Looking Glass War/Seeing Redd

The Looking Glass War
Frank Beddor
Dial Books

The Looking Glass War by Frank Beddor is the first in a trilogy that sets the world of Alice in Wonderland on its head. In this book Alyss is the heir to the throne of Wonderland, a kingdom where imagination rules. Her Aunt Redd a master of black imagination takes over Wonderland, killing Alyss’s parents and sending Alyss fleeing through the Pool of Tears. Redd,¬† who delights in cruelty and destruction, rules Wonderland while Alyss is in exile in our world learning to fit in. She tells her story to Charles Dodgson, but he gets it all wrong. She is just about to give up when she is returned to Wonderland and battle with Redd.

This book starts on the slow side as we are introduced to the alternate vision of Wonderland. The way that Beddor uses the characters from the book in his novel adds a surreal aspect to the story in places. Once the characters have been introduced, the story picks up its pace until it is a wild ride to a great showdown at the conclusion.

The characters themselves are well done and believable. They struggle with what has happened to them and their world. All of them learn and shift in their understanding of themselves and their place in the world.

Seeing Redd

Seeing Redd is the second book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy by Frank Beddor. Often the middle book of a trilogy is just filler between the introduction of the characters in the first book and the final conclusion of the third. This book is not filler. Beddor takes the world he introduced us to in the The Looking Glass Wars and add levels of complexity. We see outside of the borders of Wonderland, and those lands are just as deliciously demented as Wonderland itself. As well the characters continue to grow and discover themselves. Alyss learns that it is harder to keep a throne than it is to win it.

The story picks up a few months after The Looking Glass Wars ended, Alyss has moved into a restored Wondertropolis and Heart Palace, but she has barely settled in before attacks begin on the outposts of her kingdom. Has Redd returned, or is this a new threat? Homburg Molly is a central character in the story as she tries to prove herself worthy of her post. Her ferocious loyalty is used against her and she finds herself a pawn in a plot to remove Alyss from her throne.

Like the first in the series, Seeing Redd starts off slowly. It is very much like setting up a line of dominos. When Beddor sets the dominos to falling the story become a wild ride indeed to a conclusion that sets the stage for a terrific closing book to this delightful trilogy. I will be waiting impatiently for the last book in the trilogy to make its appearance.

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