Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars is a, shall we say different, take on Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s very different. Very different. This is nothing like Caroll’s decidedly odd, and not particularly interesting (in my opinion) book. This is real fantasy, not Carroll’s weird stuff.

The book opens in Wonderland’s largest city, Wondertropolis, at Heart Castle, with seven-year-old princess Alyss. After being briefly introduced to Beddor’s Wonderland, the story starts with a bang. Alyss’s parents, the rulers of Wonderland, are dethroned and killed by Alyss’s evil aunt Redd.

Alyss, with security head Hatter Maddigan, escapes through the Pool of Tears to our world, in 19th century England, where she is separated from Maddigan, and after a number of years becomes convinced that Wonderland was just a dream.

Redd soon has Wonderland in her tyrannical control, with only a small group of Wonderlanders resisting — the Alyssians, as the they named themselves.

After awhile, Alyss, now an adult, returns to Wonderland with Hatter Maddigan, to find a dark and battle-scarred Wonderland, with a dwindling group of Alyssians fighting Redd’s army of robotic card soldiers, both party’s weapon of choice being the AD52 razor card launcher.

Alyss, being the true heir to the Wonderland throne, must battle Redd…and not with and AD52. No, Alyss must fight Redd with her Imaginative powers, magical abilities that can do nearly anything with practice…something Alyss lacks.

The Looking Glass Wars is an interesting and imaginative take on Alice in Wonderland, and thankfully shares little resemblance with Caroll’s book. It’s dark, violent at times, futuristic, magical, and different from anything out there. I’m not sure if I’ve given an adequate description or not, but it’s worth a read if you’re looking for an entertaining and different fantasy book.

Further reviews