Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Author: Seanan McGuire
Published by: tor.com
Publishing date: January 9th 2018
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.
Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.
The premise of this series is fascinating and, as someone that loves fantasy and that has wanted for a big part my life to get to have an adventure in a magical world, this series speaks to me in a very personal way. I’m always in awe of the amount of worldbuilding that Seanan McGuire manages to accomplish in these very short books. There’s so much creativity and imagination put into creating the different worlds that these kids call home, they all sound unique and whimsical, but there’s so much logic put into the classification of the worlds and that makes it even more interesting.
This third book in the series has a more concrete plot than the second book, which to me made it more enjoyable. The second book was centered around exploring Jack and Jill’s world and getting their backstory, which we already knew how it ended because we had seen them in the first book. Something different happens in this third book, because there is a quest, a purpose, the characters are working toward something and that made me be more invested in the story.
Nonetheless, the fact that these books are so short sometimes makes it hard for me to get to know the characters and care about them, and that was definitely the case with the characters in this book. I really enjoyed seeing what happened to the characters of the first book, like Nancy, Christopher, Nadya and Kade. Also, I loved the fat rep that the new character that’s introduced, Cora, brought to the story, I really liked her as a character and her responses to everything that was going on were very relatable. BUT I feel like if a new character was gonna be introduced she could have had a more important role in the story. She is there, she is one of the POV characters, but I didn’t see why she was necessary even when I really liked her as a character.
Overall, I really liked the premise, worldbuilding and plot of this book, but I had some trouble feeling invested and caring about the characters.