I felt so enthralled by ‘A Blade So Black’. This is a modern retelling of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, set in Atlanta, Georgia. Alice is a young, African-American woman, balancing the stress of high school and an over-protective mother while fighting the Nightmares plaguing the magical world of Wonderland. In this version of the Lewis Caroll classic, Alice is recruited into fighting dark creatures shortly after the death of her father. ‘A Blade So Black’ follows Alice’s path as she learns to understand her abilities, her enchanting mentors broadening her mind on the history of Wonderland and its magical history. A threatening entity enters Alice’s life along the way, causing her to make some choices that alters the lives of her mentors (and her modern world friends) dramatically.
I enjoyed reading this version of Alice. It’s so refreshing seeing a Woman of Color portrayed as a hero, being supported by other figures of power. I also enjoyed reading the modern twists of classic characters like the Mad Hatter and the White Queen. There are brief mentions of the figures that shaped the classic story of Alice in Wonderland, adding on to the plot of this current tale. This story kept me interested down to final page.
‘A Blade So Black’ is a truly enjoyable book. I can’t wait for L.L. McKinney’s second book, ‘A Dream So Dark’ to come out in September!
**I received an eARC of ‘Ever Alice’ from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.**
‘Ever Alice’ is a retelling of ‘Alice of Wonderland’. It takes place a few years after the classic story, and it finds Alice in a mental asylum. She manages to flee, returning to Wonderland, and finds herself embroiled in a plot to kill the vicious Queen of Hearts. This story features many characters from the classic Lewis Caroll tale, as well as some new figures.
Although I felt like this story has a predictable ending, I appreciate that it takes a slightly darker turn from the regular ‘Alice in Wonderland’ story, and it kept me interested until the very end.
‘After Alice’ by Gregory Maguire tells an alternate story of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The story focuses on Ada, a friend Alice briefly mentions during the popular tale of her adventures down the rabbit hole. In the beginning of the story, Ada is walking to Alice’s house when she encounters a mysterious creature. She follows it, and falls down the rabbit hole, into the magical world where the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, and other eccentric characters rule the domain. As Ada ventures through this unusual world, she discovers that Alice has also ventured through the area moments before. The story also tells the tale of Alice’s sister Lydia and her attempts in searching for her, while encountering some eccentric people herself.
‘After Alice’ was a very good story to read, and I appreciated looking back on well known characters that I read about in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. I’m looking forward to reading the other ‘alternate’ fairy tale stories (what I like to call them) that involve The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella’s step sisters.