A young girl discovers a portal to a land filled with centaurs and unicorns in Seanan McGuire’s Across the Green Grass Fields, a standalone tale in the Wayward Children series.
“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…
A standalone Wayward Children story containing all-new characters, and a great jumping-on point for new readers.
Amazon Link: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: YA Portal Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is the sixth story in the series, but it didn’t continue any of the previous storylines or characters. I think I liked it better because the main story has gotten complicated with alternate timelines(?) or time travel(?).
It’s a straightforward story about a girl visiting a horse world with unicorns and other equine-based mythical creatures (but no actual horses). The centaurs have the most development and they were a lot of fun, but there are hints of other races and their different cultures. I wanted to see the pterippi and I liked that they were named accurately. (Pegasus is a proper name for a particular winged horse/pterippus. While I’m on the subject, a unicorn with wings is a winged unicorn. Alicorn means a unicorn’s horn. Yes, I was a “horse girl” like Regan and this is one of my pet peeves. This book might be uniquely tailored to my interests.) Anyway, the peryton also sounded interesting and I wanted to learn more.
The surprise ending was also good without being too cynical. It gave me hope for the future that things might get better for the Hooflands.
I think that Regan’s intersex condition was handled well with just enough information. (I’ve only read one other book with an intersex MC, Fear the Wolf, so I don’t have much to compare it to.) I felt for her, especially when she lost her friend. But the story didn’t focus on it too much. She found a new home with the centaurs and got to be herself. A fun, quick read.
Here is the book in my reading journal: