Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Frank Beddor Re-Imagines Alice In Wonderland

Queen Alyss via HeroSpy.com

I'm close to finishing the final book of the Looking Glass Wars trilogy, which is a steam-punky reimagining of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (as well as a reimagining of Alice Liddell's life). I started reading The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor right around the time of my Mad Tea Party, which was fun timing.

The premise of this book and its sequels is that Alice Liddell was actually Princess Alyss of Wonderland who escaped to Earth after her evil, mad Aunt Redd killed Alyss's parents and took over the queendom. Adopted by the Liddells, Alyss eventually stops telling stories about Wonderland, accepts the changed spelling of her name, and concentrates on being a proper English gentlelady.

She's in England for 13 years before her friends and loyal subjects are able to rescue her, and she is thrown into battle with her aunt using the power of her imagination - which in Wonderland can actually conjure objects, persons and anything else Alyss is able to create in her mind.

As the novels go on, Alyss continues to battle for Wonderland against her aunt and against King Arch of the neighboring country. The stories of intrigue and battle are far darker and more sinister than the stories from Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. The way Beddor re-imagined the entire story (including why Alice Liddell got so mad at Carroll), is really ingenious.

In Beddor's Wonderland the few caterpillers who exist are all mystical sages who can see all possible futures and who often turn up to advise persons of power in times of need. In his novels he turns the silly playing card soldiers into transforming machines that change from card shape to robots oddly similar to the battle droids in Star Wars: Episode 1. Beddor changed the Chesire Cat from a maddeningly mysterious figure to a humanoid cat assassin that can shape-shift into a cute little kitty to disguise itself. The Mad Hatter has become Hatter Madigan, a top graduate from the Millinery, which trains Wonderland's super fighters.

The Cat via OCRegister.com

So if THAT doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what will. If you're an Alice In Wonderland fan, you should definitely check the Looking Glass Wars Trilogy out. If you really get into it, Beddor has also created a series of comic books about Hatter Madigan's adventures.

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