January 17, 2019

The Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
Just looking at the covers of these books immediately drew me in. But the stories themselves were so worth staying for. The Wayward Children series of novellas by Seanan McGuire has four books so far: Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Beneath the Sugar Sky, and In An Absent Dream. I tried to avoid spoilers, but as always, in describing multiple books in a series it is sometimes inevitable.

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
In Every Heart a Doorway, we are introduced to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. This is a school for children who have mysteriously disappeared to another world, only to return later and be deemed insane for their stories and desires to return to those worlds. Think falling down a rabbit hole or climbing through a dresser. Each world is the type of world the child is meant to be in, whether that is Nonsense or Logic based, Virtuous or Wicked, and when they return to our world after emerging from their rabbit hole, dresser drawer, etc. all they want to do is go back to where they perfectly fit in. 

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
This first story follows Nancy as she gets to know her schoolmates and longs to return to her world, The Halls of the Dead. But when people start turning up dead at the school, the children have to fight to solve the mystery.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones follows twins Jack and Jill, who were prominent characters in the first book. This is almost a prequel of sorts, as the story follows the twins when they first find their world, The Moors. This one was definitely creepy and very dark, as The Moors is a very horror movie-esque world. I think this is my favorite out of the books so far.

Beneath the Sugar Sky takes place in a Nonsense world, Confection, that's basically a huge Candy Land board. This story centers around Rini, Sumi's (a character from the first book) daughter. Rini is on a mission to turn back time and save her land from the Queen of Cakes and enlists the help of the children at Eleanor's. This was my least favorite of the four, but that's really not saying much because I still really enjoyed it! We are introduced to some new characters and worlds in this book as well.

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
In An Absent Dream also seemingly functions as a prequel, telling Miss Lundy's story from when she was a child, back in the Goblin Market, and what led her to her strange condition today. I was getting serious Labyrinth vibes from this one!

I am so in love with this series. It has the perfect mix of fantasy and realism. The plots are full of adventure or mystery. The asexual, pansexual, and trans representation in these stories is out of this world. The writing is lyrically beautiful and immersive. I've seen this compared to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, but this series is so much more than that. 

These book covers are probably the most beautiful I have ever seen, and each is actually incredibly short, making it a series that is easy to binge-read over and over again! It looks like another book in the Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down, is set for release in 2020, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Every Heart a Doorway Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Down Among the Sticks and Bones Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Beneath the Sugar Sky Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

In An Absent Dream Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Overall Series Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Ruby Jo said...

I've seen the first book so many times, but never the rest of them for some reason. I absolutely love the rest of the covers and I'm definitely intrigued by them. Your review was amazing and it convinced me to give them a try, so I'm certain I'll end up reading them in the first half of this year.

Christina Loeffler said...

I just found out about this series late last year and it's now high on my TBR - glad to see you've enjoyed them so much!

DJ Sakata said...

Yay, the whole series is a hit - that doesn't happen all that often!

Bookworms Corner said...

I love it when a book series is consistently fabulous!

melissa's fandom world said...

I've heard such great things about this series so far! somehow, I never get around to start buying the books, yikes. Thanks for sharing!

jenn G said...

I liked Every Heart A Doorway a lot. Though too young I think and that is why I criticized the book. But the story is endearing.

Kat said...

Great Review!❤️

Whispering Stories Blog said...

I love a series that is perfect the whole way through. Love those covers too.