Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Looking Glass Wars

If you're looking for an entertaining, incredibly clever, and thought provoking book for boys and girls from age 11 and up, then check out The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (Dial Books, 2006). Falling into the category of "Why couldn't I have thought of that?" Beddor's book is built on the premise that Alice Liddell "fell" into this world from her world of Wonderland. Alyss's world (her "real" name) is full of castle intrigue, power politics, cards that are soldiers with amazingly effective weapons (I was partial to the AD52 that carried quite a punch), battles between good and evil, and even a hint of romance (but not so much that boys will gag!). Adult and young adult readers will enjoy the wordplay which Beddor threads throughout the book: both card and chess metaphors are seamlessly interwoven into the plot. The author does such a good job of creating this fantasy world, that by the end you will wonder which world is truly real. And in fact, the chronology at the end of the book comes as a surprise. There are so many more layers built into this book then I first realized, that readers may have to start all over again. Fortunately, this is the first book in a trilogy and I am hooked. I can't wait to get my hands unto Seeing Redd which is due out in August, 2007.

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