“The Innocent Sleep” by Seanan McGuire: Insightful Change

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. Titania, Faerie’s Summer Queen, Mother of Illusions and enemy of so many he holds dear, has seized control of the Kingdom, remaking it in her own image. An image which does not include meddlesome shapeshifters getting in her way. Tybalt quickly finds himself banished from her reality, along with the Undersea and the rest of the Court of Cats.

To protect his people and his future, Tybalt must find the woman he loves in a world designed to keep her from him, convince her that he’s not a stranger trying to ruin her life for no apparent reason, and get her to unmake the illusion she’s been firmly enmeshed in. And he’ll have to do it all while she doesn’t know him, and every unrecognizing look is a knife to his heart.

For Tybalt, King of Cats, the happily ever after was just the beginning.

In the 18th novel of the October Daye series, Seanan McGuire switches her main character point of view and it is a brilliant and insightful change that adds depth to the series and gives us a powerful story about the determination and hope of love. 

One of the reasons that this story is so brilliant is the voice of the character and that we already got October Daye’s point of view. Here, we get Tybalt’s point of view on the events of book 17 and it is eye-opening. For one, this gives the reader the chance to give the readers a view of what happened in Toby’s world that she was not privy to. But it also gives us a chance to get to know Tybalt better. We have always, except for short stories, seen events through October’s eyes but Tybalt has his own story, his own point of view, one that shows he is far more logical and practical than his beloved. His voice in this story is so distinct and intriguing as we learn the steps he takes to bring his love back to his arms. 

The story is powerful and engaging as it swept me along. I barely breathed as I swept through the novel, learning how Tybalt coped and the insight into his character is remarkable. If you love the October Daye series, I highly recommend book 18. Tybalt is just as intriguing in his own way as October, just as fascinating, and just as emotional. I love his encounters with October and how he gets her back. The conclusion is enchanting. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 cats

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