge of coming apart at the seams. Jazz can’t sleep, Sylvester doesn’t want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction. Toby is floundering, unable to help the people she loves most heal. She needs a distraction. She needs a quest.

The Unkindest Tide – Hundreds of years ago, the Selkies made a deal with the sea witch: they would have the sea for as long as she allowed it, and when the time came, she would call in all their debts at once. Many people assumed that day would never come. Those people were wrong.

A Killing Frost – When October Daye is informed that Simon Torquill-legally her father, due to Faerie’s archaic marriage traditions-must be invited to her wedding or risk the ceremony throwing the Kingdom in the Mists into political turmoil, she finds herself setting out on a quest she was not yet prepared to undertake for the sake of her future…. and the man who represents her family’s past.

When Sorrows Come – It’s hard to be a hero. There’s always something needing October “Toby” Daye’s attention, and her own desires tend to fall by the wayside in favor of solving the Kingdom’s problems. That includes the desire to marry her long-time suitor and current fiancé, Tybalt, San Francisco’s King of Cats. She doesn’t mean to keep delaying the wedding, it just sort of…happens. And that’s why her closest friends have taken the choice out of her hands, ambushing her with a court wedding at the High Court in Toronto. Once the High King gets involved, there’s not much even Toby can do to delay things…

Be the Serpent – October Daye is finally something she never expected to be: married. It isn’t always easy, but she’s a hero, right? She’s done harder. Until an old friend and ally turns out to have been an enemy in disguise for this entire time, and October’s brief respite turns into a battle for her life, her community, and everything she has ever believed to be true. The debts of the Broken Ride are coming due, and whether she incurred them or not, she’s going to be the one who has to pay.

Sleep No More (2023) – October has been pulled from her own reality and thrown into a twisted reinterpretation of Faerie where nothing is as it should be and everything has been distorted to support Titania’s ideals. Bound by the Summer Queen’s magic and thrust into a world turned upside down, October has no way of knowing who she can trust, where she can turn, or even who she really is. As strangers who claim to know her begin to appear and the edges of Titania’s paradise begin to unravel, Toby will have to decide whether she can risk everything she knows based on only their stories of another world.

The Innocent Sleep (2023) – For one bright, shining moment, Tybalt, King of Cats, had everything he had ever wanted. He was soon to set his crown aside; he had married the woman he loved; he was going to be a father. After centuries of searching for a family of his own, he had finally found a way to construct the life of his dreams, and was looking forward to a period of peace-or at least as much peace as is ever in the offing for the husband of a hero. Alas for Tybalt and his domestic aspirations, fate-and Titania-had other ideas. His perfect world had been complete for only a moment when it was ripped away, to be replaced by hers.

What should you read if you like October Daye’s books?

If you like this article about Seanan McGuire’s October Daye reading order, you may be interested in the Jane Yellowrock series, The Hollows Series, The Gunnie Rose series

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