Title: Archenemy (The Looking Glass Wars: Book 3)
Author: Frank Beddor
Publisher: Speak (Penguin Group) 2010
Genre: Fantasy; YA
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: YA; 2011: Mind the Gap: A to Z Authors: B; Fantasy; January: New Books
The Heart Crystal's power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. But at least the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd's overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles. . . .
I absolutely loved the first two books of The Looking Glass Wars: a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. Where Wonderland is an alternate world accessible from Earth through puddles where there shouldn't be any puddle. Princess Alyss Heart is whisked away to Earth when her evil aunt Redd Heart (think the Red Queen) kills Alyss' parents and Redd's sister Genevieve and takes over Wonderland. Eventually Princess Alyss is found by Hatter Madigan (think Mad Hatter but a protector and bodyguard and not crazy) and brought back to Wonderland to retake the crown. A war for the throne begins... and concludes in this volume.
I won't spoil any more secrets from the trilogy, but I will say that I love the books. Beddor does a great job taking Lewis Carroll's original story and characters and reimaging them as something more than a "children's story." (Yes, I know the original Alice in Wonderland is not a children's story, but has elements of logic, math, political study, and social satire. It's one of my favorite books. But it continues to be placed in the children's section of most places because of the crazy surrealism and characters). The series is listed as Young Adult Fantasy, but adults would easily love the story line and characters. They are real, much more real than Carroll's portrayal. The "white rabbit" as Bibwit, the albino tutor to royalty. The playing cards as soldiers dealt for attack.
As to the settings, Wonderland is a complete world. Imaginative settings, regions, other groups of peoples. Even appearances by the Jabberwocky (always a favorite). The colors are wonderfully woven together. I could move through the environment right along with Princess (later Queen) Alyss as she struggles to find her rightful place in Wonderland.
A must read for fans of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and/or fun adventure fantasy. A great addition to my ever expanding library!
*As a side note, I also loved the SyFy Channels reimaging of Alice in Wonderland titled "Alice." I now own it and rewatched it right after reading Archenemy as another look at Alice in Wonderland. Check it out!
The Looking Glass Wars
- The Looking Glass Wars
- Seeing Redd