Alice Deane is a primary character in Joseph Delaney's phenomonally successful book series, The Wardstone Chronicles. She first appeared in The Spook's Apprentice as a witch training under Bony Lizzie, but redeemed herself soon after and has remained a love interest of Tom Ward through the good and the bad where she has every now and then become an assistant of the dark unintentionally. As of yet, Alice has appeared in every single book of the main series, except The Spook's: Slither's Tale. A short story, Alice and the Brian Guzzler, was told from her point-of-view in The Spook's Stories: Witches.
Alice Deane was supposedly born into the Deane and Malkin witch clans, her father a Deane, her mother a Malkin. Her (adoptive parents) were very violent people who constantly fought one another, hitting one another, and beat Alice just as much. Once her parents died, Alice felt no grief whatsoever and went to live with her aunt, Agnes Sowerbutts. It was a few years later that Bony Lizzie came to collect Alice from Agnes' residence and with that Alice had finally started to receive her training as a malevolent witch.
Training with Bony Lizzie
In her first few weeks of training, Alice was introduced to Bony Lizzie’s ‘servant’, Nanna Nuckle. In Alice’s first lesson, Lizzie got Alice to sniff three pots to tell which one contained the poison and in the pot Alice chose was a small gremlin-like creature. Lizzie tells Alice this it is called ‘Old Spig’ and that it is her familiar. As a test, Lizzie sends Alice out to Witch’s Dell, home to dead witches, to retrieve something hidden in front of the tallest oak in the Dell. In the Dell, Alice meets a dead witch called Grim Gertrude, who was decapitated years before by Grimalkin. Gertrude tells offers Alice to be taught by her, who decides she will give Lizzie a chance. Gertrude also tells Alice “a witch you will always be”. Alice retrieves what she came for, a jug of unknown contents, and returns to Lizzie. Whilst making Lizzie’s dinner one night, Spig jumps in the stew and Alice insults him by calling him “you dirty little thing”. Later that night, Nanna Nuckle clouts Alice around the back of the head and when Alice asks what it was for, her reply is that Alice gave her cheek.
Confused by this, Alice goes to bed. Alice reads about familiars and reads a section about ‘Brain Guzzlers’ and sees that this is the species Old Spig is affiliated to. After this, Alice sees Spig coming out of Nanna’s head. She realises that had guzzled Nanna’s brains and has been using her body as a human vessel for a long while. Spig jumps in the stew again and once again Alice’s insults him, this time Spig says he will consume her brains and use her as a vessel. Lizzie sends Alice out to get another jug that she has buried in the Dell. After fetching the jug, Alice returns her mind set on killing Old Spig before he kills her. Before this Alice reads more about Brain-Guzzlers and finds that they are vulnerable to salt and can be slowed down by removing their limbs. After being unable to find any salt, Alice gets a sharp knife and attempts to kill Spig but fails after he escapes into Nanna’s head. Alice steals from salt from a farmer’s field and goes back to defeat Spig. She fills Nanna’s currently empty head with salt. Spig appears and tries to kill Alice but she hurls salt at him which burns corrosively. He attempts to escape into Nanna’s head and once inside, Alice stitches the scalp back on where Spig dies burning in salt.
Alice is a somewhat mysterious character, Tom often not knowing her true motives or how she will carry them out with him around. She is very protective about those she cares about, going great lengths in order to ensure that they are safe (especially Tom). However, when it comes to her own personal safety, Alice will in fact hesitate to protect those she cares about if her life is in immediate danger, which is shown throughout the series.
Alongside her fierce protectiveness over her friends and family, Alice has a strong streak of bravery in her.
Although she shows outstanding amounts of bravery and loyalty when concerning Tom, Alice wavers between being a benign witch and a malevolent witch after the events of Rage of the Fallen. After being brought back to the human realm by Pan, Alice is shown to be both skittish and wary of everyone and everything around her, not believing that anything she was seeing was real. Later on, Alice is caught drinking the blood of chickens during the night/early morning by Tom, who is mortified by what he sees. Tom manages to cover up the bluff, but it is still unknown whether or not Alice is able to cross running water, and prove that she is not a malevolent witch. Her hair is white after returning from the dark but grows back black.
In the first book, it seems that Tom and Alice are going to be rivals. Later, they develop a friendship with each other when Alice rescues Tom from a pit in Bony Lizzy's yard. In the Curse of the Bane, it seemed that they were going their separate ways, due to Alice's pact with the Bane. However, Alice later makes a deal with the Bane, one that states he cannot attack Tom, nor his master. This shows that she still trusts Tom, and is looking for a further form of friendship with him. In the spooks secret, she did not show any loyalty to the dark nor the light, and for the most part remained neutral. In this book, it is implied they start to like each other, as she always wants to protect him, with the Spook nearly having to tie her to a chair to keep her from going after him, and then Tom comparing the two of them to John Gregory and Meg, who used to be in love. She helps Tom on several occasions in this book, and their friendship grows. She talks to him constantly about how much she misses him. In The Spook's Battle she shows us loyalty to Tom by going to Pendle all by herself, trying to find out what happened to Tom's mother's trunks. In this book she seems closer to the light by helping Jack recovering from his mental sickness. Also by her bravery of entering Pendle alone. The Spook's Mistake seems to be the opposite of The Spooks Battle. Due to Alice using many dark charms for Tom. At the end we all think that Alice would return as a witch in the next book. But Alice again seems to follow the middle road and the two remain friends. Her and Tom's bond grows stronger, proven by Alice giving Tom a kiss and the Spook watching when they think they may never see each other. However, when Lukrasta comes, Alice casts Tom aside and starts a relationship with him instead, leaving Tom devastated. However, it seems these two are destined to be together no matter how dark things get. Not only that but in the first book she gave Tom a scratch that made him hers. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing. The scratch later disappears when Alice becomes a malevolent witch. This may signal that Alice does not look at Tom as hers anymore, although this is never confirmed.
In the new series, "A New Darkness", there are vague references to Alice's presence near Tom's cottage by his new apprentice Jenny, who suggests that she still cares for Tom. It is further suggested that Alice is jealous of the presence of Tom's new apprentice Jenny as she always seems to be watching her, further reinforcing the idea of an everlasting bond between Tom and Alice.
In The Dark Army, Alice returns to be with Tom and states that she loves him. She says that no matter how far they are from each other, they will always be in each other's hearts. Tom and Alice then start a real relationship when Alice says she is willing to die for him. Their relationship is shown to be extremely close when Jenny overhears Alice crying to Tom saying she doesnt want to lose him. Jenny also hears them kissing often.
In The Dark Assasin, Alice kisses Tom before she leaves for Pendle at the very beginning. They are separated for a while, but then Lukrasta reveals he has an evil plot that seems it will leave them separate forever. Tom tells Alice he didn't trust her and Alice tells Tom to go home alone. However, they are reunited at the very end, showing how they always find their way back to each other.
The relationship between Alice and Mab is a bitter rivalry. The moment they set eyes on each other, they were enemies. At first it was because they were clan enemies, but their hatred deepened once Mab started to flirt with Tom. When Mab forcefully kissed him, she found out about Alice's mark, and was enraged. However there are times when they put aside their hatred to protect Tom. They always fight over Tom, to answer his questions or to be with him at all times. It's a possibilty that they will cross paths as allies since they are both enemies to The Fiend and they feel strongly for Tom.
Even though that they have a negative relationship with each other. Bony Lizzie was thought to be the aunt to Alice but was later discovered to be Alice's mother. Even though she is Alice's mother, she doesn't show compassion to her, only using her to advance her own magic. She seems more interested in training her as a witch than being a good mother. Alice is actually glad that Bony Lizzie was put in the pit showing us that Alice has no respect or affection toward her. Alice demonstrates this lack of acknowledgement by refusing to admit Bony Lizzie is her mother, even once she finds out about their true relationship. Alice only stayed with her because she was afraid of the consequences of leaving.
The relationship between The Spook and Alice is strained. The Spook and Alice got off on the wrong foot since she was trained as a witch for two years by her "Aunt" Bony Lizzie, who later turns out to be the her mother. In "Curse Of The Bane" their uneasiness toward one another grew because she set the Bane free and gave it her blood. The Spook was planning to bind her in a pit because of this but Tom made him reconsider by reminding the Spook about Meg. In "Night of the Soul Stealer" and "Attack of the Fiend" the Spook`s and Alice`s relationship improved considerably when she became the Spook's scribe. However, when Alice uses dark magic to create a blood jar to protect herself and Tom the Spook becomes disappointed in both Tom and Alice's actions, creating a strain in their relationship that may last throughout the rest of the series. He never wants Alice near Tom, and seems to watch them whwn they are togetger because he doesnt want them getting too close, also putting strains on the relationship between him and Alice.
Agnes Sowerbutts took care of Alice and taught her healing. Agnes tried to refuse Lizzie when she came to collect Alice. She was a benign witch, helping town-people heal wounds and sicknesses. Agnes was killed during "Grimalkin the Witch Assassin" and her body brought to witch dell by one of Mam's sister Wynde. Agnes lived a miserable existence in the dell due to being weak. During "The Lure of the Dead" Alice gives Agnes some of her own power to help Agnes live better in the dell which would last until her mind started to go.
Whilst attempting to complete the Doomdryte ritual Alice incurred the presence of the legendary mage Lukrasta whom appeared in order to thwart the ritual. Upon locking eyes with Alice they fell in love in what is considered by Grimalkin as being an incredibly rare form of love in which both parties have been made for each other. Alice leaves with Lukrasta and both are now working together in order to stop the uprise of a new evil demon. There is some speculation as to the veracity of their relationship as the prophecy of Alice regarding her relationship with Tom explains that she will "Love you, Betray you and eventually Die for you." Hence there is speculation that she may in fact still be in love Tom, this is further reinforced in "Spooks: A New Darkness" in which Jenny suggests that Alice is jealous of her presence in Tom's cottage, furthermore the fact that she monitors Tom's activities most likely without Lukrasta's knowledge further suggests that there is still some sentiment left between both Tom and Alice. It is then shown in The Dark Army that Alice had to join with Lukrasta at Pan's command, from the promise made in "Spook's: Alice". When Lukrasta dies at the hands of the second high mage of the Triumvirate, Alice's deal is broken and resumes her relationship with Tom. In the final book he returns, wanting to use Alice to kill Tom, but instead she turns and kills him, proving she wants to be with Tom and not him.
Powers and skills
- Heart of Darkness: Alice has the ability to access the heart of darkness. This allows her to accomplish great feats of magic without the use of spells, with only her thoughts.
- Animism magic: She learns this type of magic in "The Spooks Nightmare" or "The Rise of the Huntress"
- Healer's knowledge: Alice knows the effects of many different herbs.
- Control the elements: In the Spook's: The Dark Army, it is revealed that Alice is an earth witch: the first of her kind, which allows her to control the earth and the elements.
- The Spook's Apprentice
- The Spook's Curse
- The Spook's Secret
- The Spook's Battle
- The Spook's Mistake
- The Spook's Sacrifice
- The Spook's Stories: Witches
- The Spook's Nightmare
- The Spook's Destiny
- The Spook's: I Am Grimalkin
- The Spook's Blood
- The Spook's: Alice
- The Spook's Revenge
- Spook's: A New Darkness (mentioned)
- Spook's: The Dark Army
- Spook's: Dark Assasin