Wednesday 26 September 2018

Blog Tour: A Blade so Black

Today I am delighted to part of the blog tour for A Blade so Black by L.L McKinney. A contemporary retelling of Alice in Wonderland and I am so excited to share an extract with you as part of the tour! Read on for more.


Alice held on to Addison, her eyes wide, her mouth open. He’d tried to describe Wonderland a few times, but always wound up saying it was like talking about a memory that was half-forgotten: a dream faded at the edges of your mind but somehow whole in your heart. None of it made sense until now.

He led her farther along, an amused twist on his lips. She didn’t walk so much as shuffle. Their steps stirred the mist creeping along the grass. It crawled over the white grass and hung just beneath the branches in a few places.

“Beautiful.” She looked to him, then to the forest again. Actually, she looked everywhere she could—this place was incredible.

“This is Wimble-Di’Glow Woods, though most people just call it the Glow.” Squeezing her hand, he turned them around to face the pillared platform. “That’s the Gateway. It’s closed now, but it’s how I—and now you—can cross from the human world to this one. It’s best to purge Nightmares on this side on the Veil. They’re weaker here, easier to take down.”
Alice took a slow breath, the mention of the monsters like a stone in her gut. She’d almost forgotten that’s why they were here.

“Crossing over strengthens their connection to the source of their being, thus strengthening them,” Addison continued. “It’s up to us to keep that from happening.” He’d already explained that Wonderland was the literal world of dreams. Now-you-lay-me-down-to-sleep dreams. Good dreams made this world healthy. Bad dreams messed it up. Get enough bad in one place and poof! Nightmare. Maybe not poof.

Since Nightmares came from humans, humans were the only ones who could put them down permanently. Sure, Addison could kill a Nightmare’s physical body, but it would just re-form. That’s why people like him trained people like her.

“Plus, they’re able to do a lot more damage on that end,” he said.
Alice remembered that part of her training clearly. Nightmares . . . affected people. Folk might not see the monsters themselves, but they sure saw the end result. On the news, reports about someone snapping and killing their whole family, or shooting up their job for no reason? Nightmare.
“Are we here to stop one night?” She hated the way her voice shook a little.
He nodded. “Small one. Not far.” He set a hand on her shoulder. “You can do this.”
With a deep breath she followed him through the Glow, still marveling at the. . . . well, the wonder of it all. Every so often tiny, hazy arms and legs materialized in the branches, accompanied by bell-like laughter. She jumped a couple of times, even took a swing at something bright blue that dipped in front of her face.
Addison laughed.
“Hey, it was reflex.”
“Few things here will harm you.” He paused, tilting his head to the side. “Intentionally, that is.”
“So comforting.” Some of the tension melted from her muscles. She half listened to Addison’s tips as they went along.
“Remember to keep your core tight when you move, especially when you jump or dodge.”
Maintain your grip. Eyes on your opponent. All stuff she’d heard before.
“And, I haven’t mentioned this before, but you’ll need to adjust for your newfound speed and strength. It’ll be—”
“Wait, my what?” She blinked at him.
“When a trainee crosses the Veil for the first time, the same essence that feeds this place empowers them, enhancing their natural abilities and bestowing a few new ones.” Addison continued on, leaving Alice staring after him. “That’s when, and how, you become a Dreamwalker.”

Part of A Blade So Black blog tour

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