The night Alice’s father died, she almost did too. With her salvation comes a whole new life. Now, Alice battles Nightmares in the dream realm of Wonderland, trained to keep them out of her world. But when a mysterious figure poisons her mentor, her quest to save him will take her deeper into Wonderland’s mysteries than ever before.
A Blade So Black puts a spin on Wonderland as I’ve never seen before. In the original Alice in Wonderland, it’s treated as a dream world, and that’s the same in this book – except this time, it’s much more tangible. Damage and injuries stick. It’s more dangerous than Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland ever was. And yet, L. L. McKinney manages to keep the wonder. This world and the people in it are beautifully crafted.
Alice’s mother and friends also made this book much more grounded in reality. Since they mostly don’t know what she does in Wonderland, or that it even exists, her vanishing into a dream world doesn’t go unnoticed. In fact, it causes a lot of problems for Alice. That’s something that I think is missing from stories like this – having parents that never notice you’re gone is not exactly realistic. It adds a level of tension when the reader doesn’t know if unaware friends or family will stop Alice from doing what she needs to for Wonderland. All in all, A Blade So Black is a truly compelling read and I’d certainly recommend it.
Yours in love and literature, Page.
Content warnings: swearing, violence, blood and injuries
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