In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Lundy who had stepped through the door for her second visit to the Goblin Market would barely have recognized the one who came stumbling through it for her second return to the world of her birth. This Lundy was thin, her arms and legs wiry with new muscle, rendered lean by physical labor and the rigors of questing. This Lundy had bruises on her ribs and a narrow scar down the middle of her back, tracing the outline of her spine, where the Bone Wraiths had tried to set their captive countryman free of the fetters of her flesh.

although i always look forward to a new book in this series with the anticipation of a thousand christmas eves, if i’m honest, i wasn’t over-the-moon excited to learn that this was going to be lundy’s story. lundy hadn’t given me any heart-stirrings in the previous books, where she was a peripheral character at best while my eyes were drawn to flashier characters like kade or sumi.


but i should have known that seanan mcguire could make me love any damn character. i’m pretty sure her bookpages use paper made of a combination one part wood pulp, one part ground-up ecstasy, which leaches into the reader through our fingerpads, transporting us into states of wonder and rapture where even the horrible and sorrowful parts soften into o so tender heartache and everything just feels right.

so that’s one reason to not read e-versions of these.

when it comes to this series, everything she writes is a gift: exquisite characters experiencing fairytale-unique but still somehow relatable experiences strung together with the most bittersweet profundities:

”You can’t save anyone if you neglect yourself. All you can do is fall slowly with them.”

”Promises are their own form of fair value, as long as they’re kept.”

and i feel it all in my EMPTY HEARTCORE.

even the rules of lundy’s goblin market are perfect, because it’s 100% my kind of world:

Rule one: ask for nothing

Rule two: names have power

Rule three: always give fair value

Rule four: take what is offered and be grateful

Rule five: remember the curfew

and most importantly – BE SURE

as it turned out, lundy’s story was actually more gutting than some of the others because, unlike kids who experienced their just-right altworlds and were ousted once, lundy had the opportunity to experience a sort of dual citizenship until her 18th birthday, choosing her goblin market time and time again before the events that closed the door on her forever. plus, the extra heartsnap of a family member who had been there and chosen differently, which is also more than most of the other kids had, although it turns out that understanding it doesn’t actually make things easier. at all.

neither does choice.

nor friendship.

nor being sure of what you want.


this series has all my love forever.


dear Seanan McGuire,

thank you for understanding that trilogies are never enough.

read my reviews on goodreads

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