When Princess Alyss Heart was seven years old, her life changed forever. Her evil Aunt Redd gathered an army of card soldiers and murdered Alyss’ mother and father, securing the Wonderland throne for herself. Alyss barely escaped through the Pool of Tears into a parallel world, where for years she was trapped in a strange land called England. Her magical powers of Imagination failed her in this new world, and eventually the memories of her childhood faded into seeming fairytales (tales which the Reverend Dodgeson would later record and publish in a work of “nonsense” entitled Alice in Wonderland).
But Alyss cannot stay lost in England forever. Wonderland has suffered under Redd’s totalitarian regime, and people live in darkness and fear–their only hope being the return of the child queen Alyss and her powerful Imagination. When Hatter Madigan, the deadly milliner bodyguard, whisks Alyss back to Wonderland, she, her childhood love Dodge Anders, and a rag-tag group of rebels must find a way to free their home from Redd’s tyranny. This book is the first in a trilogy, followed by Seeing Redd and ArchEnemy.
The trilogy is an incredibly clever, engaging, but dark re-imagining of Wonderland (think Alice in Wonderland meets 1984). Although it is sometimes shelved with juvenile fiction, I would recommend this book more to teens and adults.