Down Among The Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire

When twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen years old, they were sent off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is what happened to get them sent there.

Little Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter. Prim and proper, quiet and polite. So if her mother was a little strict, it was simply because raising a princess can take discipline.

Little Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter. Adventurous and daring, loud and rambunctious. So if her father was a little distant, it was simply because he had really wanted a son but was working with what he had.

When the girl’s were five, they learned that adults cannot be trusted. And when they were twelve, they found the impossible staircase.

Dear reader, I have often wondered if it is possible to enjoy the sequel to a novel more than one enjoyed the original? I now believe it is possible, because while I greatly enjoyed Every Heart a Doorway, I enjoyed Down Among The Sticks and Bones MORE.

Despite it being far too short, I was once again held enraptured by the world McGuire created for these two characters. The prose has a kind of sing song style to it, echoing fairy tales that were once told. And just like with older fairy tales, there is a darker side hidden among the light; yet here it is more blatant and sinister.

The characters of Jacqueline and Jillian are themselves unique. While they are identical twins – often times they are referred to as a “matching set” – each girl is also her own unique individual. It was interesting to see how each girl molded herself to fit the ideal that was set on them, and how they each sought to break the mold. Even after travelling down the mysterious stairway and entering the twisted world at the bottom, each girl is given a role to fill. And while the role seems to be more in line with her wants and needs, one cannot help but wonder if each girl is still playing a part.

Like fairy tales of old, Down Among the Sticks and Bones is not a lighthearted tale. It is a dark story and some of the more sensitive readers might take issue. It is a wonderful story and one that I wish were longer. I urge all my readers, young and old alike, to pick this one up. Personally, I will eagerly be awaiting the next book in the series.


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