Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
“Adults can still tumble down rabbit holes and into enchanted wardrobes, but it happens less and less with every year they live. Maybe this is a natural consequence of living in a world where being careful is a necessary survival trait, where logic wears away the potential for something bigger and better than the obvious.”
Beneath the Sugar Sky was magical, lyrical, atmospheric and slightly strange, but a wonderful companion novel to continue the Wayward Children series.
Since this is a review of a companion novel in a series, below may contain spoilers for Every Heart A Doorway, if you haven’t read this novel, don’t read any further. You have been warned.
Beneath the Sugar Sky returns back to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. This magical boarding school takes in children who have entered portals and returned back to the ‘real’ world and struggle to assimilate back into society.
Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. In the world of confection, she was born anyway and now it is her job to bring her Mother back from the ‘real’world that stole her away too early.
Beneath the Sugar Sky is book three in the Wayward Children series, following on from the events of Every Heart A Doorway. This novel surrounds characters we met within Every Heart A Doorway, and has some fantastic cameo’s of characters that I longed to see.
Seanan McGuire continues to leave me speechless with her writing style. Her writing is always lyrical and flowery, and really keeps the reader captivated. With this story set in many different worlds and environments, the descriptions Seanan adds really assisted the novel. The worlds are beautiful crafted with unique flourishes, and give the reader a clear vision of what Seanan imagined.
With Beneath the Sugar Sky, I did feel I wasn’t as connected to the story as I was in previous books in this series. The plot, although interesting, was lacking a wow factor that draws readers in. I feel like the plot packed in a lot of portal worlds experiences, and the world building is like no other, but I didn’t care as much as I would of expected.
One of my favourite parts of the Wayward Children series is the characters, they are unique, diverse, entertaining and developed. We were able to step back into the adventure with characters we already had met, and it was great to reconnect with them and see where life has taken them. The diversity is something that really stands out to me within Beneath the Sugar Sky and Seanan’s writing. All of her stories include a cast of characters with different backgrounds, shapes and sizes, mental illness and LGBTQIA+ identifiers! It is beautiful and inclusive of all people, which makes for a fantastic and realistic read, even if it is set in a magical world.
Overall, I enjoyed Beneath the Sugar Sky, although I don’t believe it lived up to Down Among the Sticks and Bones. I enjoy Seanan’s way of story telling, and the diversity that she adds into every novel. I highly recommend this one for anyone who wants a short adventurous read through magical worlds.
Favourite Quote: “Sometimes that’s all you can do. Just keep getting through until you don’t have to do it anymore, however much time that takes, however difficult it is.”
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