It’s not a secret that I’m a tremendous fan of Seanan McGuire’s work and no matter what kind of fantasy fiction you might like to read, McGuire probably writes it … and very well. Her Wayward Children series came on the scene in 2016 and everyone of them has been a really great read. And this, I think, is the best of them all so far. This story is beautiful and powerful and and dark and real. McGuire takes us on an absolutely perfect ride in Across the Green Grass Fields.
Regan is a delightful young girl. She is friendly and loving and loved in return. Her parents always promised themselves that they would not keep secrets from her, as long as she asked for the truth. Regan asks and is told a truth about a personal, chromosomal issue issue that her parents learned when she was born. She takes it in stride, but makes one critical error … she tells a friend. And no friendship at this age level can withstand the knowledge of something seriously personal. Still Regan isn’t looking to escape a bad family life or even seriously wanting to leave her friends, but when a door appears in an unexpected place, Regan steps through.
Regan finds herself in a land where centaur’s are farmers and unicorns their cattle. Regan is found by a centaur and brought back to their community – delighted at the glory they will have being the finders of a human. The presence of a human in this land always means one thing … something bad is about to happen and they will be there until the problem is solved.
Regan spends years with the centaurs and avoids the Queen’s spies who are looking to bring Regan to the throne on her own terms. But as the queen doesn’t get her way, she makes life miserable for the centaurs.
Leaving her friends behind, Regan begins a yellow-brick-road-like journey to the queen, picking up a few unusual friends along the way. And of course, things are not what they seem when she reaches the queen.
How is possible that someone can put SO much into so brief a book (brief in page count). I felt as though I read 700 pages, given how much happened and the emotional journey we rode.
There was such uniqueness to our protagonist Regan. So often in these characters are cut from the same cloth – horrible parents (if there are any parents at all in the picture), lots of anger, confusion over everything going on around them – but Regan breaks that mold, and the book is so much richer for it.
It’s a Wayward Children book, so not surprisingly it takes a dark turn, but constantly I had the thought ‘this is real’ – meaning that it made absolute sense.
This is easily one of the best fantasies and best YA books I’ve read this year. Maybe in the past three years.
Looking for a good book? Seanan McGuire’s Across the Green Grass Fields is brilliant, sometimes dark, beautiful fantasy – possibly a perfect book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
Across the Green Grass Fields
author: Seanan Mcguire
series: Wayward Children #6
hardcover, 176 pages