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The Looking Glass Wars (Looking Glass Wars)

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The Looking Glass Wars (Looking Glass Wars) Cover

ISBN13: 9780803731530
ISBN10: 0803731531
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Chapter 1

THE QUEENDOM had been enjoying a tentative peace ever since the time, twelve years earlier, when unbridled bloodshed spattered the doorstep of every Wonderlander. The civil war hadn't been the longest in all of recorded history, but no doubt it was one of the bloodiest. Those who had entered a little too quickly into the carnage and destruction had trouble adapting to life during peacetime. When hostilities ceased, they ran amok on the streets of Wonderland's capital city, looting and pillaging Wondertropolis until Queen Genevieve had them rounded up and shipped off to the Crystal Mines—a spiderweb-like network of tunnels carved in a far-off mountainside, where those unwilling to abide by the laws of decent society lived in windowless dormitories and labored to excavate crystal from the unforgiving mountain. Even after these people were taken off the streets, the peace that settled on Wonderland was nothing like that which had existed before the war. A third of Wondertropolis' quartz-like buildings had to be rebuilt. The smooth turquoise amphitheater had suffered damage in an air raid, as had the public works towers and spires sporting fiery, reflective pyrite skin. But the scars of war are not always visible. Although Queen Genevieve ruled her queendom judiciously, with care for the well-being of her people, the monarchy had forever been weakened. The coalition of Diamond, Club, and Spade dynasties that made up Parliament were falling apart. The matriarchs of the families were jealous of Genevieve's power. Each thought she could rule Wonderland better then the queen. Each watched and waited for an opportunity to wrest control from her, keeping a none-too-friendly eye on the other families in case they happened to make a move first.

Entertaining no thoughts of war, Princess Alyss Heart stood on the balcony of Heart Palace with her mother, Queen Genevieve. The city was in the midst of a jubilant gala. From the Everlasting Forest to the Valley of Mushrooms, Wonderlanders had come to celebrate the seventh birthday of their future queen, who, as it happened, was bored out of her wits. Alyss knew she could do a lot worse than be Queen of Wonderland, but even a future monarch doesn't always want to do what she is supposed to do—like site through hours of pageantry. She would rather have hidden with her friend Dodge in one of the palace towers, dropping jollyjellies from an open window and watching them splat on the guards below. Dodge wouldn't like the jollyjelly bit—guardsmen deserved better treatment, he'd say—but that would only make it more fun.

Where was Dodge anyway? She hadn't seen him all morning, and it wasn't nice to avoid the birthday girl on her birthday. She searched for him among the Wonderlanders gathered to watch the Inventors' Parade on the cobbled lane below. No sign of him. He was probably off doing something fun; whatever it was had to be more fun than being stuck here, forced to watch Wonderlanders show off their silly contraptions. Bibwit Harte, the royal tutor, had explained to her that most of Wonderland took pride in the Inventors' Parade, the one time every year when citizens flaunted their skills and ingenuity before the queen. If Genevieve saw something in the parade that she thought particularly good, she would send it into the Heart Crystal—a thirty-three-foot-tall, fifty-two-foot-wide shimmering crystal on the palace grounds, the power source for all creation. Whatever passed into the crystal went out into the universe to inspire imaginations in other worlds. If a Wonderlander bounced in front of Queen Genevieve on a spring-operated stick with handlebars and footrests and she passed this curious invention into the crystal, before long, in one civilization or another, a pogo stick would be invented.

Still, Alyss wondered, what was the big deal? Having to stand here until her feet hurt—it was punishment.

"I wish Father was here."

"He's due back form Boarderland at any moment," said Queen Genevieve. "But since the rest of Wonderland is here, I suggest you try to enjoy yourself for their sake. That's interesting, don't you think?"

They watched as a man floated down from the sky with what looked like a hollow mushroom cap strapped to his back.

"It's pretty good, I suppose," said Alyss, " but it'd be better if it were furry."

And with that, the mushroom contraption was suddenly covered with fur, its inventor falling to the ground with a thump.

Queen Genevieve frowned.

"He's late," Alyss said. "He promised he'd be here. I don't understand why he had to make a trip so close to my birthday."

There were reasons, as the queen well knew. Intelligence had indicated that they may have already waited too long. Unconfirmed reports suggested Redd was growing more powerful, outfitting her troops for an attack, and Genevieve was no longer sure that her military could provide adequate defense. She was as keen as Alyss for King Nolan's return, but she had determined to enjoy the day's festivities.

"Ooh, look at that," she said, pointing at a woman wiggling as she walked so as to keep a large hoop swinging round and round her waist." That looks diverting."

"It'd be more fun if it had fountains of water coming out of it," Alyss said, and immediately the hoop was spurting water from tiny holes all along its surface, the surprised inventor still wiggling to keep it swinging round and round.

"Birthday or not, Alyss," Queen Genevieve said, "I don't think it's nice to show off."

The fur on the first-ever parachute vanished. The fountains of water on the newly invented hula hoop dried up. The power of Alyss' imagination had made them appear and disappear. Imagination was an important part of life in Wonderland, and Alyss had the most powerful imagination ever seen in a seven year-old Wonderlander. But as with any formidable talent, Alyss' imagination could be used for good or ill, and the queen saw mild reasons for concern. Hardly one revolution of the Thurmite moon had passed since Alyss' last incident: Impatient with young Jack of Diamonds for some childish indiscretion, she's imagined his trousers filled with slick, squiggling gwormmies. Jack of Diamonds had said he "felt something funny," looked down, and saw that his trousers were moving, alive. He'd been having nightmares ever since. Alyss claimed not to have done it on purpose, which may or may not have been true, Genevieve couldn't tell. Alyss didn't yet have full control of her imaginative powers, but the girl would say anything to get out of trouble.

"You will be the strongest queen yet," she told her daughter. "Your imagination will be the crowning achievement of the land. But Alyss, you must work hard to develop it according to the guiding principles of the Heart dynasty—love, justice, and duty to the people. An undisciplined imagination is worse than no imagination at all. It can do more harm. Remember what happened to your aunt Redd."

"I know," Alyss said sulkily. She had never met her aunt Redd, but she'd heard storied about the woman for as long as she could remember. She didn't bother trying to understand it all; it was history—boring boring boring. But she knew that to be like her aunt Redd wasn't good.

"Now that's enough lecturing for one princess' birthday," Queen Genevieve said. She clapped her hands and the parachute and hula hoop passed into the Heart Crystal, much to the joy of their inventors.

An empty pair of King Nolan's boots floated out from behind the balcony door and began to dance in front of the brooding princess.

Queen Genevieve, watching yet another extraordinary display of her daughter's imagination, said, "Alyss."

Something in her tone made the girl stop what she was doing. The boots thudded to the ground, still.

"It's all in your head," the queen sighed. "Remember that, love. Whatever happens, it's all in your head."

It was both a warning and an expression of hope: Queen Genevieve, aware of the dark forces at work somewhere in the wastes of the Chessboard Desert, knew that joy and happiness didn't last forever in Wonderland; sooner or later the queendom would come under attack, and it would require all of Alyss' imaginative powers—and then some—to ensure its survival.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

PrincessC176, June 18, 2009 (view all comments by PrincessC176)
The Looking Glass Wars was an absolutely wonderful book that I didn't want to put down. Even if you're not an Alice in Wonderland fan, this book won't disappoint. Seeing Redd is the next in the series and it's a great continuation.
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Daoshi, February 21, 2007 (view all comments by Daoshi)
Before I begin, I have to say that my first experience with Lewis Carroll’s influence wasn’t the best when I had nightmares over evil-grinning cats ripping my skin off and hatters that would boil me in their tea. (I suppose that means I had macabre imagination for a child.) That being said, I already had a bias about The Looking Glass War’s “Hatter Madigan” and “The Cat” characters before even reading about them.

Frank Beddor, however, shall cause no such nightmares to anyone. To assemble an appropriate book to suit all ages and tastes is nearly impossible. Yet, The Looking Glass Wars pulls it off well; it returns adolescent imagining powers as a literal form of energy while including the ever popular demand for “action fight scenes” and “childhood adoration.” Because of this, the book has reached popularity; like all popular books, there are always people that want everything to be all original and I, myself, prefer original things over trite, over-used themes. However, The Looking Glass Wars has a careful blend of both.

Nevertheless, this book might not be the best for all in which it requires an open mind and personal opinions.

The American McGee travesty of the Mad Hatter was rather repulsive. Upon hearing of Hatter Madigan, I expected another American grotesque, tragic remix of the classic at-maker. I was gladly proved wrong. Hatter Madigan has a wonderful character and he is very focused on his ambitions. We see Hatter’s personal goals rather easily but is haunted by his own daemons bestowed upon him as a command from Queen Genevieve Heart.

Now, Princess Alyss goes through scenarios that we all must go through such as when one speaks the truth yet all revile. Alyss’ powers elude her on Earth and thus, she shows courage in trying to reclaim it in Wonderland thirteen years later of everyone attempting to convince her that Wonderland does not exist and that her true name is Alice. Why doesn’t this girl go through an identity crisis or develop schizophrenia as a form of being haunted by her family’s death? It’s amazing how she pulls through! In addition, she is also courageous in a sense that she does not lash out on Queen Redd for her the dictator’s massacring of many people and Alyss certainly is not contained in a mental ward because of her beliefs of Wonderland. Alyss is also unselfish for the fact that she chooses to do what is best for all in both places, Wonderland and Earth.

Instead of giving us a “rip-off” cliff-hanger ending, we have a decent resolution to all the elements to encourage the readers to read the next two books of the fantasy trilogy.

I encourage all to read The Looking Glass Wars. Cheers!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780803731530
Author:
Beddor, Frank
Publisher:
Dial Books
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Characters in literature
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Characters and characteristics in literature
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series:
The Looking Glass Wars
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
408
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.52 x 1.08 in 0.9 lb
Age Level:
08-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » General

The Looking Glass Wars (Looking Glass Wars) Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 408 pages Dial Books - English 9780803731530 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Alice was real — although her name was spelled Alyss, one of the many details Lewis Carroll got wrong in the story told to him by the young queen of Wonderland, according to Beddor's imaginative opener to a planned trilogy. Seven-year-old Alyss Heart is heir to the throne of Wonderland, just beginning her training under her albino tutor Bibwit Harte (an anagram for 'white rabbit,' one of many such puns) when her evil aunt Redd, long ago banished to the Chessboard Desert, leads a violent coup that kills King Nolan, Alyss's father. Alyss narrowly escapes (via a looking glass, naturally) with the help of bodyguard Hatter Madigan, and ends up in a London orphanage. Here she meets Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a 'gentle, shrinking-violet type of fellow,' who will turn her story into a children's book; years later, Hatter finds the book during his quest to find the lost princess, and seeks out Carroll. While the girl (now Alice Liddell) prepares to marry Prince Leopold, life in Wonderland grows ever harsher under the reign of Redd, and the 'Alyssinians' await the return of their young queen-to-be. Beddor makes ample use of Carroll-esque humor and wit, so much so that the thought of an entire trilogy is somewhat daunting; fortunately, the ending to this first entry allows readers to treat it as a standalone. Fans of the source material will find this an entertaining diversion, while those unfamiliar with it will miss much of the humor. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Agent: Barbara Marshall Ltd." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A highly original and engrossing read that takes the story of Carroll's Alice and turns it on its head in a totally believable way. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait for the next volume."
"Review" by , "The action moves swiftly from one complex scene to the next."
"Review" by , "[R]eadable and appealing...a good choice for reluctant readers."
"Review" by , "Fans of Carroll's stories will flock to this and those who have managed to miss that less violent classic can get to it while waiting for the next volume in this exciting and humorous trilogy."
"Review" by , "The clever premise, the superior production values, and the publisher's ambitious marketing plans will no doubt ensure success at least on par with that of other recent juvenile fantasies. This book is enjoyable, but it could have been more."
"Review" by , "Beddor offers some intriguing reimaginings of Dodgson's concepts...but his transformation of Wonderland's lunacy into a workable world sometimes leads to stilted exposition on history, geography, and government."
"Synopsis" by ,
The Myth: Alice was an ordinary girl who stepped through the looking glass and entered a fairy-tale world invented by Lewis Carroll in his famous storybook. The Truth: Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne, until her murderous aunt Redd steals the crown and kills Alyss? parents. To escape Redd, Alyss and her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must flee to our world through the Pool of Tears. But in the pool Alyss and Hatter are separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong. Hatter Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

"Synopsis" by ,
You know the myth...

A little girl named Alice tumbled down a rabbit hole and proceeded to have a charming adventure in the delightful, made-up world of Wonderland...

Now discover the truth... Wonderland Exists!

Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, was forced to flee through the Pool of Tears after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life only to see it published as the nonsensical Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alyss had trusted Lewis Carroll to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere would find her and bring her home. But Carroll had gotten it all wrong. He even misspelled her name! If not for royal bodyguard Hatter Madigan's nonstop search to locate the lost princess, Alyss may have become just another society woman sipping tea in a too-tight corset instead of returning to Wonderland to fight Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

Meet the heroic, passionate, monstrous, vengeful denizens of this parallel world as they battle each other with AD-52's and orb generators, navigate the Crystal Continuum, bet on jabberwock fights and travel across the Chessboard Desert.

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