Review Blog

Nov 29 2019

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

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Wayward Children book 3. St Martin's Press, 2018. ISBN: 9780765393586. 176p.
(Age: 15+) Recommended for fantasy lovers. Anyone who loves baking and the idea of a world called Confection and made of sweets, will delight in this whimsical and unique story. Rini comes from the land of Confection to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children searching for her mother Sumi, and is appalled to find that she died years before she was conceived. Reality doesn't get in the way and with Cora, Kade and Nadya she goes on a quest to find her mother.
The first two books in the series, Every heart a doorway and Down among the sticks and bones, were very dark but McGuire strikes a lighter tone in Beneath the sugar sky, as perhaps could be expected with the land of Confection being a star in the story. McGuire also explores how Cora feels about the way people treat her for being fat and makes some pertinent and telling comments about that.
At 176 pages, this was a quick but complex read. It is advertised as a stand alone and can be read as such, but familiarity with some of the characters and the Home for Wayward Children would enhance the enjoyment of the story. With a raft of award nominations (Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novella (2019), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novella (2019), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy (2018)), it is one to pick up, with two more in the series to follow, In an Absent Dream (2019) and Come Tumbling Down (2020).
Fans will have a feast reading about the strange and unusual worlds that McGuire creates.
Pat Pledger

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