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Frank Beddor

Author of The Looking Glass Wars

22 Works 9,176 Members 331 Reviews 19 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the names: F. Beddor, Frank Beddor

Image credit: (c) Elizabeth Talbott


Works by Frank Beddor


2009 (30) 2010 (25) adventure (121) Alice (77) Alice in Wonderland (363) ARC (23) children's (29) comics (26) England (36) fairy tales (81) fantasy (1,205) fiction (527) Frank Beddor (45) graphic novel (143) graphic novels (39) hardcover (44) imagination (47) Lewis Carroll (27) Looking Glass Wars (202) magic (94) novel (25) own (53) paperback (23) read (78) retelling (129) science fiction (73) series (186) sff (48) signed (51) steampunk (34) teen (56) to-read (458) trilogy (24) unread (54) war (77) wonderland (145) YA (273) young adult (397) young adult fantasy (24) young adult fiction (56)

Common Knowledge



The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor in Fairy Tales Retold (April 2009)


I picked this up when I picked up The Looking Glass Wars that is to say, during New York Comic-Con 2009 when the author spun me a grand tale that had me enchanted. I count myself extremely lucky as this seems very hard to find now!

I'm a fan of those '-ology' books honestly, I like books like that with little hidden messages and interactive things to read and handle. Its a great way to get kids interested. This book doesn't disappoint me at all in that respect. There is nine different little letters and flip open cards to read as well as the beautifully illustrated playing cards to 'Wage the War' in Wonderland.

The book itself is written like a diary-scrapbook, meant to be a companion to the series as Alyss jots down what she remembers about Wonderland and doesn't want to forget ever. There are dozens of illustrations throughout the book--some are clearly meant to be 'hand drawn' by Alyss while others are pictures she clipped from places--photos offer a little insight into the time period when she lived in this world.

This isn't a book that someone who hasn't read at least the first book should be trolling through, it offers clarification and details about the events, but is not a stand-in for the real thing. Like a real journal the way Alyss describes things are from her viewpoint and perceptions (and this a young girl) so they are colored by her feelings entirely.

The book is beautiful, simply put. Whether its for a little girl who loves Alyss or someone like me who's beyond her 20's but still feels enchantment, its a wonderful companion piece.
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lexilewords | 10 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |
The second book in Beddor's Looking Glass Wars trilogy picks up fairly closely to the end of the first book. 3 lunar cycles (I'm guessing this means months) later and Queen Alyss is doing her best to reassure the people that White Imagination is once again dominate.

There is a little bit of a mislead throughout the book as well, in who's actually the source of evil and motives. King Arch, briefly mentioned and shown in the first book, is a central character this time around (with all his sexist views) and Jack of Diamonds, unfortunately, makes a return appearance. His parents aren't the brightest ever. Redd is more cunning then in the first book, using subterfuge as a way to win out. I admired her, despite her evilness, because she didn't just whine about what she lost (like Jack) or spout impossible ideas (like Arch), but had a solid plan which would have worked.

Hatter Madigan, this poor guy, is put through the ringer. He did take his leave, as he said he would at the end of Book 1, and didn't plan on coming back. We learn more about the civilian he loved, Weaver and what secrets she carried. Which all relates back to Molly (I'm sure you can guess how) and has a surprising turn of events. Doesn't last long however. Molly is also put through the ringer--unsure of herself, prideful of her abilities but shamed by her birth, young and basically self-trained, Arch takes advantage of that weakness.

In the end I enjoyed this book moreso then the first. I enjoyed learning more about the other lands surrounding Wonderland (even if Borderland is...what it is) and despite the ending leaving itself very open to a sequel, I can't be too upset over that. The conflicts of THIS book were resolved and the ending opened the door to a new conflict.
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lexilewords | 61 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |
I have never been interested in Lewis Carroll's books, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I saw the Disney movie, as I'm sure most kids in my peer group had, but the movie didn't make me want to read the books. When I grew older and went looking for books to read I picked up both books, gave them a look through and decided they weren't for me. The story just was too outlandish for me (which is saying something considering my reading tastes). I was fascinated by the Disney Channel show (Adventures in Wonderland), but that show was so very different from other shows of the time (Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as hip hop artists for instance) that it was hard not to be interested I think.

Upon meeting the author at this past New York Comic Con however, I have revised my opinion slightly and read both books (to compare). Still not interested in the original novels, but it gave me a better appreciation of The Looking Glass Wars!

Princess Alyss Heart suffers quite a bit--though not so much physically, but more mentally and emotionally. Its understandable that she would want to fit in, after being so cruelly mocked for years and her one vindication--the book--just making matters worse, I don't blame her. Equally though I was relieved to see her not play the priss for too long once things settle back to normalcy. It would have been heartily annoying to have her go from such a lively, spirited young girl to a spoiled, bratty whiner.

Beddor certainly did his best to alter each familiar character with just the right twist so as to make you wonder how you ever saw them otherwise. Hatter Madigan for instance--or rather the Mad Hatter or Bibwit Harte--the White Rabbit or even Redd. Oh Redd. I really enjoyed her theatrics--so vicious, so petty, so imperfect, I loved her despite being the 'evil' of the book. I rather less enjoyed the Cat, her half-feline/half-human assassin (the Cheschire Cat). The Cheschire Cat was the only character of the original novel I liked even a little bit. The Caterpillar definitely stayed the same--right down to his nonsensical, stuffy and obnoxious ways.

The story moves at a quick pace, alternating event viewpoints from Alyss' adventures, to Hatter Madigan's search for her, to Redd's tyrannical rule and some time is spent on Dodge Anders (Alyss' childhood friend) and Jack of Diamonds (a worm of a boy who plays both sides) so we get a very well rounded view of things. We never see Redd alone, but then such a paranoid personage as herself wouldn't trust to be alone (who knows what her subordinates are scheming if she isn't there to watch?).

The end sets up for the next book, obviously as this is a trilogy, but is satisfactory in tying up the loose ends that could be tied up and giving us a glimpse of things to come.
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lexilewords | 193 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |
This is a good story and retelling of Alice in Wonderland. To be fair I love the world building and I love the characters however there is so much detailing into describing characters and things that it gets boring, he could've shorten some of the description just a bit which is why I gave it a 3 star.
Enid007 | 33 other reviews | Nov 7, 2023 |



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½ 3.7

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