A Blade So Black

A Blade So Black, Book 1
Narrated by: Jeanette Illidge
Series: The Nightmare-Verse, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (261 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"With memorable characters and page-turning thrills, A Blade So Black is the fantasy book I've been waiting for my whole life. Alice is Black Girl Magic personified." (Angie Thomas, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Hate U Give)

For fans of Marissa Meyer, L.L. McKinney's A Blade So Black delivers an irresistible urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland...but it's not the Wonderland you remember.

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now, she's trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.  

Life in real-world Atlanta isn't always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she'll need to use everything she's learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head...

Debut author L. L. McKinney delivers an action-packed twist on an old classic, full of romance and otherworldly intrigue.

And don't miss the thrilling sequel, A Dream So Dark!

An Imprint Book

"Mixing elements of Alice in Wonderland and Buffy the Vampire Slayer...Delectable." (Entertainment Weekly)

©2018 Leatrice McKinney (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"With memorable characters and page-turning thrills, A Blade So Black is the fantasy book I've been waiting for my whole life. Alice is Black Girl Magic personified." (Angie Thomas, number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Hate U Give

"I loved the 'our world' framing and the 'other world' adventure so deeply. They were at such odds, but the overall effect was just chefkiss.gif perfect." (E. K. Johnston, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka and A Thousand Nights

"Wholly original and absolutely thrilling - A Blade So Black kicks so much (looking gl)ass." (Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere

What listeners say about A Blade So Black

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This book has EVERYTHING!!!

This book was amazing! I did not want to end, AT ALL! We need more novels like this, full of kickass black heroines in the world of fantasy!

Also, can this narrator get an Oscar please??? She made this book come alive!

8 people found this helpful

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Quite Possibly the Best I've Listened to, Yet!!!!!

O. M. G. !!!!! First of all, WHERE have you been hiding this narrator?! She quite possibly rivals Tavia Gilbert in accents and tone. Please hire her for more books, IMMEDIATELY!!

Now, the story. I absolutely loved the plot, the twist on Alice in Wonderland, and the character development. I need both a great plot and good character development in my stories so I can feel a connection to them. I felt such a connection to these characters that I was literally crying at the end and scrambling with Google to figure out where I can get more of these books. September cannot come fast enough!

Alice. This connection I felt the deepest. Being able to read a book where the heroine looks like me is a feeling I can't express, except to say that it means the world to me. Like Alice, I have often been misunderstood, even bullied, for my love of comics, anime, and cosplay. Cosplaying is the best thing ever, and reading about how she created her costumes was so epically meta! The natural hair? I could just picture myself fighting nightmares. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALICE AND FOR SHOWING THAT WE CAN ALL BE STRONG, WE CAN ALL BE HEROINES, AND BEING DIFFERENT IS NOT SO BAD.

The third thing I need in my books is the setting and helping me picture it. The author does such a freaking good job of vivid descriptions of both Wonderland, the real world, and the characters that my mind could picture it all as if I was right there with them. Like I was watching it on TV.

And speaking of TV.... WHEN CAN WE GET THIS AS A NETFLIX SERIES??? I'm not joking. This story is TV material. Although they usually ruin books because nothing is as good as storytelling. So I ask this with some reserve that creators will miss the marketing and hire an actress that looks nothing like the heroine as described in the book because Hollywood hates diversity. I digress and kick away that soapbox!

Maybe not TV. But I desperately hope that the author or the voice actor or BOTH can come to DragonCon or MomoCon to sit on a panel or give autographs. After all, this book does take place in Atlanta. (Going to the Con websites, NOW!)

Yeah, so I am so very impressed and delighted with this book, the voice actor, and the potential for more to come from L. L. McKinney. Come on, girl - you and Jeanette Illidge make a GREAT team!!!

3 people found this helpful

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Loved this

I love stories with great characters that are actually relatable people too. There is so much going on in this world. I want to hear more.

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Very interesting take on a classic

A Blade So Black was a fun read, and a great spin on the classic. You can definitely see the influences that the author was inspired by throughout the novel like Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Sailor Moon. Great debut.

2 people found this helpful

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loved it!!!!!!!!

Absolutely loved this book and the narrator was PERFECT! CAN I GET A NETFLIX SERIES

1 person found this helpful

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Blade so Black = Blade so Good!!

OMG the ending! please give this book a chance. the story was so good!

1 person found this helpful

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This is everything I needed in a fantasy !

McKinney did a fabulous job. the book is filled with action,adventure, far, and a young black protagonist. Officially a must read, that will leave you wanting more.

1 person found this helpful

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Alice in wonderland meets Buffy

I thought the concept was unique and interesting. It hit all the YA staples but I appreciated the effort to incorporate Alice’s life in the real world and a different voice/perspective than the typical white main characters in popular YA fantasy. It reminded me a lot of Buffy the vampire slayer. I only wish Alice was more confident and badass like Buffy instead of questioning herself at every turn. I would have liked to see more time spent on the training and day to day balancing she did for a year instead of being told all of that by the narrator. Where does her mom think she is all the time?

The plot slowed a bit at a few points and I feel like the author struggled with the transitions/timing in the plot as well as secondary character development. But I am willing to give book 2 a try to see if she improves. Good first try and worth a listen.

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Loved this book

I really really enjoyed this book. This twist on the Alice in Wonderland story is so well done and well written. I cannot wait for the sequel.

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Excellent fantasy adventure!

I loved the story & characters but struggled some staying connected through the early time jumps. Looking forward to the sequel!

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. Diggory
  • 06-14-20

A wonderful reimagining

Recommended to me a couple of times and I loved it, am now recommending to everyone. Such a great take on an old classic. I was worried that a reimagining wouldn’t really hold up that well but the characters are so well rounded and the story flows so beautifully that it seems to work perfectly. Loved it. Anyone who loves YA will love this.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-27-19

Fantastic book

I loved it, I'm looking forward to book 2. I couldn't put down and will read it again