(*cough* One of my favorite books *cough*)
Title: The Looking Glass Wars
Author: Frank Beddor
Review by: The Golden Eagle
Rating: 5 out of 5
It starts out with Alyss Heart, Princess of Wonderland, on her birthday. On that day, her aunt Redd, who was originally the heir to the throne, decides to take over Wonderland and dispose of her sister Genevieve. Ordered by his queen to protect Alyss, Hatter Madigan and the princess escape through the Pool of Tears. They are, unfortunately, separated in the Pool, and Alyss seems forever lost to Wonderland. Hatter, of course, being the head--or, more precisely, the former head of the Millinery--searches for Alyss all over time and the world, but to no avail.
I really enjoyed this book (it is a trilogy) and it has a good balance of different aspects. There is vengeance, (you really cannot have a good book without it) power-driven plots, (Redd in particular) scheming denizens, amazing fighters and war strategy, manipulation, emotion, and, of course, romance.
The really interesting thing about this book, is how the people in it manage to outwit their opponents, with Imagination. Imagination is simply the ability to, well, imagine things. It is used for war and anything else, but only some have it. It is either Imagination, or brute strength or some special skill. Hatter Madigan is such a person, since he is one with Millinery abilities; i. e. extremely formidable fighting techniques, including a top hat that turns into a flying blade.
One thing that I really appreciate, is that Frank Beddor did not overplay the romance in the least. You will not find the much and gush of Twilight in this trilogy, and that is an excellent attribute. Dodge and Alyss are in love, every book has some romance it seems, but it is quieter, and they are able to balance their priorities. And it is not as easy as Meyer's characters or a more love-oriented book; Dodge and Alyss are more complex and much, much more interesting.
So my summary is: Read this book, and probably everyone can find something in it that appeals to them.