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Monday, November 9, 2009

64. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor



Title: The Looking Glass Wars
Series: The Looking Glass Wars, Book 1
Author: Frank Beddor
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 358
Publisher: Dial Books
Author Website:
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5/5 stars
Finished: 11-7-09

Thought you knew the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? Well, think again, because that story was wrong.

The Looking Glass Wars is the first installment of Frank Beddor's clever retelling of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Here we meet Alyss Heart, heir to the throne of Wonderland, where all imagination in the universe is born from. On her seventh birthday, her deranged aunt, Redd Heart, storms Heart Palace, killing Alyss' father and mother, taking control of the kingdom that she feels is rightfully hers. Alyss' mother, Queen Genevieve, sends Alyss away with Hatter Madigan to the Pool of Tears, through which they escape to Earth, but are separated. Meanwhile, General Doppelganger and what few survivors that still back Alyss and White Imagination, begin their counterattacks against Redd and her forces of Black Imagination. Thinking Alyss dead, they called themselves Allyssians in tribute and for 13 years try to overthrow Redd.

During this time, Alyss is marooned on Earth, not knowing how to return to Wonderland and slowly loosing her powers of Imagination, where she is eventually adopted by the Lidells, and eventually she meets Charles Dodgson, who she feels will believe her tale when all others haven't. When he produces the book, Alice's Adventures Underground to her, she then realizes that he was her last hope, and begins to acclimate herself to life forever on Earth. Hatter Madigan eventually discovers here whereabouts and the two return to Wonderland, just in time to help reinvigorate the rebels and their fight against Redd.

The story is incredibly clever, and you will recognize all the characters from Lewis Carroll's stories here, but completely re-imagined. I love how Beddor takes Carroll's stories and completely reworks them into this civil war between the forces of White Imagination and Black Imagination in the first part of the book, then uses Alyss telling Charles Dodgson the story and his reworking this story into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and then Beddor taking the story even farther from there with Alyss' return to Wonderland and the eventual battle between her and Redd. It's a fast-paced story that moves right along almost immediately in the book and doesn't really let up throughout. Die hard Alice fans may or may not like the changes to the story, but as a huge fan of Carroll's original stories, I can honestly say that I loved these reworkings!

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