I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
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.
I really like the new girl at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children—the misplaced mermaid, Cora. Cora has been teased and tormented for her whole school career, and comes into the Home for Wayward Children with all her defenses up, ready to defend herself. I love that she finds more acceptance than she expects and that she is valiant during the adventures of this novel.
There are some time paradoxes in this installment, as Rini, the daughter of Sumi who was killed in the last book, hurtles into the turtle pond behind the Home and demands help from its denizens. How can Sumi have a daughter if she was killed prematurely?
No one is really sure, but they have to try to set things right and the ensuing adventure is entertaining and involves tripping through several of the hidden worlds that children can accidentally discover by unwarily opening a door! A great way to see more of McGuire’s intriguing portals to the imagination! I’m glad to see that she is planning at least 2 more in the series.