The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

The Looking Glass Wars

Rating: ★★★1/2

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Series: The Looking Glass Wars

Medium: Paperback

Synopsis: What we know about Alice in Wonderland is wrong.  Wonderland is real, and  after being separated from her world, Alyss Heart is determined to prove it.  Alyss is the princess of Wonderland: a world run by both white and black imagination, a world with card soldiers, a world that has tea parties and caterpillars (though not in the way you may think).

On Alyss’s 7th birthday, the kingdom is taken over by the black imagination user, her Aunt Redd.  With the help of Hatter Madigan, Alyss escapes through the Pool of Tears and lands in London, England, where everything is different and everyone thinks she’s making up stories.  Hatter Madigan lands in Paris, France, and begins searching for her.  But, what is Alyss to do when everybody thinks she’s making up stories?  And, more importantly, how can she get back to Wonderland?

Review: This book fell into my hands thanks to some of my close friends–I’ve been trying to delve into fantasy more, and I figured that before I moved back home, I’d like to read some of their favorite books.  When I saw this series in the stack of books they gave me, I was a little bit wary.  In recent years, Alice in Wonderland has become a sort of trope, and has been done quite a few times before.  Nonetheless, I had free time, and who was I to judge a book by its cover?

Immediately, I was thrust into this fantastic world of Alyss’s, and I fell in love.  With loveable characters such as Alyss, her childhood friend and sweetheart Dodge, her tutor Bibwit Harte, and guard Hatter Madigan, it was easy to tell that this was not going to be an ordinary retelling of Alice in Wonderland.  For me, this book is placed right between children’s literature and young adult literature.  It has fairly lengthy chapters and quite a few intense fight scenes, but the conversations between the characters were humorous in a way meant for a younger audience.

But, as an adult, reading it was fantastic.  This book provided me with many more emotions than I was expecting–mostly revolving around family drama (both by birth and by adoption) and Dodge.  And with loose ends still not tied up, and a threat looming over Wonderland, I can easily say that I am excited to read the next two installments of this series.

Spoilers/a few more afterthoughts under the cut!

I must say, I thought that the plot of Alyss taking back her kingdom would be spanning over the entirety of the whole series as opposed to just the first novel.  But, this only makes me more interested in what will happen next, and whether Beddor will bring back the Dodgson family.

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