"Alice was a magician, albeit one who did not know very much about her own magic. She was escaping a City that hated and feared Magicians... (she) was tall and blue-eyed and a little broken inside, but her companion didn't mind because his insides were more jumbled than hers could ever be. Hatcher was a murderer, and he knew quite a lot about it. He was tall and grey-eyed and mad and dangerous but he loved her too, and so they stayed together, both stumbling toward a future that would let them leave their past in the past."
Alice's adventures continue in this well-written sequel by Christina Henry. She and Hatcher have escaped the Old City and are heading East in search of Hatcher's daughter, Jenny, who was stolen away years ago. Their journey takes them across burned plains, through a forest filled with giants, and straight into the middle of a feud between the White Queen and the Black King. There are enchantments to unravel and stolen children to recover. Then Hatcher falls under the spell of the White Queen and Alice finds herself alone. All alone.
"Alice had a scream lodged in her throat, and if she gave vent to it she would never stop. So she didn't scream or weep or tear her hair or pound her fists until they were bloody, though she wanted to do all those things. Instead she grabbed on to one thought and wouldn't let it go--every spell can be undone. She had to believe this, though she had no evidence of its truth. She had to believe that she could get Hatcher back."Red Queen is not as dark or macabre as Henry's first novel, Alice, but it's still a slightly twisted walk through an enchanted wonderland that Lewis Carroll could never have imagined. What I liked best about it is how Alice comes into her own. In the first book she really depends on Hatcher just to survive, but in this book, without him by her side, she is forced to grow up and find her own way forward. She also discovers her own magical powers, and her essential Alice-ness. It's a fun read. And I have to say, Christina Henry is now one of my favorite authors.