This is a fractured-fairytale about the classic Alice in Wonderland. It begins with Alyss Heart, living in Wonderland as a young princess. She has two loving parents, powers of imagination that stun her subjects, and a wonderful friend named Dodge. Then, her wonderful life crumbles into oblivion as her evil aunt, Redd, conquers Wonderland and brutally murders Alyss's parents. Alyss and the royal family's bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must escape to the Pool of Tears. Alyss and Madigan are separated in the portal, and Alyss ends up in a Victorian London. Lost and alone, Alyss tries desperately to find someone who will believe her story. She ends up in an orphanage, where the Liddels adopt her. Finally, she meets an author willing to tell her story. However, the author only deceives her and twists the story into a childish fairytale, Alice in Wonderland. Destroyed by this betrayal, Alyss gives up and begins to conform with her society. She is even engaged to the Prince of England. Then, in a turn of events, she is taken back to Wonderland. She then must regain her imagination powers, and ultimately battle Redd for the kingdom.
I thought the plot was fantastic. It followed a traditional fairytale outline, then through in some dark and mature elements. It had a very slow, developed rhythm throughout, even in the most dramatic sections. I quite enjoyed that, for it gave the reader time to reflect and understand the words. The story's touches of realism corresponding with the dreamlike fairytale components blended perfectly with each new chapter. The suspense and mystery kept the reader's interest, while the powerful battle scenes stirred emotions and attachment of the characters. Not to mention the author's execution of each event was superb, and obviously thought out. In fact, I felt that each word the author set forth unto the story had some meaning, whether it be obvious or hidden.
These characters were very unlike many I have seen before. Each one had some sort of story, giving powerful reason behind every single actions. The main character, Alyss, was actually one of the most intriguing of the characters. At the beginning, I was quite off-put with the snotty, young Alyss character. As the story continued, she began to slowly develop into a strong, wise person capable of ruling a kingdom. However, when she conforms to the London Society, the character development seriously declined. Although the author tried desperately to regain Alyss's being, he could never truly regain the reader's trust.This, I thought, was the only major downfall with the characters and their developments. There was one other issue, concerning Alyss's childhood friend, Dodge. When she returned to Wonderland as a twenty-something year old, she found him to have matured into a bitter, cold young man intent on revenge. This could have been a horrible downfall of the story, but the author did fully succeed at creating this change more into a problem rather than a permanent impediment.
All in all, The Looking Glass Wars was a wonderful piece of writing. It contained an exciting plot with wonderful descriptions and storytelling. The characters of the book were equally interesting. Although, the story did contain some minor problems that often left the reader a bit out-of-sorts, as well as a lack of proper character development towards the middle. Nonetheless, The Looking Glass Wars was a very excellent book.