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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Dream So Dark

A Dream So Dark

A Blade So Black (Volume 2)

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"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, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Hate U Give

In L. L. McKinney's A Dream So Dark, the thrilling sequel to A Blade So Black, Alice goes deeper into a dark version of Wonderland.

Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates high school), Alice must cross the Veil to rescue her friends and stop the Black Knight once and for all. But the deeper she ventures into Wonderland, the more topsy-turvy everything becomes. It’s not until she’s at her wits end that she realizes—Wonderland is trying to save her.

There’s a new player on the board; a poet capable of using Nightmares to not only influence the living but raise the dead. This Poet is looking to claim the Black Queen’s power—and Alice's budding abilities—as their own.

Dreams have never been so dark in Wonderland, and if there is any hope of defeating this mystery poet’s magic, Alice must confront the worst in herself, in the people she loves, and in the very nature of fear itself.

An Imprint Book
Praise for A Blade So Black:

"Mixing elements of Alice in Wonderland and Buffy the Vampire Slayer... a delectable urban twist on beloved fairy tales." —Entertainment Weekly

"A dark, thrilling fantasy-meets-contemporary story with a kickass heroine." —Bustle

Praise for A Dream So Dark

A Blade So Black:

"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, #1 New York Times-bestselling 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, #1 New York Times-bestselling 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

"Mixing elements of Alice in Wonderland and Buffy the Vampire Slayer... a delectable urban twist on beloved fairy tales." —Entertainment Weekly

"A brash, refreshing, vitally diverse retelling of a classic... You need this book." —Tor.com

"This really is Lewis Carroll by way of Buffy, and it makes for a fun, gritty urban fantasy... will set the new standard for teen readers." —NPR

"A dark, thrilling fantasy-meets-contemporary story with a kickass heroine." —Bustle

"An action-packed twist on an old classic, full of romance and otherworldly intrigue." —The Mary Sue

"A Blade So Black is a novel that roars mightily in the face of all those Wonderland tales that have come before. L.L. McKinney is on her way to someplace special with this debut; get onboard now." —Locus Magazine

"Retold fairy tales have been a pop… More…





A Blade So Black:

"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, #1 New York Times-bestselling 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, #1 New York Times-bestselling 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

"Mixing elements of Alice in Wonderland and Buffy the Vampire Slayer... a delectable urban twist on beloved fairy tales." —Entertainment Weekly

"A brash, refreshing, vitally diverse retelling of a classic... You need this book." —Tor.com

"This really is Lewis Carroll by way of Buffy, and it makes for a fun, gritty urban fantasy... will set the new standard for teen readers." —NPR

"A dark, thrilling fantasy-meets-contemporary story with a kickass heroine." —Bustle

"An action-packed twist on an old classic, full of romance and otherworldly intrigue." —The Mary Sue

"A Blade So Black is a novel that roars mightily in the face of all those Wonderland tales that have come before. L.L. McKinney is on her way to someplace special with this debut; get onboard now." —Locus Magazine

"Retold fairy tales have been a popular trend... but you’ve never read one quite like A Blade So Black." —Nerdist

"This isn't a retelling, this is Alice in Wonderland 2.0." —BlackSciFi.com

* "An explosive, kickass debut ... the Alice in Wonderland retelling the world has always needed." —Booklist, starred review

"Relentless action, spiraling stakes, and a fierce heroine... A heartbreaking cliffhanger will leave fans clamoring for a sequel." —Publishers Weekly

"Teens will root for Alice as a strong, multidimensional black girl usually unseen in YA fiction... A must-purchase." —School Library Journal

"A thrilling, timely novel that ensures readers will be curious for a sequel." —Kirkus Reviews

"With a modern flair, a rich backstory, and just enough emotional heft, this particular looking glass will have readers eagerly falling through it." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A Blade So Black is a modernized version of a well-known story that retains enough of the original to be lauded by both fans of the classic and readers wholly new to Wonderland." —Shelf Awareness

"An epic about Black Girl Magic." —We Need Diverse Books blog

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Reviews from Goodreads

L.L. McKinney is writer, poet, and active member of the kidlit community. She’s the creator and host of the bi-annual Pitch Slam contest and spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests. A Blade So Black is her debut novel.

image of L.L. McKinneyo
Nicole McLaughlin