Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire
by Devon Montgomery
Issue 1: Grotesque
The award winning Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire is a collection of three novellas featuring children traveling to fantastical worlds. The premise of this series is so comfortably familiar that you may foolishly decide to pass it by. Don’t! McGuire enlivens the classic, perhaps tired, trope of youthful portal fantasies with a refreshingly unique approach. Wayward Children features children who have found new magical lands, each land matching a child specifically and always fitting them better than this deeply flawed world we call Earth. But these children get startlingly thrown out of their paradise worlds for different reasons. Upon return to our world, McGuire’s characters struggle to adapt, finding refuge together at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
With every book, McGuire takes us on a unique journey led by a young person contending with the loss of their ideal world. The magical plot devices serve as a canvas to tell universal stories of entering adulthood and losing the luxury of idealism, or perhaps learning to hold on to it when most needed. To top it off, the books are so perfectly short that you can devour each in a single sitting.
McGuire’s Wayward Children series has been heaped with praise and awards, and rightfully so. If you have a spare afternoon and you desire to rekindle that uniquely adolescent feeling of escaping to fantastical worlds, the Wayward Children series is waiting for you.
Devon is one of the founders and editors of Speculative City.