The Looking Glass Wars Puts a Wonderful Spin On Its Source Material

(The following is a book review written for a school assignment.)

    Frank Beddor, known for his best-selling series “The Looking Glass Wars,” definitely hits a home run in his first installment. To put it simply, it is a spinoff of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol where Wonderland is a real, complex world and Alice Liddell is actually Alyss Heart, princess of Wonderland, hiding from her evil Aunt Redd who takes over the kingdom and rules with an iron fist. And such a creative idea is just the beginning of this Wonderlandian rabbit hole!

    Every little detail of Wonderland’s worldbuilding is a fantastic homage to the original story from Alyss tutor from Bibwit Harte, a rabbit-looking albino whose name is an anagram to White Rabbit, to the Valley of Mushrooms, home to the hooka-breathing oracle caterpillars to the stoic royal bodyguard, Hatter Madigan and the spinning blades of his weaponized top hat. There is even a map on one of the first pages showing the whole world.

    When Alyss flees her home and arrives in London, the whole tone changes to one of bleakness and survival. The Liddell family adopts her and she changes her name to Alice. Then, she meets a man named Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who turns her fantastical stories into a silly kids book under the alias Lewis Carrol, and Alice grows up to be a beautiful young woman. The author pays a lot of attention to Lewis Carrol’s and Alice’s real-life identities and fits the pieces together perfectly into an engaging story.

    It is not a perfect story- in fact, it can be rather all over the place, but I thoroughly enjoy the plot and all the characters in it. You can probably tell, but my favorite part of the book has to be world-building. Beddor creates an absolute masterpiece of a Realm.

    If I were to pick out some of the more unsavory bits, I find the dialogue a bit bland- especially compared to the thorough descriptions.

    I’m mildly enthusiastic about reading the rest of the trilogy, but I do have my doubts since the plot is yet another topple of the matriarchy from outside forces. Even so, I am surely in for a delightful topsy-turvy adventure.

[Jusg barely 2 pages]

(I do plan on reviewing the rest of the series when I finish)

(Update: Second book is about the war and it’s not the best but oh well)


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