Beneath the Sugar Sky
By Seanan McGuire
Hardcover, 174 pages
When a girl wearing a dress made of cake falls from the sky and lands in the turtle pond at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, some of the students find themselves on a quest to help the new girl save herself and find her mother. But the group will have to travel to the underworld because the girl’s mother died before she was even conceived.
The third novella in the Wayward Children series, this book continues where Every Heart a Doorway left off, but also touches on the world one of the students, Sumi, came from. As usual, this book didn’t disappoint.
I didn’t even read the blurb before pre-ordering Sugar Skies, though I gathered from the title that it would deal with the crazy confection-based world Sumi wandered into. What I didn’t realize is that it would also take place after the events of Doorway, whereas Sticks and Bones is only a prequel. I enjoyed that it touched on both the past and present and introduced some new students.
Kade is back as a leading character, assisted by Christopher (the boy who wants to marry the Skeleton Princess) and of course, there’s Rini, Sumi’s daughter, and the newest student, Cora and her friend Nadya. We get to hear a bit about Cora’s life as a mermaid (I really hope she gets her own book) and more about Christopher’s world as well. The kids also get to visit Nancy in her Underworld.
I loved how many students and worlds were involved in this book. I seriously hope McGuire writes, like, a million books in this series. I need to know about every world and every student!
Rini and Sumi’s world is like Candyland gone mad and while we don’t get to see what it was like from Sumi’s perspective, we are given quite a bit of insight into her past adventures, from the eyes of her daughter. McGuire’s characters continue to be diverse in culture, sexual orientation, body type and personality and I love how inclusive and open-minded her stories are.
As usual with all the novellas I read (I feel like everything is a novella recently), I don’t want to say too much because the book is so short. If you’ve enjoyed the other Wayward Children books, I don’t see why you wouldn’t love this one as well! If you haven’t read it and think any of these sounds interesting, I suggest you run out and grab yourself a copy of Every Heart a Doorway ASAP!