Saturday, 26 January 2019

Review: In An Absent Dream - Seanan McGuire

A stand-alone fantasy tale from Seanan McGuire's Alex award-winning Wayward Children series, which began in the Alex, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning, World Fantasy Award finalist, Tiptree Honor List Every Heart a Doorway

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

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

Review:
In An Absent Dream is the fourth story in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series and although each book can be read as a standalone I think you're best to at least start with Every Heart a Doorway as all the other books feature characters we first met there. This is Lundy's story and if you read the first book you'll probably remember her as the old woman stuck in a body that has been ageing backwards since something went wrong with a deal she made at the Goblin Market. Seriously she's in her 80's but she only looks about 7 so you can imagine how weird her life is!

Anyway, this is Lundy's story from when she actually was a child - in age not just physically. Like all of the children in Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children Lundy never quite fitted into the world she was born into, she was always a little too bookish and too prone to daydreams to have any interest in the people around her and when she stumbled upon a strange door in a tree she'd never seen before she suddenly finds herself in a place that feels much more like home. The Goblin Market isn't like any of the other worlds we've seen in this series, it's magical and full of weird and wonderful creatures but at the same time it can be incredibly dangerous.

In the Goblin Market there are rules that have to be followed:
Rule 1: Ask for nothing
Rule 2: Names have power
Rule 3: Always give fair value
Rule 4: Take what is offered and be grateful
Rule 5: Remember the Curfew

If you treat people fairly and are willing to contribute an equal share of the work you'll be fine as long as you're careful but anyone who cheats, steals or doesn't pull their weight will pay a high price.

Lundy is very young in this story, she's intelligent and well read for her age but sometimes she thinks she knows more than she actually does so she doesn't always comprehend the consequences of her actions. She tries hard to deal with the Goblin Market fairly but she doesn't always get things right and that has a huge impact on her. If you've already read Every Heart a Doorway then you'll know the direction Lundy's story takes but I found it really interesting to see how she ended up in that situation in the first place. I found the whole Market fascinating and enjoyed the characters we meet along the way.

This series is so much fun to read, I love how each book is completely different to the last and that there are still so many worlds we've not had a chance to explore yet. I'm happily going to continue to devour these stories as fast as Seanan McGuire can write them & hope we have a lot more to come.

Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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