Mup Taylor returns to the Glittering Land to find that happy endings are not as simple as they seem.
The old queen has been defeated, and nothing will ever be the same. Mup, Mam, Dad, and Tipper have left the mundane world behind to live in the Glittering Land, where Mam is expected to take her place as her mother’s heir. Mam, however, rejects crown and title with plans for a more equitable structure, and her support and subjects’ confidence begin to crack apart. Mup doesn’t understand it—how can the people be so resistant to change and even fear using their own magic freely at last? But change after years of tyranny proves not so simple, and when a little grey ghost girl begins unleashing a storm of fury and pain on the castle, cracks become chasms brimming with pain and reckoning. In this sequel to Begone the Raggedy Witches (2018), Kiernan digs into the trope of the fairy-tale ending to expose its messy tangle of roots. There is admirable trust placed in readers to grapple alongside Mup with both her desire to end a kingdom’s suffering and the complex processes of bearing witness and healing. Mup’s mixed racial identity (her human dad’s black, and her magical mother presents white) takes a back seat to her magical one here, but consistent characterization and thoughtful development continues.
A breath-stealing second installment to read and reread in anticipation of the third. (Fantasy. 8-12)