Regan is having a hard time with her friend group. After one of her friends inadvertently makes ‘queen bee’ Laurel mad, Regan chooses the security being close to said popular girl brings, and the other girl is shunned. But when Regan learns something upsetting and confusing about herself, she makes the mistake of confiding in Laurel, who takes it badly and mocks her. Regan runs away from school, but while heading home, she stumbles upon a doorway in the trees that says ‘be sure’. She walks through it.
Transported to another world, Regan is now in the Hooflands, where centaurs, kelpies, and other magical creatures roam. Welcomed into a family of centaurs, Regan learns that she will one day be called upon to save this world. It’s what humans do here. But until then, she lives and grows up with her found family, allowed to be truly herself. When the time comes, will she face the dangers to save a world she’s come to love?
I have really enjoyed the Wayward Children series so far, but this one is not my favourite. It’s a standalone, so we don’t meet any of the characters we know, or see the school they live in. It’s an entry point to the series if you want to see if it’s your cup of tea, but given it’s mostly set entirely in the Hooflands, it doesn’t give the best idea of what the main series is about. At least in my mind. It’s a bit…nicer? Softer? Much of the book is Regan living happily among her new family without a care in the world. Sure, there’s a kidnapping attempt, but it’s resolved quickly, and never was I worried about her wellbeing. These books are always short, but this feel especially so, quickly wrapping up the saving of the world with no hardship for Regan. Yes, she heads back to the ‘real world’ but we see nothing that happens to her there. A longer epilogue would have been appreciated. I’m not sure if we’ll see more of her in future books. I will keep reading them, but for me this isn’t the one to start with. Just go to the beginning.