Book of the Month: The Looking Glass Wars

Book of the Month: The Looking Glass Wars

The Looking Glass Wars
by Frank Beddor

Cover Review: Eye-catching. The large gold suit symbols on the cover, with hearts conveniently at the top, hint at the drama inside. It's attractive, though not very colorful, and well balanced. The one thing I would have changed would be to make the title bigger. (Plus, what do you think of the picture? I think it's one of the best I've taken so far.)

The Blurb: Alyss of Wonderland? When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carroll, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story and he is search every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may eventually battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.

My Thoughts

As many people have noted, and even as it says in the blurb, this is not Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. That alone turns many people off this book. If you're expecting madness, wonder, and fun, this book is not for you.

I thought this book was an interesting take on Wonderland. It's not exactly dark, like Splintered, but it's not a light story either. I would call it an epic fantasy, loosely based off of Lewis Carroll's work.

Plot wise, it's well constructed. The timeline is over ten years long, and the book sets up much for the rest of the series, but it also could work as a stand-alone novel. This is Alyss' story, though it does touch on other characters, such as Hatter and Dodge, a boy Alyss knew before having to leave Wonderland.

The characters are interesting, though at times they can feel a little flat. Alyss is a bit boring at the beginning, but she gets better as the story and the series progresses. Of all the characters, Hatter is my favorite, as I've previously mentioned.

Then there's Wonderland itself. It's one of the best parts of the book. Beddor did a great job at figuring out the world and how it works. There's strange creatures, talking plants, and Imagination, which is like magic. There's White Imagination and Black Imagination, like the light and dark sides of the force. And the weapons are awesome. Another interesting thing about Wonderland is it is a queendom, only having queens, no kings.

My Rating:


A good YA book for people who love re-tellings, epic fantasy, coming of age stories, and magic.

*  *  *  *

A quick aside, sorry for the delay of this post. I got a bad cold and could barely think. All I did was sit around and read books. I think I finished four. Thanks for the patience. For that, here's some pictures of our cat, Cheshire, in the lightbox.

Have you read The Looking Glass Wars? How true to the original do you think re-tellings should be? Let me know in the comments.


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