Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Looking Glass Wars

I recently finished book one and two in The Looking Glass Wars trilogy by Frank Beddor. I highly recommend this series and certainly look forward to Beddor releasing book three in Fall 2009. In case you don't know already, I typically judge books by their covers and I can say with great certainty that I never would have picked these books up if it wasn't for an enthusiatic teenager at my library forcing it on me. But I'm so glad I did so that I can now pass that joy onto others interested in a good teen series.

As the title suggests, Beddor's trilogy reexamines the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In this world Wonderland truly exists and Charles Dodgson(AKA Lewis Carroll) misinterprets many things when he translates Alyss' story into book form. That's right, Alyss. Dodgson misspelled her name along with making many of her faithful friends silly creatures. Needless to say, Alyss was not happy with his story and refused to speak to him again. But I digress.

The true story begins with the princess of Wonderland, Alyss, living the life of comfort in Heart Palace. Like many accustomed to such a life, Alyss is bored beyond belief and rambles about the castle with the son of a palace guard, Dodge Anders, getting into mischief. But real trouble arrives when Alyss' Aunt Redd, displaced from the throne years ago for practicing Black Imagination, attacks the reigning queen, Alyss' mother, Genevieve. After a bloody battle hard fought by the White Imagination army, many are dead including Queen Genevieve. Empowered, Redd takes her place as the new Queen of Hearts. Luckily, Alyss has escaped with the help of bodyguard Hatter Madigan (Mad Hatter...get it. Dodgson got so much wrong.) into the Pool of Tears which leads them both to our world, specifically London. There Alyss is accidentally separated from Hatter and lost in a new world. While in England, Alyss is determined to not forget Wonderland and tells her story to everyone she encounters (hence Dodgson getting his hand on the story). She is adopted by the Liddell family and as years pass Alyss forgets much of her past until she is tracked down by Hatter and returns to Wonderland to regain her throne.

I'd tell you more but really you must read it yourself to see all the truly wonderful variations on the original story. Similar to most good vs evil stories but with just a bit extra that tips the scales. Beddor has created a graphic novel about Hatter M to go along with the series as well. Finally, he is working of the screenplay for the series. Can't wait to see his version of Wonderland on the big screen.

Readers Advisory Note: Reminded me of one of my favorite series, Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde. If you haven't read those then by all means rush to your library and pick up The Eyre Affair. If you're already familiar with Next try Fforde's Nursery Crimes series. Love them!

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