The Looking-Glass Wars
is a trilogy of novels by Frank Beddor retelling the story of Alice in Wonderland
, based on the premise that Alice Liddel, the real-life inspiration for the literary Alice, was in fact Alyss Heart, the true Queen of Wonderland, who had been exiled to our world after her Aunt Redd staged a coup.
With the memories of her homeland and true identity locked safely away in her mind, to the point that she no longer believes Wonderland ever existed, Alyss finds herself in the middle of a plot to retake Wonderland, aided by her royal bodyguard Hatter Madigan and her tutor Bibwit Harte.
The novels in the trilogy are:
- The Looking-Glass Wars (2004)
- Seeing Redd (2007)
- Arch-Enemy (2009)
This book series contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Nearly every single female in this series. Most notably Alyss and Homburg Molly
- Alice Allusion: Alyss's alyusion.
- Awesome Backpack: Hatter's, which is described as being able to open like a Swiss Army knife, revealing assorted blades and corkscrews.
- Badass: Hatter Madigan
- Badass Longcoat: Frank Beddor spends at least a few sentences, if not a paragraph, just describing the way Hatter Madigan's coat moves.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
- Bloodier and Gorier
- Card-Carrying Villain: Redd
- Cats Are Mean: The Cat
- Cuckoo Nest: In the first book, Redd creates an illusion in which Alyss wakes up with her adoptive parents and her fiancÚ at her bedside, telling her that she's had a bad fever.
- Cute Bruiser: Homburg Molly
- Darker and Edgier
- Dark Action Girl: Redd and Siren, most definitly
- Dead Man Writing: Hatter Madigan comes across a message which his former lover, Weaver, left him in case she died before they could meet again. It reveals that they had a daughter - Homburg Molly, Alyss's new bodyguard.
- Determinator: Hatter again
- Disappeared Dad: Hatter Madigan to Homburg Molly
- Disproportionate Retribution: Redd actually makes a point to do this during her reign.
- Dueling Movies: Beddor wants to make a movie out of the first book, but is waiting to see how Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland does first.
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Cute Kitten: A trope the Cat uses to his advantage.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: A villain named Sacrenoir can make skeletons of the dead rise to consume flesh, though it naturally goes right through them.
- Evil Albino: The evil counterpart to Bibwit Harte, Vollrath.
- Heroic Albino: Bibwit Harte
- Improbable Weapon User: Madigan, like all Hatters, is a very good fighter. And his uniform contains more knives than a cutlery convention. Including his hat.
- In Name Only: Many of the characters have little to no similarities with their Carroll counterparts, intentionally it seems.
- Little Miss Badass: Homburg Molly
- Meaningful Name: General Doppelganger can split himself into Generals Doppel and Ganger, Redd was once called Rose and has an affinity for that flower.
- Mind Screw: The Looking Glass Maze
- Mordor: Mount Isolation
- Mythology Gag: Wonderland streets are named after words from "Jabberwocky", and there is a restaurant called 'The Lobster Quadrille'.
- Nice Hat: Hatter Madigan is a member of the Millinery, where one of their biggest rules is that every member have one hat, and one hat only. It just so happens that said hat turns into a bladed boomerang disc.
- Old Master: Bibwit Harte.
- Out of Continues: The Cat (an assassin who can transform from cute little tabby into a vicious anthropomorphic killer) was made with nine lives — by the end of the first book he's been killed eight times, both by the heroes and as punishment for failing his mistress.
- Prehensile Hair: Jack of Diamonds gets a pseudo-living wig as a gift from Redd for doing her bidding. Said wig can also turn into a monster and beat the crap out of people should Redd command it.
- The Quisling: The Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs were loyal to Queen Redd as soon as she took over. When Alyss retakes the throne, they switch their loyalties back to her just as readily.
- Rated M for Manly: Borderland is shown to have little adages about manliness inscribed on many of its natural features on the orders of King Arch.
- Significant Anagram: Bibwit Harte is an anagram for 'White Rabbit', reflecting Carroll's love of anagrams.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Beddor is this when it comes to this series. His blurbs about it have a tendency to insult the crap out of Lewis Carroll.
- Start of Darkness: Redd's past is glimpsed at, especially in Seeing Redd.
- Sugar Bowl: For all its attempts at Darker and Edgier, the series really turned Wonderland into one of these. Its capital city is known as "Wondertropolis", there are foods with names like "Tarty Tarts", and even worms are known as "gwormmies". Of course, then Redd takes over and the place becomes a Crapsack World until Alyss returns to dethrone her.
- Take That: A email sent recently to members of the site says about this Wonderland: "No Tim. No Johnny. No nonsense."
- Twice Told Tale
- Weaponized Headgear: Hatter's tophat turns into s-shaped blades while Molly's homburg turns into a razor-edged shield. In fact it's probably safe to say that this trope applies to all hats belonging to the Millinery.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: Seeing Redd features WILMA (Weapon of Inconceivable Loss and Massive Annihilation). It destroys people's imaginations.
- That was the modified WILMA, the original was made to completely destroy the kingdom.
- Wicked Cultured: Jack of Diamonds.
- You Can't Go Home Again / Your Costume Needs Work: In "Arch Enemy", Redd tries to return to her old mountain stronghold... only to discover it's been turned into a tourist attraction whose proceeds go toward promoting the principles of White Imagination. And while she did use a piece of cloth to disguise herself, the man in the ticket booth fails to realize who she is even after she balks at having to pay "to get into [her] own home", and amusingly thinks she's pretending to be herself ("You do play the part, don't you?").