Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire


Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children Book #3)


Hi! I’m Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and RueA Local HabitationAn Artificial NightLate Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I’m also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and share my house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).

Connect with Seanan on their websiteFacebookTwitterGoodreads, or Instagram

Book Details

Publication Date: January 9, 2018
ISBN: 9780765393586

Book Description

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire’s Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages.

At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world. When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.) If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests… A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do. Warning: May contain nuts. 

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My Thoughts & Takeaways

“Day after day, she had learned that “fat” was another way to say “worthless, ugly, waste of space, unwanted, disgusting.” She had started to believe them by the time she was in third grade, because what else was she supposed to do?

In the first Wayward Children book, Every Heart a Doorway, we were introduced to Miss West’s Home for Wayward Children, where children are given a safe place to recover from their otherworldly experiences. All of these children have somehow visited different lands – of all different varieties. The common denominator? They’ve all been forced to return “home.”

In the second book, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, we got to explore the origin story of Jack and Jill. And, now in the third book, Beneath the Sugar Sky, we get to explore the world of Confection.

Confection definitely gave me a bit of anxiety. I could feel the stickiness of the sugar. McGuire is one of the best authors I’ve read that does diverse characters well and of so many different viewpoints.

I felt very seen with the main character Cora. A self-conscious but also confident girl – yes, I know, an odd combination. But, I felt it because I’ve felt it for most of my life. Cora is heavier and as often been left to feel that makes her less than.

Cora is new at the school after just returned from her world where she felt at home as a mermaid. Another way that I understand Cora as someone who feels very much at home in the ocean scuba diving – something I’ve just recently discovered in the past two years.

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While the viewpoint was from Cora, the story wasn’t about her world or even her origin. The story leads several of the students on an adventure to save another previous student and her world, Confection. I can tell you that I am absolutely 110% ready for a water world book (which looks like we’ll be getting in 2022).

Read my review for the next book in the series, In An Absent Dream.

Favorite Quotes

“Day after day, she had learned that “fat” was another way to say “worthless, ugly, waste of space, unwanted, disgusting.” She had started to believe them by the time she was in third grade, because what else was she supposed to do?

That’s why people shouldn’t get too hung up on labels. Sometimes I think that’s part of what we do wrong. We try to make things make sense, even when they’re never going to.”

“…had thought the afterlife was surprisingly kind, not realizing that this was still the duringlife, and that life would always find a new way to be cruel.)

he liked the excuse to talk to people about their shared differences, which became their shared similarities when held up to the right light.

Hell, I thought I was a girl, because I’d never had the time to stop and think about why I wasn’t. It took me years of saving a world that stopped wanting me when I changed my pronouns to figure it out.”

“…it sort of screwed with my ideas about life and death. It made me see that the lines aren’t as clear as the living always make them out to be. The lines blur.”

“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.”

“Nobody promised me a happy ending. They didn’t even promise me a happy existence.”

There is kindness in the world, if we know how to look for it. If we never start denying it the door.

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Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, books, plants, coffee, veganism, mental health, and more. She has two other websites - and

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