This is the fourth book in the Wayward Children series. It follows the exploits of children who have gone through doorways into other worlds and then come back. In this book we learn the origin story of Lundy, who was a teacher at Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children, which houses these strange youths. Lundy was an interesting character who we don’t get enough of in the first book.
Eight year old Catherine Lundy has made her peace with the fact that she doesn’t fit in with the other kids. She’s a bookish, smart girl who has no interest in typically feminine things and her father is the strict principal of her school. One day she finds a door to the Goblin Market, a world whose rules are based logic and everyone giving and receiving “fair value.” Although Lundy thrives in this new world where every day is an adventure, she finds that the cost of fair value is sometimes steep and the pull of home gets stronger every time she returns there. Eventually, she will find herself making a bargain she regrets.
I’m glad to say I enjoyed this book a lot after not loving the prior book in the series. In addition to Lundy being a much more interesting character to me, this book takes a look at what happens to the families who are left behind when their children go on these quests. Previously, they had merely been depicted as obstacles to the children returning to their “real” homes. It’s a nice expansion of the Wayward Children universe.