Monday, April 6, 2009

The Looking Glass Wars - Frank Beddor

A while ago my sister told me that there was a new book out called The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. It's a novel about the "true" story of Alice in Wonderland. I thought it would be a great time to check it out for the Once Upon a Time III challenge. And it was great! It's a quick, fun book and is perfect to get me through the rainy Spring days here. **Update: The Looking Glass Wars is the first book in a trilogy. The next two books are Seeing Redd and Arch-Enemy.

The story starts out with Alyss enjoying her seventh birthday in Wonderland. Her mother and father are King and Queen Heart who rule Wonderland. But on her birthday, her wicked Aunt Redd throws a coup and usurps the queendom. The bodyguard Hatter Madigan steals her away from Redd and they jump in the Pool of Tears, a gateway to our world. But they become separated along the way. Alyss ends up in London and Hatter M. ends up in Paris. For years Hatter searches for Alyss all over the world without success. Alyss is sent to an orphanage where she is adopted by the Liddell family. She then tells her story to the Liddell family friend, Charles Dodgson, who writes the story up. Alyss if furious because he gets none of the facts even remotely correct, including her name.

Back in Wonderland, Redd has become Queen and basically destroyed the queendom. Renegade dissidents of Redd's rule have become known as "Alyssians" and are constantly having skirmishes with Redd's army, The Cut (a ruthless army of cards). Dodge, Alyss's childhood friend is seeking revenge on the killer of his father, The Cat, Redd's evil assassin.

Thirteen years later, Alyss (now known as Alice) has caught Prince Leopold's eye, son of Queen Victoria. But in far away Egypt, Hatter M. comes across a copy of Alice in Wonderland at a book seller.

And that's all I'll tell you.

Sound good? You'll definitely like it if you like Wicked or Tin Man...or just fun alternate view point stories.

And you HAVE to check out the website! What really drew me in is the artwork. Check some of it out.

Here's young Alyss:Here's Hatter M (there's a new graphic novel based on Hatter M):
Here's a cool trailer:

Finally, I rented the book with the above cover from the library, but here are other versions:
The other thing that I thought was fascinating is the actual story of Alice Liddell and her connection with Alice in Wonderland, Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll), and Prince Leopold.

Here's the real Alice:This has been a read for the Once Upon a Time III Challenge.

Also Reviewed by:
The Movieholic & Bibliophile's Blog
Muse Book Reviews
The Novel World
Bold. Blue. Adventure.


  1. wow! I love the art. I adored Wicked, and I've been meaning to start this series for ages. Thanks for reminding me of why I should!

  2. This is a great review, and I love the artwork. Can't wait to read this now.

  3. This is a truly fantastic series. I managed to pick them up at Comic-Con a few years back from Frank himself as well as the soundtrack that he compiled to go with the book. All of the songs relate to/sing about Alice in Wonderland and I LOVE it. I'm still not finished with the last book, but the series is good and it is a quick read. I would suggest the album as well to anyone. I particularly became a fan of Hypnogaja and now have all of their cds too. Great way to discover new groups.

  4. This looks like a great read. I just finished The Wizard of Oz today, so this is a timely suggestion and review.

  5. Wow, I have to say that Hatter stuff looks very cool! Although the first thing I thought of when I saw "Looking Glass Wars" was the The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through duology.

  6. I didn't love this one, but it did make me go back and reread Alice in Wonderland, which was fun.

  7. I enjoyed it when I read it a few years back. I have the second book in what I believe is a trilogy, but haven't read it yet. The artwork is indeed fantastic! I thought the story was fun, myself and it is a book I would recommend.

  8. I have never heard of this, I can't wait to try it!

  9. Hope you like Seeing Redd too! I just adore this author's books!

    Love your blog!

  10. I really loved this book too. I love the illustrations, that's what caught my eye. A very edgy version of Alice in Wonderland. Seeing Redd is still on my to-read list. I can't wait to see your review on it though.

  11. Thank you for taking a dip into the Pool of Tears with Alyss. We're trying to get the word out about the real Wonderland. Book three of the series is out October 15 of this year. Hopefully it will complete the collection of those of you who have read the other two. It will feature more wonderful art! We're also putting together the movie and a fantastic card game at Whew! You can keep up with all of this at There's too much to tell!

    LGW Librarian

  12. I loved this and the follow up and hope the third one comes out soon. The graphic novel is also a lot of fun.

    My review is here:

  13. I really want to read these books. The Looking Glass Wars is the first one, right?