Hi everyone! I’ve been so lucky to have had an opportunity to review book 6 in the Wayward Children series, and I also had a chance to review the 5th book, In An Absent Dream. I’m honestly loving this series so much, and I think it’s about time that I get physical copies of them since I’ve either listened to them on audio or had e-book copies to review.
Across the Green Grass Fields
by Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #6
Release date: January 12th 2021
Representation: intersex MC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
“Welcome to the Hooflands. We’re happy to have you, even if you being here means something’s coming.”
Regan loves, and is loved, though her school-friend situation has become complicated, of late.
When she suddenly finds herself thrust through a doorway that asks her to “Be Sure” before swallowing her whole, Regan must learn to live in a world filled with centaurs, kelpies, and other magical equines―a world that expects its human visitors to step up and be heroes.
But after embracing her time with the herd, Regan discovers that not all forms of heroism are equal, and not all quests are as they seem…
I very much enjoyed this installment in the series! I was definitely one of those horse crazy girls when I was younger, so I was excited to read about a world full of different types of equines.
In this story we follow Regan, a horse crazy girl who finds out the hard way how judgmental some people can be when someone doesn’t fit into the boxes that society wants to place them in. Regan begins to feel like something is wrong with her when the other girls start to go through puberty, but Regan herself hasn’t changed at all. She eventually asks her parents who inform her that her body may take longer to develop, or may need some help to get things going because she is intersex. The way that Regan’s parents handled this conversation and how kind and supportive they were was really nice to see.
One thing leads to another, and Regan gets her own door, this time to The Hooflands, a world with kelpies, centaurs, unicorns, kirins, and more! I really loved this world a lot, and the characters that Regan meets along the way. I really liked the way that this all played into how even though these centaurs and kelpies are different from Regan, they’re still people and still matter which fits nicely with the way Regan was feeling before she found her door.
This book felt different from the others in the series, and I don’t know if that’s because this one felt more like it could easily be a middle grade story to me or it it’s something else. I really liked how many messages this book had, from found family, unconditional love, destiny, and being true to yourself.
As far as the plot goes, we spend a lot more time seeing the day to day life of Regan and the centaurs she lives with. When Regan first arrives in this world, she’s told that all humans must be turned over to the queen so that they can begin their quest to save the world, but that takes a back seat to everything else which I think also makes this one different than the others in the series.
The one thing I didn’t truly love was the ending – it felt a little too rushed (which is saying something for a 167 page novella) and I didn’t really feel like I had enough closure. I did enjoy the reveal at the end and the way that it fit in with the message of destiny and the expectations that are put on you and how it’s easier when you’re surrounded by those who love you.
I really hope we get to see another book in the Hooflands, because I would love to see more of the creatures that inhabit this world! I really love this series a lot, and think that everyone should read them if they get the chance because they’re just so….full of hope and understanding. I’m looking forward to the next book, and the title looks like it’s going to be Where the Drowned Girls Go which sounds exciting!