The mirror maze

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The mirror labyrinth ( original title: The Looking Glass Wars ) is the first part of a trilogy of novels by the American author Frank Beddor . It's a retelling of Lewis Carroll 's classic children's books Alice in Wonderland and Alice Behind the Looking Glass . The original English edition was first published in Great Britain in 2004 ; the German translation was published in 2005.



As the daughter of the Queen of Hearts, Alyss is the rightful princess of Wonderland. But on her seventh birthday, her displaced aunt Redd kills her parents and forcibly seizes control of the wonderland. Alyss barely manages to escape through a portal into 19th century London , where she is completely helpless and defenseless and has to survive as a street child and is finally taken to an orphanage . One day she is adopted by a wealthy family, who keep telling her that she is a princess and comes from Wonderland. However, nobody believes her and she is even referred to as a liar.

13 years later Alice, as she is now called, no longer believes in Wonderland herself and is about to marry the Prince of England. But her faithful bodyguard from Wonderland, who has also fled with her, has been desperately looking for her and is bringing her back to Wonderland, where Alyss / Alice is supposed to take her rightful place as Queen and overthrow her scheming Aunt Redd.

Course of action


Eleven year old Alice Liddell has a picnic on the banks of the Cherwell River . She has gone through terrible things in her life but no one believed her and now she is waiting eagerly for the first edition of a book in which her life and suffering story is recorded and is supposed to prove that she was right. But she notes with horror that the author; Reverend Charles Dodgson, a friend of her family, under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, has turned her entire ordeal into a children's book with nonsense stories and her friends and enemies into jokes. Injured and angry, Alice runs away.

First part

The beginning of the book begins four years earlier in a completely different world, the wonderland, where the seventh birthday of Princess Alyss, the daughter of the Queen of Hearts Genevieve, is being celebrated in the whole capital of the Miracle Tropolis. However, during the celebrations in her honor, Alyss sneaks out of the Heart Palace with her best friend Dodd Anders, the son of the captain of the palace guard, to explore a little of the miraculous tropolis. They both find a little kitten that is obviously supposed to be a birthday present for the princess. But when Alyss and Dodd re-enter the palace, the little cat runs away from them. A short time later, the palace is attacked by Redd, the exiled sister of Genevieve, and Dodd's father is killed by the kitten, who can turn into an anthropomorphic cat. This is the right hand of the queen, has nine lives and has previously deactivated the palace's security system. Alyss can flee with her bodyguard and the best fighter in wonderland Mac Rehhut and does not have to watch Redd kill Genevieve a little later, just as she did before with Alyss' father, King Nolan. Alyss and Mac get to the pond of tears, which is a portal into another world, and jump into it together, almost being killed by the hangover. Alyss then ends up in a puddle on a street in London in 1859 and completely confused, she realizes that she has separated from Mac and tries to make it clear to people that she is a princess from Wonderland, but understandably no one believes until she meets a street boy named Quigley who takes her to his gang of other street children and orphans. For a short time Alyss feels safe with the children and tries together with Quigley to raise money for all of them by making flowers sing with her natural fantasy, which she possesses as a wonderlander, and thus performing in front of an audience. But with every performance her imagination weakens until it is completely gone. Brought by their sources of income and driven by hunger, the gang tries together on Alyss's plan to steal from a butcher, but Alyss is arrested and taken to an orphanage. One day she is adopted by the wealthy Liddell family, who, however, call every story she tells about Wonderland lies and fantasies. Only Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a family friend, seems to believe her and promises to publish her story in a book. But when he wants to show the now eleven year old Alyss the first edition of his work "Alice's Adventures Under the Earth" she realizes with horror that he not only misspelled her name, like everyone else, but also ridiculed her whole story she runs away, angry and sad, but not before telling him that she never wants to see him again. (See prologue)

Meanwhile, Mac Rehhut also landed through a portal in a puddle in Paris, where he immediately went in search of the princess and not only came into conflict with the law once, but he kept getting hold of his accumulations of special weapons, among other things his cylinder, which can turn into rotating blades, and his trained fighting skills help to get out of such situations. Then he combed all of Europe for Alyss, but he always sticks to hat shops to get information. After thirteen years, he has been searching the whole world for Alyss when he happens to get a copy of Reverenbd Dodgson alias Lewis Carroll's book, which he has now published under the title "Alice in Wonderland".

Second part

With the help of the book and its author, Mac finds out where Alyss is after all these years and returns with this knowledge, through portal puddles that he can now locate, back to wonderland.

In the meantime, in thirteen years, Redd has set up a cruel dictatorship in Wunderland , whereby anyone who thinks differently has either disappeared or simply killed. But the resistance, the "Alyssier", in honor of the believed dead princess of the wonderland, under the leadership of the former commander in chief of the royal troops General Doppelganger, tries with all means at their disposal to crush Redd's reign of terror and to restore the wonderland to what it once was To help shine. One day when they were holding council at their headquarters, Mac Rehhut, who had also been declared dead, emerged from the pond of tears to tell them that Alyss was still alive.

Alice, as she (and the rest of society) calls herself, is now twenty years old and is about to marry Queen Victoria's youngest son , and she hardly believes in Wonderland anymore. But during the wedding the tomcat suddenly appears in the church together with a couple of card warriors to finally kill Alyss after Redd has heard that she is still alive, but his plan is thwarted by the adult Dodd Anders who is also present flees back to wonderland with Alyss.

third part

Back in her actual homeland, Alyss believes after all these years that the wonderland doesn't exist at all, at first it was all just a dream or an imagination. But over time she realizes that everything has to be real and all the memories that she had suppressed over the years come back to her. She then joins the Alyssians and first returns to Wundertropolis together with Dodd to be able to see her old home again, but when they arrive at the Heart Palace, it is nothing more than a ruin and a short time later is completely by Redd, after sensing Alyss' presence there, destroyed. After this incident, Alyss decides to walk through the mirror maze to become a warrior queen like her mother before and to unfold the true power of her imagination. After some struggles and hardships, including the encounter with an angry Jabberwock mother, Alyss, Mac, Dodd, General Doppelganger and Nanik Schneeweiß, the princess' court teacher, arrive in the valley of the mushrooms around the caterpillars, the oracles of wonderland Ask about the location of the mirror maze. The blue caterpillar Blauw reports to Alyss that she has to go to the puzzle shop, there she will find the key to the labyrinth. Shortly before they can enter the shop, the Alyssians are attacked by Redd's troops and Alyss and Homburg-Molly, the girl who showed her the location of the shop, escape into the same and enter the mirror labyrinth a short time later. In the labyrinth, Alyss finds herself in front of a multitude of mirrors that show her images from the past, present and future in order to dissuade her from her path and not fulfill her task of taking the white scepter of wonderland and thus power of a queen. After some hesitation, however, Alyss manages to reach the scepter and leave the labyrinth as queen. She is now ready to face Redd to fight and the Alyssians make their way to their fortress. During the fight with Redd, Alyss is forced to use the full power of her imagination, and it seems at first as if she will succumb to her, but then she can bring Redd to her knees, hesitates but kills her, which takes advantage of Redd and into that The heart of wonderland, the heart crystal, jumps, whereupon the cat also follows her. It is uncertain whether Redd can return. Alyss is crowned the new Queen of Wonderland and promised to rebuild the entire Wonderland in its former glory.


  • Princess Alyss

As the Princess of Wonderland, Alyss has an enormous imagination with which she can simply create things out of nothing and make them disappear again, but after her escape from Wonderland into the real world, she loses this ability and only regains it when she goes to Wonderland returns and finally walks through the mirror maze. She is described as a particularly pretty girl and beautiful woman with porcelain skin and long black hair. This is in contrast to Carroll's novel, where Alice's hair color is clearly described as blonde.

  • Mac Rehhut ( Originally: Hatter Madigan )

Mac Rehhut is the bodyguard of the royal family and a member of Wunderland's secret of millinery . His standard equipment includes a long coat, a backpack containing various special weapons, two steel bracelets that he wears on both wrists and a large cylinder that he can turn into a throwing knife in combat. Shortly before Queen Genevieve's death, he made her promise to protect Alyss with his life and to lead her to her rightful place as Queen of Wonderland. His name is an anagram from the word "Hutmacher", which probably comes from the fact that the mad hatter from the Alice works served as a model for his figure.

  • Dodd Anders ( Originally: Dodge Anders )

Dodd is the son of the captain of the palace guard and was Alyss' best friend when they were both children. He is three years older than her and seems to have more than friendly feelings for her. His father was killed by the hangover when Redd came to power and since then he has sought revenge and joined the Alyssians.

  • Queen Redd

Redd is the cruel and merciless aunt of Alyss. She was excluded from the line of succession by her parents because she had a bad character even as a child, whereupon she killed her mother with a toadstool and her father died of insanity a short time later. She first waged a civil war with her sister Genevieve for the throne of Wunderland, in which she was defeated and had to retreat to a fortress in the farthest corner of the Wunderland. On the seventh birthday of her niece Alyss, however, attacked her sister again and by killing her and driving Alyss out of the wonderland, she was able to seize control of the wonderland. When Alyss returned, she was defeated by her. But at the last moment she could still jump into the heart crystal. Redd shows character traits of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and the Red Queen from Alice behind the mirrors , for example she always has her enemies' heads cut off.

  • Der Kater ( Originally: the Cat )

The tomcat is the leader of Queen Redd's troops and her strongest warrior. He has two forms, one is that of a small young kitten, which he uses to deceive his opponents, but can then transform into his second true form, the deadly anthromorphic giant tomcat with razor-sharp claws and teeth like razor blades. Before he kills his victims, he lets them see his diabolical grin. He has nine lives which gives him a considerable advantage (but also a disadvantage) in combat. The shape of the cat is based on the Cheshire Cat .


Book editions


  • The Looking Glass Wars: Dial, 2006, ISBN 0803731531 (Hardcover)
  • The Looking Glass Wars: Egmont Books Ltd, 2005, ISBN 1405219769 (paperback edition)
  • The Looking Glass Wars: Speak, 2004, ISBN 0142409413 (Paperback edition)
  • The Looking Glass Wars - Seeing Redd: Dial, 2007, ISBN 0803731558 (Hardcover)
  • The Looking Glass Wars - Seeing Redd: Egmont Books Ltd, 2007, ISBN 1405209887 (paperback edition)


Audio books

Accompanying material

  • Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars # 1, Desperado Publishing, 2005.
  • Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars, Desperado Publishing, 2007.
  • Princess Alyss of Wonderland: Dial, 2007, ISBN 0803732511


  • The Looking Glass Wars Soundtrack: Automatic Records, 2006.

Awards and press reviews

  • Book of the Year 2004

"A brilliant new version of" Alice in Wonderland "- powerful, action-packed and dark."

- The Times

Sequels and spin-offs

The mirror labyrinth is the first part of a three-part novel series. The second part was published in America in August 2007 under the title Seeing Redd ; in German-speaking countries it has been announced under the title "Der Herzkristall", but has not yet been published. The third part was published in 2009 under the title ArchEnemy .

In addition, a comic series with the title Hatter M appeared in English-speaking countries , which deals with Mac Rehhut and his thirteen-year search for Princess Alyss.


  • The book shows various similarities with the game American McGee's Alice, which is also based on the novel by Carroll. Alice / Alyss loses their family in a cruel way in both cases, whereupon the Queen of Hearts takes a violent rule over the wonderland. In contrast to the book, in the computer game the Queen of Hearts is not responsible for the death of Alice's parents herself; her cruelty only results from this event.
  • The description of the wonder tropolis is reminiscent of the emerald city in the Wizard of Oz

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