The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

The basics

Title: The Looking Glass Wars


Series: The Looking Glass Wars #1

- The Looking Glass Wars (2004)
- Seeing Red (2007)
- ArchEnemy (2009)

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

Read a full summary of The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Looking Glass Wars and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

This recap was written and submitted by Taylor Ramey. Thank you, Taylor!

What happened in The Looking Glass Wars?

  • It was Alyss’ birthday. She was seven. Alyss Heart was a princess, and her mother the queen, Queen Genevieve. Years ago, Redd, Genevieve’s older sister and former heir to the throne had been exiled, but there had been years of peace since then.
  • In Wonderland, Imagination was a powerful thing. There was White Imagination, good and peaceful, the kind that Genevieve used, and Black Imagination, evil, like the kind that Redd uses. Alyss was particularly gifted when it came to Imagination.
  • But Alyss does not care for politics, or power. She is a happy young girl. She skips off to find her friend, Dodge, the son of the Captain of the Guard, and her best friend.
  • Dodge and Alyss were dancing, when Jack of Diamonds, one of the noble boys from a noble family waltzed in. He taunted Dodge, and Dodge shoved him to the ground. Alyss and Dodge fled the castle while Jack calmed down. On their way back, Alyss found a kitten with a tag on it that said “happy birthday, Alyss,” with no indication as to who had sent the cat.
  • While Dodge and Alyss were goofing off, Redd was storming the palace. The cat that had been sent to Alyss was the talking cat, one that had been sent as a spy and assassin. Redd killed Dodge’s father, and Genevieve, as well as Alyss’ father, the king.
  • Before she was beheaded, Genevieve sent Alyss and Hatter Madigan, the royal protector, to go and flee through the magic looking glass portal.
  • They ended up on the bank of the Pool of Tears, named for the people who fell in the water, never to return. It was their only chance, as The Cat was chasing them, so they jumped into the water. They were sucked down into the depths of the water.
  • Alyss found herself in a strange place, on that the people around her referred to as London. She fell in with a group of street orphans. Quigly was the leader, and as soon as he learned of Alyss’ magic imagination, he made use of her, telling her to preform on the streets, making a flower dance and sing for her. As Alyss spent more and more time in London, the more her imagination began to dwindle, until she could no longer make the flower sing.
  • The orphans went back to stealing, and Alyss was caught and taken to an orphanage.
  • Meanwhile, Hatter had landed in France. He startled several drunken men with his sharp knives and daggers, and was taken into the court, but he managed to escape. He took to searching the land for Alyss, but he had to be cautious, as he had become a wanted man.
  • The Liddell family adopted Alyss. They already had two daughters, both of whom were rude and bullied Alyss. The Linddells forced Alyss to spell her name “Alice,” and the sisters referred to “Odd Alice.”
  • Then, Alyss met Reverend Dodgson. She told him the story of Wonderland and all its magic. Dodgson decided to write a book, but when he showed Alyss the finished book, it was all twisted and fantasy. Alyss was furious and refused to see him again. From then on, Alyss vowed to be a normal, strong girl.
  • She grew up, and became a woman. Before long, suitors were after her, including a prince, but Alyss had no interest in them, for she had the intention of marrying for love, not stature.
  • Then, Prince Leopold asked Alyss to marry him. Alyss accepted, so Leopold and Alyss held a ball for their engagement party, a masquerade to be exact.
  • Back in Wonderland, Hatter Madigan, after thirteen years, finally returned to Wonderland with the news that Alyss was still alive. Dodge was ecstatic, and went to find Alice in London.
  • On the night of the ball of Leopold and Alyss’ engagement, Dodge showed up and shared a dance with Alyss. Alyss did not recognize him as Dodge, but felt that there was something familiar about him.
  • The day of the wedding rolls around, and Dodge rolls in to save Alyss from The Cat assassin who had crashed the wedding. He takes Alyss back to Wonderland, where the Alyssians wait. They rejoice over the return of their long lost princess. Jack of Diamonds says that he would be honored if Alyss would still accept him as her husband.
  • Babwit Harte, the former royal tutor, the Jack of Diamonds, General Doppelgänger, a man that could split into two completely different men,
  • General Doppel and General Gänger, and Dodge all met in one of the tents at the encampment. They questioned whither or not Alyss would be able to defeat her aunt and whither she was fit to rule after so many years in the other world. Dodge argued that she would be fine. Babwit suggests that they put Alyss to the test by making her go though the Looking Glass Maze, a maze that all queens-to-be had to go through, as a sort of trial.
  • Alyss and Dodge go to the old castle where Alyss used to live, Redd had made sure that it had been abandoned and had built a new castle up on the mountain. Alyss looked into a mirror, and saw Redd there. Redd brought down the ruined castle, but Alyss and all her friends managed to escape.
  • Meanwhile, it is revealed that the Jack of Diamonds is a traitor to Alyss and the Alyssians.
  • Alyss and her friends decide that it is time that she went through the Looking Glass Maze. They visit the caterpillars in the mushroom forest. There were six caterpillars, each a different color, but Alyss confronts the blue caterpillar. The caterpillar said that Hatter Madigan knew where to find a girl that could show them the way to the maze.
  • Hatter takes Bibwit, Alyss, Dodge and General Doppelgänger to a tavern, where he introduces them to a thirteen year old girl, Molly. Molly was half civilian and half Milliner, a half-breed, yet she was able to lead them all to a puzzle shop.
  • At the shop, the Alyssians were attacked by several of Redd’s soldiers. Alyss slipped into the maze, completed the trials, and when she emerged again, she was able to single-handedly destroy all the soldiers against the Alyssians.
  • Alyss decided that it was time she confronted her aunt. Redd was furious, but unconcerned by her neice.
  • As soon as the Alyssians arrived, Dodge went off on his own to find his revenge on The Cat that had killed his father. The creature had five lives left. Alyss attempted to help him, but Dodge said that he needed to do it alone.
  • Alyss defeats her aunt, but before she can kill Redd, Redd jumps through a portal.
  • Alyss reclaims her throne. She places the Diamond, Spade and Club families on trial, and has the Jack of Diamonds imprisoned for his war crimes. Meanwhile, a clone of Alyss is sent back to London to the Liddell family.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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