through a looking glass darkly

The Looking Glass Wars  by Frank Beddor (358 pgs) 2006

I love when re-imaginings of classic kids books are done well.  Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson did it with their Peter Pan origin books.  Bill Willingham is doing with his fairy-tales in exile series Fables.  And Frank Beddor has done it here.  The first in a proposed trilogy, The Looking Glass Warscorrects the story that Charles Dodgeson (aka Lewis Carroll) mis-recorded.  Alyss (yes, he even misspelled her name) is on the run.  Her aunt Redd has staged a military coup, killed her parents, and taken over the queendom of Wonderland.  When Charles Dodgeson offer to tell her story, the stranded Alyss thinks it will help her find a way home.  But he gets it all wrong.  And worse, turns it into a nonsensical children’s story!

The Looking Glass War is an entertaining story in it’s own right.  Its got all the makings of a great adventure story.  And the twists on the original are fun.  The Cheshire Cat is Redd’s shape-shifting assassin, Hatter Maddigan is the leader of an elite troupe of bodyguards known as the Millinery, and looking glasses are the fastest form of travel.  Great fun, and I’m looking forward to more.

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