Seeing Redd

Seeing Redd is the sequel to The Looking Glass Wars. It is very much a sequel, and requires that you read The Looking Glass Wars first for this book to make any sense.

Alyss has returned to Wonderland, resuming her rightful place as queen. Things are beginning to get back on track and the land is recovering from the things it suffered during Redd’s reign. Of course things cannot go smoothly.

King Arch, the utterly sexist king of Boarderland, is plotting to take over the world using a weapon of mass destruction. Redd is plotting her return, which of course means the violent overthrow of her niece and all who stand with her. The book is full of amoral people doing horrible things to attain power—they are, however, for the most part entertaining amoral people doing horrible things to attain power.

Many of the issues from The Looking Glass Wars are true in this book as well.

SPOILER ALERT: Things you might want to know before suggesting this to your kid


Again, the violence is frequent, graphic, and casual. It bothered me less in this book than in the first one, perhaps because I knew to expect it. We’re introduced to two card soldiers, just to see them die later in the scene. An innocent butcher is killed quite graphically. An audience is eaten alive by reanimated skeletons. One of the recurring minor characters dies from being forced to eat mushrooms that grow inside and strangle his heart. And those are just a few that really stand out. Many of the characters love causing pain and death. Even those on the side of good don’t think much about the deaths they cause.


A mother sacrifices her life to save her daughter. She’s important to several of the major characters, so her death is sad. Plus they thought she was dead before, only to find her alive, so she gets mourned several times during the novel.

Alyss realizes that she must make a huge sacrifice in order to prevent Redd from taking over Wonderland. However, she also decides that she’s not going to sacrifice Dodge just because he’s not a conventionally suitable match for her—some sacrifices aren’t worth it.


Revenge is a powerful motivator. It’s the driving force behind Redd. It’s also driving Dodge, and Alyss tries to protect him from being destroyed by it. This sometimes leads her to lie to him, which never goes well.


King Arch is a much more major character in this book. He continues to be an incredibly sexist and awful person.

Homburg Molly ends up in his control, and she’s cared for by his many wives who try to convince her that she needs to be more feminine.

Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol definitely exist in this world, and they’re generally consumed in excessive quantities. Redd consumed lots of artificial crystal as a teenager, which is part of what made her parents decide she should be removed from the succession and set the whole bloody revenge thing into motion.

Homburg Molly is kept drugged against her will to keep her from escaping.

Sex and Romance

Dodge and Alyss start to admit their feelings for each other, but they never really get a chance to do anything about it.

Sex is implied between Hatter and Weaver because it turns out that they had a child. They weren’t married, and Weaver hides the child from Hatter.

Redd and Arch had a relationship as teens; it seems likely it was quite physical, although this is just hinted at. Anyone looking to read between the lines will know Arch and his multiple wives get up to some interesting things.


This is a good book for anyone who enjoyed The Looking Glass Wars, which you definitely need to read first. There isn’t much, if anything, that’s more problematic in the sequel. The action keeps the book moving quickly and the art is evocative.


Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
Published in 2007 by Speak
Second book in The Looking Glass Wars series, followed by ArchEnemy
Read a paperback borrowed from a 12 year old friend who loved it and highly recommended it

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