Literature: October Daye

Toby Daye is a private investigator. She's also a changeling — daughter of a faerie creature of the Summerlands and a human. A loyal knight, she was investigating the disappearance of her liege's daughter. Her liege's Evil Twin busted her doing it, and the consequences of being caught cost her fourteen years of her life and everything that mattered to her.

As a result, Toby cut herself off from dealing with the fae world, and lived as a recluse and hiding her fae appearance under spells and illusions, until another fae, with her dying breath, geased a reluctant Toby via answering machine to solve her murder.

This is where the adventure in Rosemary and Rue starts. Toby must return to the fae community to solve the case or literally die trying thanks to the geas. To her astonishment, the fae community is happy to have her back. And once she solves this case, she only finds more to do.

So far, the series, written by Hugo Award-winning author Seanan McGuire, comprises:
  • Rosemary and Rue (September 2009)
  • A Local Habitation (March 2010)
  • An Artificial Night (September 2010)
  • Late Eclipses (March 2011)
  • One Salt Sea (September 2011)
  • Ashes of Honor (September 2012)
  • Chimes at Midnight (September 2013)
  • The Winter Long (September 2014)

Short stories:
  • "Rat-Catcher", which focuses on the Tybalt's early history in Londinium, published in A Fantasy Medley 2.
  • "Through This House", which fills in a few gaps between Late Eclipses and One Salt Sea, published in Home Improvement: Undead Edition. A few fragments have also found their way around.
  • "In Sea-Salt Tears", a prequel to One Salt Sea, published on McGuire's website.
  • "Never Shines The Sun", expanding on a story Toby only gets a glimpse of in Chimes At Midnight. It is available only in the paperback edition of Chimes At Midnight. Ebook versions do not (or are not supposed to) contain the short story.
  • "Forbid the Sea", a sequel to "Rat-Catcher", published on McGuire's website.
  • "No Sooner Met," a Tybalt-narrated short story chronicling Tybalt and Toby's first "official" date.

McGuire has sold the first ten Toby books. The upcoming ones are:
  • A Red-Rose Chain
  • Once Broken Faith


This series provides examples of:

  • Acquitted Too Late: Raysel's plan for Toby in Late Eclipses
  • Action Girl: Toby, who repeatedly states that she's uncomfortable when she's unarmed.
  • Action Mom: Dianda Lorden of Undersea, who's pretty much ready for a fight at a moment's notice. Toby sort of qualifies - she's an action girl and a mother, but after her fourteen-year absence she's no longer a part of her daughter's life.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In One Salt Sea, the scary, unaffectionate Luidaeg gives Quentin's hair an affectionate ruffle.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: Tybalt collapses in Ashes of Honor and Toby has to race to get the healer to help him.
    • In Chimes At Midnight Tybalt collapses again and Toby has to make a deal with the Night Haunts to find out how to save him before it's too late.
  • After Action Patchup: After landing in ALH through the gate in Ashes of Honor, the first consideration is treating Tybalt's injuries; they talk as they go.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Walther's specialty
  • Alien Geometries - Knowes tend to have these.
    • ALH: Windows look out at different times of day. You can walk down a hall and be three floors higher at the other end than you started.
    • Shadowed Hills: Windows in the same room can look out at different locations (and seasons).
    • In the unclaimed areas of the Summerlands, distance isn't always consistent. If you really, really need to get somewhere, then wherever it is you want to go will become closer to you.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Blind Michael planned to do this to Toby, at Acacia's expense
  • Annoying Arrows: Thoroughly averted. Elf-shot is fatal to changelings and mortals, and arrow wounds can take down even pureblooded skin-shifters.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Rayseline is this for Sylvester and Luna
  • Anyone Can Die - It's spoilery to name names, but the fae are capricious and cruel. So is their world.
  • Arranged Marriage - Connor and Rayseline, a political marriage to tie Shadowed Hills with the underwater Duchy of Salt Mist.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Toby in Late Eclipses
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking - Toby's list of reasons why she can't be Quentin's knight starts with "I keep getting him shot" and ends with "I don't brush my teeth every night before bed."
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Sylvester, Toby and Etienne
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The above will prove it if you'd like
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Toby and Tybalt. They behave more like Slap-Slap-Kiss but as the books progress, it becomes clearer that it's to mask genuine affection for each other.
  • Ax-Crazy: Rayseline, and the Big Bad of each book, to varying degrees.
    • Inverted with Book 6's villain. Toby's warned repeatedly that the character is more dangerous because they're sane - they can't be counted on to make the same mistakes an insane person might.
    • Said to be a racial hazard for anyone with mixed blood of two different faerie races due to the blood warring with itself. All characters with mixed blood have shown some degree of instability somewhat increasing in proportion to just how much of a mixed heritage they have. The Queen of the Mists with three different bloodlines within two generations is a clear example and Toby and Luna theorize later on that part of the reason Rayseline went so far off the reservation was due to her heritage.
  • Back from the Dead: Countess Evening Winterrose who was actually never dead, and it's such an amazing miracle to the fae that they never consider that might not be a good thing.
    • Alex, and the Luidaeg, both courtesy of Toby's Dochas Sidhe powers.
  • Bad Dreams: About being a fish.
  • Badass Family: Any of the Firstborn, because they're only one remove from Oberon/Titania, Oberon/Maeve, or Oberon/____.
    • Team Toby. May is technically and legally her sister. Quentin qualifies as her ward. And that is not taking into account Toby's blood relatives: Amandine, and her aunt the Luidaeg, who also now owes Toby a life debt.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Toby has to be this in Rosemary and Rue for the Torquills
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: October and Tybalt
  • Beneath Suspicion: How Oleander gets into Shadowed Hills
  • Benevolent Boss: Sylvester and January
  • Big Eater: Quentin, as befits a teenaged boy. Any time food is offered, he responds with an enthusiastic will. He often stashes snacks in his pockets.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: All of the Firstborn are this
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Lucky Charms in coffee instead of milk
  • Blood Magic: The Daoine Sidhe (and any changelings descended from them) are particularly good at it, as are The Luidaeg many other faeries descended from Maeve.
    • Dochas Sidhe are even better.
  • Blood Upgrade: Amandine and Toby both get big powerups from being near blood, as do most Daoine Sidhe. Even more pronounced later when Amandine changes the balance of Toby's blood
  • Break the Cutie: What becoming part of Blind Michael's ride did to Quentin's human girlfriend, and several other children stolen for that purpose.
    • A different instance of breaking the cutie at the hands of Oleander and Simon, involving keeping her in a formless, dark nothingness for years is why Rayseline is Ax-Crazy.
  • Broken Bird: Toby and the Luidaeg
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Toby gets a chance with Amandine, but it doesn't actually help much.
  • The Call Left A Message: Countess Evening Winterrose's phone message.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Most magic for Toby except, ironically, Blood Magic
  • Cats Are Magic: Faerie superstition goes that, so long as a cat exists, the memory of the fae will go on.
  • Cats Are Mean: This is a truism for the entire Cait Sidhe population, if you translate "mean" to indicate "bloodthirsty and dangerous." Their rites of ascension are all barbarous and bloody — a royal kitten is not considered worthy for ascension if they can't hold their own in a fight. That said, individual Cait Sidhe can be as mean or as kind as their inclinations permit. Tybalt, for example, begins the series cold, sarcastic, and aloof, but as he and Toby work together more often and grow closer, she (and the reader) sees that he's actually kind-hearted, affectionate, and honorable.
  • Cats Are Superior: The entire Cait Sidhe population have smugness as a racial trait, at least this is what Toby thinks when she meets Raj. It might have something to do with them being specifically outside of the political structure that strangles Faerie. There is nothing the royals can actually do to the Cait Sidhe and they are well aware of this detail. "A Cat can look at a king," after all.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: One of the boons of being the local King or Queen of Cats is more than one life, but not as many as nine. Tybalt doesn't share the exact number.
  • Celestial Deadline: Sunrise burns away magic, dissolving most spells.
  • Cessation of Existence: Almost everyone who dies in ALH
  • Character Witness: Danny, the troll cab driver who befriends Toby tells her that her money is no good here due to Toby's having helped his sister. But he also stands as a literal character witness when one of the royals tries to set Toby up in a slanted trial.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In Rosemary and Rue:
    The Luidaeg: You never did give me my receipt, honey.
  • Clear My Name: Most of Late Eclipses
  • Clear Their Name: Toby has to do this for an entire kingdom in One Salt Sea
  • Commonality Connection: Tybalt and May, or so May assures Toby.
  • Compelling Voice: The part-Banshee, part-Siren Queen, whose speaking voice can inflict pain or compulsion on the listener. If she sings...
    • Eira Rosynhwyr can do this to any of her descendants or those who swear loyalty to them
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Faerie in general, particularly when it comes to Blind Michael's escapades
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Tybalt does this when Toby is getting over severe iron poisoning
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Most purebloods are implied to be this, since no one in faerie lives poor if they don't have to
  • Crush Blush: Toby, when Tybalt compliments her looks.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Evening's starts off the series
  • Cry into Chest: Tybalt and Connor both serve as handkerchiefs on occasion.
  • Cue the Sun: Played straight and inverted. Fae magic burns away at dawn and spells must be replenished. And certain fae races have things that happen for them at sunset.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Toby goes to the Luidaeg to find one
  • Dances and Balls: The Beltane Ball at Shadowed Hills is a plot point in Late Eclipses. According to Toby, Fae parties can last longer than fourteen years.
    • "The Winter Long" begins with a celebration ball.
  • Dangerous Workplace: ALH
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: As the Fae are nocturnal, they often deal poorly with sudden bright light. When Toby is getting over severe iron poisoning after being kept in a pitch-black prison in Late Eclipses, her eyes are extremely sensitive and painful.
  • Deal with the Devil: Toby's deal with the Luidaeg seemed like one at first, but eventually the Luidaeg asked for a favor in return that left them square.
  • Death Notification: Connor comments that he has to do this for a selkie that died in ALH
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: the Blood Road's toll is a painless version of this
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Happens to Connor
  • Debt Detester: All of Faerie
  • Deceptive Legacy: Played with:
    • Amandine is deceptive to Toby and pretty much most of the rest of the faerie about Toby's true bloodlines.
    • in Ashes of Honor. Bridget is a folklore professor and knows that the father of her child isn't human, but because all she has is folklore, she gets a lot wrong about what he really is. Of course, she passes the wrong info to her child, with the best of intentions and desire to protect.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Toby has to do this at the end of An Artificial Night
  • Delinquent: Manuel, Dare and everyone else at Home
  • Destructive Romance: Devin and Toby's, also Oleander and Simon
  • Disappeared Dad: Mainly because he was unaware of the child's existence, Sir Etienne of Shadowed Hills. Once he becomes aware of the child's existence, he steps up and the trope stops applying.
  • Doctor's Orders: Jin tries this in Ashes of Honor
  • Does Not Know How To Say Thanks: All of Faerie
  • Dreaming Of Things Gone By: Karen ends up with this ability
  • Doppelgänger: Used in Rosemary and Rue: an assassin takes the shape of Toby's now-teenage and very estranged daughter Gillian.
    • In the third book, Toby meets her fetch, a perfect copy of herself that is supposed to guide her to her death.
  • Dwindling Party: The group in ALH goes from seven people down to two
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Tybalt, after just barely surviving an attack on his life, finally tells Toby how he feels about her. But it turns out not to really be a dying declaration as medical attention gets administered shortly thereafter.
  • Dying Race: the Roane
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Toby has no trouble appreciating Tybalt's skin-tight leather pants
  • Emergency Impersonation: May has to do this for Toby every once and a while
  • Enemy Mine: Raysel and Oleander's partnership
  • Entitled Bastard: Dugan Harrow, and Quentin until Toby befriends him
  • Equivalent Exchange: The Luidaeg runs on this
  • Everyone Can See It: Toby and Tybalt
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Samson
  • Face Death with Dignity: Toby, often
  • The Fair Folk: Some Purebloods, especially the most insane or the Firstborn, fall into this.
  • Faking the Dead: Evening Winterrose
  • Famed In-Story: Toby after An Artificial Night
  • Fantastic Drug: Goblin fruit. It's cultivated by purebloods to cause pleasant dreams and a nice distraction from mortals encroaching on the world. But for changelings and humans, it's instantly and unbreakably addictive - until overindulgence or withdrawal kills them.
  • Fantastic Racism: Changelings are seen as inferior by many pureblood fae, and some of them are very nasty about it. Since October herself is not only a Changeling but the first one to ever be granted a knighthood, this comes up a lot.
    • The Dryads are all nasty to April because she's a cyber-dryad rather than one tied to a tree.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Arguably, what happens to everyone who dies at ALH, because their memories aren't preserved by the nighthaunts. January doesn't even get digitized into the computer, so she's the first truly gone fairy in a long time.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: the Luidaeg knows that her brother isn't someone to challenge lightly
  • Fiery Cover-Up : Often the result of the Changeling's Choice, no matter what the child actually chose
  • Finger in the Mail: The Lorden's receive a box with Dean's finger in One Salt Sea
  • Fingore: The kidnapper in One Salt Sea sends one of the victims' fingers to their family.
  • Fisher King: The knowes reflect the styles of their owners/rulers, and mourn if their owner/ruler is killed.
    • Subverted with Goldengreen: As of One Salt Sea, Toby regards the pixies and bogeys as the owners of the knowe because the knowe does... and possibly because Toby is a changeling rather than a pureblood. This changes when Dean becomes Count of Goldengreen.
  • Flower Motifs: Luna gives Connor a basket of love-lies-a-bleeding and love-in-idleness to beg him to love her daughter.
    • Toby receives a bouquet of blue and white ice roses plus rosebay from someone who is magically bound from speaking as a way of warning her.
    • Tybalt presents Toby with a message bouquet in "No Sooner Met".
  • Friendship Moment: the Luidaeg has lots of these in book 3, but the ending in particular is a nice one. Ditto book 5.
  • Fugitive Arc: Toby spends the latter part of Late Eclipses fleeing justice
  • Gaslighting: In Late Eclipses, Oleander and Rayseline conspire to murder a number of Toby's friends and pin the murders on Toby herself. Part of their plan is to use drugs and illusions to make Toby herself think she's nuts. They almost succeed.
  • Genre Savvy: Quentin, who knows better than to believe Toby saying "I'll be right back" after May gets him watching horror movies.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Blind Michael's MO
  • Give Me a Sword: Sylvester loans his to Toby.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: the Queen of the Mists is not a stable monarch by any means
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Toby's scars from the bullets with which she was shot during her first adventure are significant in the second, as she draws attention to them to advise her Sidekick that it isn't all fun and games.
  • Graceful in Their Element: All of the sea fae
  • Groin Attack: Etienne does this to Dugan the Daoine Sidhe since the latter was holding an iron knife and that meant that all bets were off regarding a fair fight.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Also quarter-human, three-quarters-human, five-sixteeths-human... The more human a character is, the less illusion they need to pass themselves off as normal, but the less magical power they possess.
  • Healing Factor: Toby heals faster than a human would and even faster than most fae after Amandine's intervention
  • Healing Spring: Any Undine's spring
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Toby has lost a lot
  • Heroic RROD: Toby about halfway through Rosemary and Rue
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Connor the Selkie jumped in front of a projectile meant for October's daughter Gillian.
  • He's Dead, Jim: The fae don't handle death well, but they can tell when someone's died: "She was cold and didn't respond to us calling her name!"
  • Historical Rap Sheet: Oleander has one that scares even adult fae
  • Honorary Uncle: Toby is "Auntie Birdie" to all of Mitch and Stacy's kids.
    • Also Sylvester to Gillian, apparently.
  • Hurting Hero: Toby, often
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: May's blue and magenta hair streaks
  • Identity Absorption: The night-haunts
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the book titles come from Shakespeare:
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Genre Savvy Tybalt recognizes Quentin hinting at it in "No Sooner Met". Quentin says his interrogation of the Cait Sidhe is nothing compared to what May Daye has in store for him.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Oleander and Raysel at the end of Late Eclipses, though Oleander wasn't expecting it from Raysel
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Toby has a wide variety of these, given the nature of the fae.
  • Interspecies Romance: Most romances in this series are between different lines of the Fae or between Fae, Changelings, and/or humans. Extra points go to the Lourdens for having a land fae marrying a sea fae.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Toby spent fourteen years as a fish in a koi pond.
  • Irrational Hatred: Both Julie and Raysel hate Toby for things that were out of her control
  • I Shall Taunt You: Toby does this in One Salt Sea to throw the kidnapper off balance.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Toby about any of her failures
  • It's Personal: Raysel goes too far in One Salt Sea when she kidnaps Gilly
  • It Was a Gift: After the events at ALH, Quentin was gifted with the hippocampi.
  • I Want Grandkids: Toby guesses this for Luna and quickly realizes it's implausible.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: How Oleander got into Shadowed Hills
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Used against the Tea Gardens whenever possible to try to force them to give up their independence
  • Kangaroo Court: the Queen of the Mists tries this on Toby in Late Eclipses
  • Kill It with Fire: This is one of the humanity's potential reactions to the truth of the Fae (which is why the Fae are so secretive), the other being They Would Cut You Up.
    • This is also one of the crueler Fae punishments for breakers of Oberon's Law. They get tied to a tree and burn to death.
  • Knife Nut: Toby, courtesy of Dare
  • Lamarck Was Right: Toby inherited her mother's Blood Magic
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Melly's response to Etienne's attempts to take Toby and Connor to see Sylvester in Late Eclipses
  • Light Is Not Good: Titania's children are much more bloodthirsty than Maeve's
  • Long-Lost Relative: The Luidaeg is Toby's aunt!
    • In Ashes of Honor, Etienne's daughter, who has been hidden from him for her entire life, is revealed to him.
    • In Chimes At Midnight, Toby discovers some long lost relatives of King Gilead.
    • In The Winter Long, It's revealed that Simon Torquill is October's stepfather and through his marriage to Amandine, she has a half sister named August.
  • Love Martyr: Luna is this for Rayseline after Rayseline's attempt at murdering her.
  • Love-Obstructing Parents: Connor's forbid him from seeing Toby
  • MacGuffin:
    • In Rosemary and Rue it's the chest Toby entrusts to Tybalt.
    • In Ashes of Honor, there are two: Chelsea is one; Riordan's necklace the other.
  • Mad Scientist: The staff of ALH. Mad coders, maybe.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: Subverted as ALH uses both together in A Local Habitation.
  • Make Up Is Evil: It can look like a downtown whore if overdone.
  • Mama Bear: Toby. Although Stacy is a mother whose kids are still present, she falls apart when they're endangered. Toby, on the other hand, rushes to the rescue of other people's children (and her own), and Oberon help anything that gets in her way.
    • The trait runs in the family. In Late Eclipses, we see that Amandine will mess you up if you threaten her child.
    • Dianda Lorden, who also is an Action Mom, and loves a good fight.
  • The Masquerade: Fairies do not go out in public without illusions in order to maintain this. According to Toby, it's because most of them fear that the humans would kill any Fae that showed themselves, as apparently happened in the past, or that Fae would be kidnapped and vivisected to learn how they tick.
  • The Matchmaker: the hobs in Shadowed Hills
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Toby, often in the last third of any given book
  • Missing Mom: Toby became one without her consent when she was turned into a fish for 14 years.
    • Amandine is counted among the missing as well, though she does show up when the chips are down.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Connor and Toby
  • Monster Progenitor: All of the firstborn, to varying extents
  • Motive Rant: Raysel gives one to Toby in Late Eclipses
  • Muggle-and-Magical Love Triangle: Cliff and Devin for Toby
  • Muggles: The humans who wander the world unaware that the faerie are real. Toby worked among them in Rosemary and Rue and stayed in a hotel full of them in A Local Habitation.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Toby points out that for all the wonders of Faerie, it took mortals to come up with flush toilets
  • Never Say "Die": Played with; the fae, left unmolested, are pretty much immortal. Not so much the changelings. When murder happens, though, among the nobility, there are explicit and elaborate forms full of flowery euphemisms for announcing when someone has died. For brevity, these are sometimes shortened to "(Person) has stopped their dancing."
  • Never Split the Party: Genre Savvy Toby knows this, and so does her young assistant. Too bad people refuse to stay together...
    • Lampshaded by May in Ashes of Honor who flat out asks why Toby is splitting the party Scooby-Doo style.
  • No Bisexuals: Averted- Liz has at least had relationships with both sexes.
    • Tybalt as well, as per Forbid the Sea.
      • Word of God is that every character except for Toby (who had a 1950's upbringing) should be considered bisexual. Fae are flexible like that.
  • Non-Linear Character: Mary the Roane appears to be this.
  • No Periods, Period: Played with. Toby implies "female troubles" to get a male to quit trying to ask her questions.
  • The Nose Knows: Tybalt, though he repeatedly stresses that he's not a bloodhound.
    • Madden isn't a bloodhound either, but at least he's a Cu Sidhe.
    • Where magic is concerned, Toby herself. To the point she can smell through glamours. This is implied to be another trait of the Dochas Sidhe.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Blind Michael's children
  • The Oathbreaker: Changelings have a reputation for this, whether rightly or no.
  • Offered the Crown: Toby gets An Offer You Can't Refuse to become Countess of Goldengreen. Sounds awesome, but it puts her life way at risk. She passes it off to Dean in "One Salt Sea."
  • Oh Crap!: Toby gets hit with an evil pie in Chimes at Midnight. Not such an "oh crap" moment by itself, except the filling is instantly and unbreakably addictive; requiring her to eat more or starve to death in withdrawal.
  • Oh My Gods!: The Fae swear by their sacred trees ("Oak and ash!"), by the names of their progenitors ("Maeve's tits!"), or by other terms sacred to them ("Root and branch!").
  • The One Who Made It Out: Toby is this for Home
  • Open Sesame: The phrase actually opens one of the doors of Goldengreen in Rosemary and Rue.
  • Oracular Urchin: Karen eventually
  • Our Mermaids Are Different
  • Out-of-Character Alert: If Toby is cheerful in the daytime, be wary and beware.
  • Papa Wolf: There are several males in the series whose kids you just really don't want to mess with under any circumstances.
    • Sylvester Torquill, toward Toby and his own daughter Rayseline.
    • Sir Etienne, toward his own daughter, Chelsea.
    • Tybalt, toward Raj.
  • The Pardon: At the end of Late Eclipses, Sylvester delivers one, signed by the High King himself, to save Toby from execution. Given Quentin's true identity, it's not hard to tell how he arranged it.
  • Parental Substitute: Sylvester toward Toby.
  • Peaceful in Death: Most of the people who died at ALH
  • Petting Zoo People: The Cait Sidhe and Kitsune look like people but have cat and fox ears (and tails) respectively. Cu Sidhe are similar to Cait Sidhe, but as dogs instead of cats.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: October Daye gets her Call to Adventure in Rosemary and Rue by receiving a phone call from the murder victim, who happens to be a fae, and who geases Toby into solving the case.
  • Pink Elephants: Toby hopes that a shrieking mermaid in a wheelchair will be taken for this, rather than a sign of the existence of Faerie.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Raj backs Toby up in asking Tybalt not to kill Julie for attacking her
  • Please Wake Up: Toby to Tybalt
  • Poisoned Weapons: Oleander's MO, later [[spoilers: Raysel's]]
  • Poison Is Evil: Oleander
  • Poisonous Friend: Devin is this for everyone, Toby is implied to have been this for Julie, though she grew out of it.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Subverted. April is ALH's intercom system. She was a dryad who lost her tree, so they worked her into the circuitry of a server to save her.
    • The endangered child in Ashes of Honor is pretty much used as a generator for teleportation magic to the point of being used up.
  • Power Incontinence: Toby explains in "No Sooner Met" that she now prefers her steak well done because her Dochas Sidhe Blood Magic will treat her to the cow's last moments if she eats it rare enough to still be bleeding. It was mentioned earlier in the series that riding someone else's death could very well kill Toby if she can't pull free of the psychometry in time..
  • Power Nullifier: Mixed up by Walther for Toby in Book 6 in case it worked on the child Toby was hired to find. Unfortunately, due to extreme injury, Toby didn't get to tell anyone that there was a counteragent to it that could be used within a certain time limit for anyone who got the nullifier on them besides the target. Whoops.
  • The Promise: Part and parcel of faerie magic. Extremely Serious Business.
  • Promotion Not Punishment: How Toby got Goldengreen
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Migraines are a constant hazard for Toby after she uses magic
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Oleander
  • Psychopomp: May and Jazz, in different ways
  • Public Execution: Toby barely escaped one, Dugan wasn't so lucky.
  • Rags to Royalty: Luna looks like this but the reality is...more complicated.
  • Reclining Reigner: The Queen in the Mists
  • Recruited From The Gutter: Most of Devin's kids
  • Releasing from the Promise: Toby knows that if she asked Sylvester to release her from fealty to him, he'd do so. She'd never ask.
  • Reluctant Ruler: According to some of the fae history unearthed in Toby's adventures, many of the Kings and Queens of the fae were unwilling to rise to the positions of power they ended up in due to the tendency of royalty to be assassinated by others who want the throne. Most recently this is true for the true heir to the Kingdom of the Mists, who has been terrorized all her life by the pretender to the throne.
  • The Resenter: Raysel
  • Revenge Before Reason: Julie
  • Room Full of Crazy: Raysel's bedroom
  • Royally Screwed Up: All of the Firstborn
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Sylvester and Luna Torquill, the Lordens, Toby as well, after she gets a title, and Quentin, who it turns out is the Crown Prince of the whole western hemisphere. The Torquills in particular have a 100% Adoration Rating and are very active in running their Duchy.
  • Rule of Seven: Brought up as the length of time it took for Toby to be declared dead. Interestingly, she was gone as a fish 14 (twice seven) years. It is also the amount of time in the mundane world that many legalities recognize as having had to pass before someone is declared legally dead.
  • Rule of Three: Threes are very important to the fae.
  • Sanity Slippage: During Toby's missing 14 years, Sylvester had a back-and-forth case stemming from the grief of missing his wife, his child, and one of his most beloved knights.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Toby and Tybalt frequently have entire conversations this way.
  • Science Is Useless: Averted by Walther
  • Second Love: Tybalt confesses that his love for Toby is this.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Rayseline attempts this.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: Dear God, their Origin Story...
  • Senseless Waste Of Human Life: the Wild Hunt
  • Shapeshifting Lover: Pureblooded Gean-Cannah.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Toby, with help from Stacy, May and Luna
  • Shout-Out:
    Toby: The First Rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club.
  • So Proud of You: Toby refers to this to Quentin in Ashes of Honor
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: the Luidaeg
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Pureblood and human relationships are almost always star-crossed. Toby refers to this as the "faerie bride" act, and notes that it never ends well.
  • Suicide Mission: Luna sends Toby on one
  • Supernatural Phone: The landlines and cellphones owned by the faerie are all magicked for privacy and to work under odd magical conditions where technology ordinarily would not function, generally by the folks at ALH Computing.
    • The Luidaeg's in particular deserves special mention as it is weird even by faerie standards. Beyond not actually being connected to anything, in order to dial it Toby has to press random numbers in random patterns while doing a spell and then gets odd noise before the connection will finally go through.
  • Supporting Leader: Sylvester
  • Synchronization: May freaks out when this starts happening again between her and Toby
  • Take Cover: Toby has to say this a lot
  • Talk About the Weather: Toby tries this on Tybalt in Ashes of Honor. It's about as effective as such conversational gambits usually are.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: An oneiromancer power. Toby swiftly grows used to dream-visits by Karen after the latter is revealed as an Oneiromancer in An Artificial Night.
  • Tangled Family Tree: All of Faerie is descended from three people
  • Technicolor Fire: A Candela's merry dancers
  • Teleportation: The province of the Tuatha De Danaan, though several other types of fae have the ability to some extent.
  • Temporal Theme Naming: So far, in addition to October, we've seen a January, an April, a May, a June, and an August. January and April are related by adoption. May was originally October's Fetch. In the third book, Lily comments, "Whatever will we do when the months of the year are used entirely?" Word of God says that in Faerie, it's rude to name someone directly after someone else, but honoring somebody by using a name with a related meaning is acceptable. October's name is somehow connected with September Torquill, January's mother.
    • Gillian means "July". Word of God says this is deliberate.
    • Let's not forget Evening Winterrose.
      • Who had a sister named Dawn.
  • The Older Immortal: The Luidaeg - and pretty much any other Firstborn. Toby comments in one book about the inadvisability of taunting someone who has firsthand experience of continental drift.
  • They Died Because of You: Easiest way to guilt trip Toby
  • Think Nothing of It: As Faerie thinks of thanks as implying further obligation from the party receiving the thanks, anything that even smacks of gratitude gets this from the fae; the only exception is in the case where there's already a bond of fealty between the two parties.
  • Time Skip: A few months have passed between Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation. And An Artificial Night takes place in 2010. Word of God says the 2014 date is a mistake that somehow escaped all proofreading.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Toby gets a massive powerup and finds out that she's not Daoine Sidhe when Amandine saves her from dying by elfshot. She becomes less human and starts to resemble her mother more.
  • Trail Of Breadcrumbs: Toby wishes for this on one of her adventures into deeper Faerie.
  • Transformation Trauma: Toby in Book 1 after the events at the Gardens.
    • All the children Blind Michael warped into riders and ridden, particularly Katie, who remained aware as he slowly turned her into a horse.
  • Triang Relations: Type 7, with Connor, Rayseline, and Toby. Not so much anymore, now that Raysel is out of the picture.
    • And then there's the Connor-Toby-Tybalt triangle, though Connor's death removes one side of it.
  • Too Hungry To Be Polite: Toby, often
  • Twang Hello: Toby saves Patrick Lorden from this in their first meeting
  • Unable to Cry: Once Toby realized how long she had been gone.
  • Undying Loyalty: Toby doesn't just work for Sylvester - he's her liege, and she honors, loves, and respects him for his person as well as his office.
  • Unequal Pairing: January's parents, the Lordens
  • Unholy Matrimony: Oleander and Simon seem to have this, even without the actual matrimony
  • Unusual Ears: All of the fae
  • Unusual Euphemism: Fae swear by their own gods, and they swear on the things that are sacred to them. They don't completely fail to use human profanity, it just mingles in.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Connor and Toby, both, to each other.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Connor to Rayseline, and vice versa.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • The Usurper: the Queen in the Mists
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Selkies and Cait Sidhe, among others
  • War Is Hell: A major part of One Salt Sea, even though Toby succeeds in stopping the war in time.
  • Wham Line: In Late Eclipses:
    ...if he'd said "By the way, you're not Daoine Sidhe...", I would have laughed him out of the room.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Tempting Fate is pretty much at its worst when the faerie do it.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Toby likens the Luidaeg to her own personal Q from James Bond, since she provides Toby with needed transformation spells, information, etc.
  • The Wild Hunt: An Artificial Night.
  • Will Talk for a Price: Bucer O'Malley in One Salt Sea
  • With Due Respect: "Not to be rude or anything."
  • Villains Out Shopping: Treasa Riordan has an active World of Warcraft account and schedules court business around raids.
  • A Year and a Day: Walther's anti-magic potion lasts this long.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Evening, who only ever called Toby 'October', resorts to calling her Toby in her last answering machine message.
    • Tybalt has a number of nicknames for Toby, several of which she hates, but only calls her October when he's very worried about her.
  • You Have Failed Me: Played with. Overdramatic Etienne, wracked with guilt over a slip of discretion during Toby's missing years makes him feel this way, although Sylvester Torquill is one of the kindest, nicest, and most forgiving of the fae — and that's saying a lot given how nasty most of the powerful ones are.
  • You Meddling Kids: Invoked by Toby herself, when the Big Bad of One Salt Sea got called out as such. She really does have meddling kids, too: Quentin and Raj.
  • You Must Be Cold: Six pages into A Local Habitation, Tybalt lends Toby his leather jacket because "You look cold." As of the end of Late Eclipses, three books later, she still has it. Tybalt goes off with it and then returns it via May in One Salt Sea.
  • Yandere: Simon could be seen as a non-romantic one for Toby. His ideas for protecting her including turning her into a fish and trying to turn her into a tree