Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third instalment in the Wayward Children series from Seanan McGuire, letting us visit other worlds in this incredibly diverse and imagination universe.
Children have long disappeared through doorways and tumbled down holes in the ground and into adventure, and sometimes those children come back. Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children gives those children a place where they can be themselves, away from prying eyes and worried parents who’d prefer their children were just their old selves again.
In this instalment we get to know Cora, a girl who escaped our world which thought of her as ‘fat’ and found one in which the thing which made her different made her fit, insulating her from the cold waters she inhabited as a mermaid. Cora’s found that so far, coming back to this world has been a bit of a downer. But that all changes when a girl literally lands with a splash in the school pond one day, claiming to be the daughter of book one’s murder victim (who died much too young to have a child).
The fact that her mother ceased to exist before Rini, the pond girl, was born means that Rini is now literally disappearing, and so a small troupe from Eleanor West’s home are sent to try and fix things before Rini disappears entirely.
While not quite as good as its predecessor, I really enjoyed this adventure which not only let us visit more worlds and continues to really celebrates people’s differences. And to be fair, I loved Down Among the Sticks and Bones so intensely that it was always going to be a hard act to follow.
I’m already looking forward to who I’m going to meet next.