Character Connection is a weekly meme hosted by Jen @ The Introverted Reader.
This is our chance to tell the world about a character that we love in whichever way we want. More information about this meme can be found on Jen's blog.
The book: The Spook's Apprentice
The series: The Wardstone Chronicles
The author: Joseph Delaney
The character: Alice
It may have escaped your notice but I am a series girl. I love following characters as they grow and develop over the years that a series can span. The Wardstones Chronicles is an absolute gem of a fantasy epic. I highly recommend it to all fantasy fans. There are no lessons in charms here only a battle to rid the county of the evil that dwells there and threatens the lives of the townsfolk.
The main character is young Tom who at 13 summers old is apprenticed to the County's spook. Tom is a great character with a strong moral compass. But this post is not about Tom. It is about Alice. This is what Tom tells us about the first time he meets her:
'She was probably about my own age – if anything slightly younger. Her face was nice enough, for she had large brown eyes, high cheekbones and long black hair. She wore a black dress tied tightly at the waist with a piece of white strong rope. But as I took all this in, I suddenly noticed something that troubled me.
The girl was wearing pointy shoes... ' © Joseph Delaney 2004, The Spook's Apprentice, pg 103
The great thing about Alice is that she is a character who has touched the dark. She is raised by witches and is on the path to becoming one. In The Wardstone Chronicles magic is something that is dark and is cast by using the blood and bones of innocents. But Alice is neither innately good nor innately bad. She is constantly wobbling on the tightrope that connects both sides. She wants to be good but instinctively looks to magic to solve her problems. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "if the shoe fits"... You know because she has those pointy ones... Despite being constanly tempted by the dark, Alice's main strength is her connection to Tom and her belief that he will bring out the best in her.
There are lots of questions that Alice presents to us as readers. Are our natures preordained? Is it the family who nuture us that make us who we are? Are our idenities something of our own making?
Alice is a deep and complex character and I for one cannot wait for the next Wardstone book The Spook's Nightmare which is released on May 27th. Yay! And what's more there is going to be a film. Yippee!
Books in the series:
1) The Spook's Apprentice
2) The Spook's Curse
3) The Spook's Secret
4) The Spook's Battle
5) The Spook's Mistake
6) The Spook's Sacrifice
7) The Spook's Nightmare (14 days to go...)
There is also a companion book The Witches and a World Book Day short story.