Review: THE LOOKING GLASS WARS by Frank Beddor

TITLE: The Looking Glass Wars
AUTHOR: Frank Beddor
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Steampunk
PUBLISHED:  September 1, 2004 – Dial Books


(Courtesy of GoodReads)

When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story - and he's searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.


This book is a take-off of the well known “Alice In Wonderland.” It is very well written fantasy. It is an intriguing story about the princess of Wonderland, Alyss Heart. Each of the important characters of the story are present and take on new fantastic roles. The Mad Hatter is Hatter Madigan, the queen’s personal bodyguard and the head of Wonderlands elite security force. The letters in “white rabbit” were rearranged to form the name Bibwit Harte, the name of an old albino tutor of the royal family.

This story is fantastically weaved not only around a thrilling storyline about the battle between good, Alyss, and evil, Redd (formerly known as the Queen of Hearts) but it is imaginatively weaved around the playing card and chess themed characters. There is SO much detail; I don’t feel there was a spot missing in the theme of hearts and diamonds, rooks and pawns. It was truly marvelous to see this plot weave its way through a story that had never made sense to me. (I sit and wonder if I liked this version of Alice in Wonderland better than the Disney movie! The answer is, of course, yes!)


I’d rate this book a 4: Very Good: A very good choice to read. I’ll probably read the rest of the trilogy. 

More Books by Frank Beddor:

The Looking Glass Wars Series: