Short Story: Forbid The Sea, by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye

Where I got it: – free download

Forbid The Sea is a story set in the world of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye novels, and tells part of the story of Tybalt, the King of Cats. It continues on from the story told in Rat-Catcher (available as part of the A Fantasy Medley 2 anthology), in which Tybalt, then known as Rand, ascends from his place as Prince to the ruler of the Court of Cats before fire and plague fall upon London in 1866. In Forbid The Sea, we find Tybalt wandering his territory alone, ten years later, before gathering his Court back together. In a coastal town, he meets a Selkie named Dylan, and for a while his loneliness is chased away. But there’s more to Dylan than meets the eye…

Of all the characters in the Toby Daye series of books, Tybalt is my favourite – and after jumping at the chance to grab this story for free on the author’s website, I have to say I quite enjoyed it. I tend to enjoy any story that gives me a richer understanding of characters I love, and this is no exception. After this, I just have to get myself back into Toby’s world for more*.

Beyond the character insight, McGuire writes her setting beautifully as well. I could easily imagine myself right there in the town Tybalt wanders through – heck, it practically gave me itchy feet of my own. It’s interesting to me, as well, that she pulls the same trick off well with another of her short stories, In Sea-Salt Tears (to be reviewed soon), also set in a coastal area. Her settings are always evocative, and as purely aesthetic aspects of storytelling go, that’s one I admire. I’d definitely come back for more of her short stories, both for the Toby universe and for Tybalt himself. 

* Happily, Chimes At Midnight, the next Toby novel, is out now and in my gleeful bookworm hands. SOON.

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