The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

What if Alice in Wonderland were a true story? What if Lewis Carroll listened to Alice recite her story and thinking she had a sympathetic ear in an unsympathetic world told of all the amazing things that happen in Wonderland? What if instead of believing her, he thought she was making up the outlandish story by using her overactive imagination? This is precisely the idea behind THE LOOKING GLASS WARS.

Young Alyss Heart is a princess in the prosperous world of Wonderland. Her mother, Queen Genevieve and her father King Nolan love her dearly, doting on her any time they can. Everything is as it should be at the beginning of her seventh birthday, her friends, including her best friend Dodge, family, and servants are all enjoying themselves and eating tarty tarts to their hearts content. Only King Nolan is absent, but he is on his way. He has been taking care of military matters with King Arch, the leader of the neighboring Borderland.

However, evil is quickly approaching. Alyss’ Aunt Redd is leading her army of soldiers into Wonderland to take over. Redd feels cheated of the crown. She feels she should be Queen of Wonderland, instead of her sister Genevieve. Redd, after killing her own mother, leaves Wonderland and begins to plot her coup.

The moment trouble is announced at Heart Palace, Queen Genevieve takes Alyss with her into the royal chambers hoping for safety, but Redd busts her way in. The only way Genevieve can save Alyss is to send her into the looking glass along with the royal body guard, Hatter Madigan. They escape, but are being followed by Redd’s deadly assassin, The Cat. Their only chance is to jump into the Pool of Tears and swim to safety. However, the Pool of Tears is a place that no one has ever returned from. They have no idea where it leads. Hatter and Alyss get separated; Alyss lands in England and Hatter in Paris.

Alyss eventually ends up in an orphanage and is adopted by the Liddell family and made to feel extremely silly for talking about Wonderland. That is, until she meets the man who turns out to be Lewis Carroll. She tells her story and he begins to write it down. When she finds out he turned it into a children’s fairy tale she is outraged and never speaks to him again.

Hatter spends thirteen years going from place to place, using the unusual mode of transportation of water puddles, searching for Alyss. Finally he sees a copy of Alice in Wonderland in a store and tracks her down. He finds her on the day of her wedding to the Prince of England. Hatter takes her away and manages to reach Wonderland. After being reunited with her tutor, Hatter, and especially Dodge, who she has missed the most, Alyss learns to use her imagination again and takes on Redd for the well being of Wonderland.

This fantastical story is exciting and entertaining. Any fan of the story of Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll will love reading the “real” story. The imagination of Frank Beddor is amazing.

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