Across the Green Grass FieldsFantasy
Series: Wayward Children #6
"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...
This instalment of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children novellas is a step back from the rest, which are developing a sort of formula (former student of the school needs help in some way, the others all team up to solve their problems). In fact, I don’t think any of the other kids we’ve seen in the other books are even mentioned: Regan kind of stands alone, and I don’t think we’ve heard any reference to the Hooflands elsewhere before.
As such, it’s a point where someone unused to these books might be able to start — but I don’t know that I’d recommend it as a starting point, to be honest. It’s rather skippable, actually, except for the fact that it showcases an intersex protagonist.
Overall, it didn’t stand out a lot to me: it felt like it was a lot of leadup for very little payoff, and I wasn’t surprised by the conclusion at all. (Which one doesn’t necessarily need to be, especially in a series as metafictional as this one is, but it still didn’t feel fresh to me, which is perhaps a better descriptor of what I was hoping for.)
Not unenjoyable, but not a favourite, and one I may not return to in future rereads.