With its roots in Alice in Wonderland, A Blade so Black is the story of a young African-American woman’s fight to help stop the evil of the other world from spilling over the Veil into ours. After being attacked by a Nightmare on the night of her father’s death, Alice is recruited to become a Dreamwalker, a soldier of Wonderland.
Alice fights to balance her obligations with her high school friends and her grieving family with her allies in Wonderland. She’s been trained to fight and when her mentor is mortality injured, she needs to enter the fantasy realm to battle the monsters and some especially caustic royal politics.
L.L. McKinney’s work is a solid addition to the YA fantasy genre. The teenage friendships are realistic and up-to-date, and the magical fight scenes are dynamic and fast-paced. There are some issues with jumbled worldbuilding in the second setting, but overall, this is a good read.
3 out of 5 stars.
Releases on September 25th
Thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, and L.L. McKinney for an advanced copy for review.