Seanan McGuire Recaps the Wayward Children Series

Hi, I’m Seanan McGuire, the author of the Wayward Children Series, and I’m currently visiting the Tor.com offices in Manhattan, where they’ve asked me to come in here and record this “Previously on the Wayward Children Series” memo for you as we approach the release of Come Tumbling Down. Now, as a warning, there are going to be some pretty heavy spoilers for the rest of the series in this, so if you’re not caught up, this is where you should press the ‘stop’ button. It’s the big square one. ‘Kay, I’m gonna trust that all those of you that needed to stop, have stopped, and will not come yell at me later because we put out spoilers for the series…

We first meet Jack and Jill Wolcott, who are going to be the focus of today’s “Previously on… in Every Heart a Doorway, which was the first book in the series. While they are students at Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children, trying to recover from their “questing time” in a land called The Moors, which is populated by magic and monsters and mad scientists of every stripe. Jack and Jill are both a little murderous, though it seems that one of them is a little more justified in her tendencies than the other, if we can really call killing people a ‘just thing.’ At the end of that book, Jack kills her sister, and carries her back to The Moors through a door she could have opened at any time, but chose not to because she was trying to protect Jill from the consequences of her own actions. And it seems that in the end, love does not conquer death—we’re going to lose everything.

We see them again in the very next book, however, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, where we follow them through their early days in The Moors, after they escaped from overbearing parents who wanted to mold the twins into the individuals they had decided they were going to be rather, and not the people that they actually were. Jack and Jill are very quickly separated, with Jill being adopted by the local vampire lord, and Jack being taken in by the local mad scientist, Dr. Bleak. They’re both raised by their respective new father figures to fill a role as one of the monsters of The Moors, but forced to flee when Jill takes it a little bit too far and kills someone that attracts the ire of the villagers. Jack and Jill wind up at the Eleanor West school following that book.

Well now we’ve come back to them in Come Tumbling Down for what, at least for right now, appears to be the climax of their story, where Jill and her vampire lord have risen up against Jack and Dr. Bleak, forcing Jack’s lover Alexis to carry her back to the school through one of those artificial doors, looking for help, to defeat Jill’s vampire master and keep Jill from destroying The Moors themselves. So, it seems that in the end death is negotiable and love might conquer all after all—we don’t know for sure. Read Come Tumbling Down which comes out this January. I like it. I hope you will too. I have bones!

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