Beneath the Sugar Sky

Author // Seanan McGuire
Publication Date // January 2018
Publisher // Pan Macmillan
Readership // Adult
Genre // Magical Realism
Rating // ✭✭✭✭

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

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.


I adore the Wayward Children series of novellas by Seanan McGuire. Despite their short length (which I one hundred percent believe is the perfect length for these tales), they pack a punch that plenty of other books lack, and Beneath the Sugar Sky is no exception.

Set after the events of Every Heart a Doorway, Sumi’s daughter, Rini, travels to Earth through a doorway in order to find her mother and set the world of Confection back on it’s nonsensical path, enlisting the help of current residents at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. 

The beauty of the premise of this particular tale is that it’s set, predominantly, in a Nonsense land, so it doesn’t make sense, and in it’s own way, it makes perfect sense. Confection, as a land, is like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory on steroids, and it’s wonderful. McGuire writes such wonderful descriptions of these worlds that it is so easy to form a picture of them in your head.

As always, the characters are on point, and we spend more time getting to know Kade and Christopher in this story, as well as new resident, Cora. It was wonderful to get inside the heads of Kade, a boy who was born a girl, and Christopher, a boy who wants to be a Skeleton, as well as mermaid, Cora (and I’d love a story set in her world). McGuire also fleshes out their worlds in more depth, helping to construct a stronger narrative understanding of the connections between them all, as well as their differences.

I will always be willing to jump blindly into a new Wayward Children story – magic and mystery await in each one.

Thank you to Netgalley for proving me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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