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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Character Connection: Alice

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.


The Book Bug said...

Oh isn't Alice awesome? She is one of those characters that is both good and evil. I found the book in question so creepy and awesome that I didn;t manage to finsih it, but I promise I will.

And also, you got Adele Geras here in June???? Oh my, she is awesome! I love her books!

Daria Hlazatova said...

I'm sure I'll love these series! I should fill my reading vacuum! :)

Becky said...

Book Bug, it is true. I'm having a week in honour of Adele and she will dropping in so if you have any questions for her: email me (please?).

Enbrethiliel said...


Wow, what a great character! I'm almost afraid to read about her now because she sounds so awesome that I might end up envious and hating her! =P

Sullivan McPig said...

Again a series I haven't even heard of before. Sounds intriguing, so I think I'll try to get hold of book one.

brizmus said...

Alice does sound wonderful, but so does Tom.
I love how you often highlight here characters from books I have never heard of. And you make me want to know them.
I'll have to check out these books.

The Book Mole said...

Alice really does sound wonderful. I love characters who are walking the line between good and evil and who raise important questions such as the ones you have listed. I enjoy reading fantasy though its been a while since I have read a series - I have made a note of this series, thanks!

Whitney said...

Pointy shoes? Don't you think that would hurt after a while? Alice sounds awesome though, and yet another series I've never heard of.

Becky, when you get the chance stop by my blog, I have an award for you :)

Shweta said...

After reading this I am thinking why haven't I read this series yet ? May be I should..

I Want To Read That said...

ooh I keep looking at this series and wondering if I should try them!

Damian Harvey said...

I'd highly recommend these books. They are certainly more well known in Lancashire where they are set, bt word is spreading fast. A film is due out in the not too distant future too.

Lauren said...

I probably wouldn't have thought of reading this series, but I love how you've described the character of Alice 'wobbling on the tightrope' that connects good and evil. I love that kind of ambiguity in a character.