Where the Drowned Girls Go

Tor.com. (Wayward Children, Bk. 7). Jan. 2022. 160p. ISBN 9781250213624. $19.99. FANTASY
The latest installment in McGuire’s portal fantasy series can be read as a standalone and also furthers the stories of the children featured in Beneath a Sugar Sky and Across the Green Grass Fields. Student Cora Miller is being pursued by the Drowned Gods after her foray through the doorway of the terrible Moors and her return to Miss West’s School. She suffers nightmares beyond imagining and horrors upon awakening; her dreams feel particularly inescapable at Miss West’s, where all the students are adjusting to their own returns. In desperation, Cora admits herself to the Whitehorn Institute, an anti-magical school that promises to make her forget the horrors she knows. The Institute’s methods are cruel and repressive: students are forced to lie to themselves and each other about their experiences; transgression and nonconformity are punished through bullying; and, as Cora discovers, the magic of the doorways is used to suppress individuality and identity. Cora has a choice to make—to let herself be lost or to be a hero one more time.
VERDICT The message of owning one’s truth instead of losing one’s individuality will resonate. Highly recommended.
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