Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
SPOILERS FOR EVERY HEART A DOORWAY
This is the third book in the Wayward Children series, and a breath of fresh air from the heaviness of the last one. This is a continuation from the first book with a new main character, Cora.
Cora is hanging out with her best friend at the boarding school when a girl named Rini falls from the sky. She claims to be the daughter of Sumi, one of the people murdered in the first book. Sumi’s world doesn’t run on linear time, and now that Sumi is murdered it’s messed with the time line of her world. The old gang, minus Nancy and Jack, join together to solve another mystery and bring Sumi back.
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.
This one is so much lighter toned, but just as enjoyable. They visit several worlds in this one, which was nice to see. I loved returning to these characters; I had missed them in Down Among the Sticks and Bones.
The protagonist Cora is fat, and there’s great discussions of fatphobia in the story which I think McGuire does a good job handling. I love the diversity. The trans boy Kade makes a return as well.
I’m loving these so far!