Thursday, 15 November 2018
Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire
Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire's Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world.
When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)
If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests...
A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.
Warning: May contain nuts.
The Wayward Children Series:
Every Heart a Doorway
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
Beneath the Sugar Sky
In an Absent Dream
Come Tumbling Down (2020)
Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information
I think one of the things I love most about this series is how different each of the stories are. Every Heart a Doorway was set mainly in Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children and although lots of other worlds are mentioned we don't really get to visit them. Down Among the Sticks and Bones is Jack & Jill's prequel story and we get to explore the dark and creepy world of the Moors based on the Dracula and Frankenstein books. Now, in Beneath the Sugar Sky, we get to explore the illogical but bright and fun candy filled world of Confection that Sumi was supposed to find her way back to before she was murdered in the first book.
It had been prophesied that Sumi would return to Confection and save it from an evil queen but her death has ruined everything. When a girl called Rini literally falls out of the sky and lands in the pond at the Home for Wayward Children looking for her mother people are shocked to realise she's looking for Sumi who died long before she could have had children. Rini is slowly ceasing to exist and unless they can find a way to bring Sumi back from the dead the whole of Confection is in trouble.
I had so much fun exploring the nonsense world of Confection, just imagine a place where the sea is made of strawberry soda, the ground beneath your feet is made from chocolate brownies and castles are build from bricks of gingerbread, sweets literally grow on trees and you can even pluck the stars out of the sky because they're really made of candy. Pretty much everything you look at is edible so it's a dream world for anyone with a sweet tooth!
I loved getting the chance to catch up with previous characters but it was also great to meet some new additions like Rini and especially Cora. Seanan McGuire is constantly giving us diverse characters and breaking stereotypes which is something I really appreciate and can't wait to see more of as the series continues. I honestly hope that we get a story for each of these kids, I want to see them all find their way back to the worlds that felt like home.
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Hardback / Kindle: