ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor is the third and final book in The Looking Glass Wars saga. I listened to all of them on audio, read by Gerard Doyle. His narration was a key part of my enjoyment of these books. I still would have loved the story, but he brought it to life so nicely with his voice. I loved these books from start to finish and Arch Enemy was a fitting end to the story.
Homburg Molly plays a larger role in this book than she’d been allowed previously. She mourns and grows and loves and fights and becomes a rather fascinating person. Alyss herself has a similar arc of self-discovery and awareness that lead her to be exactly the queen Wonderland needs her to be. She makes a few hard decisions but in the end her bravery and insight save the day.
Arch and Redd continue to be formidable opponents throughout the third book, Arch more so than before. In the previous books, he was an almost distant character, ruling over Borderland and being in general a jerk but he was never a major threat. Until he decided that the Queendom be damned, he should rule Wonderland and destroy the source of all imagination. Alyss and Redd are forced to join forces at one point to defeat Arch, as separately neither thinks she can.
There were no specific plot points in this story that stuck with me so much as just the entire universe that Beddor has created. I was lost in this version of Wonderland and I’ll be sad not to get to visit there now that I’ve finished the books. It was a lovely place, full of magical imagination and colorful characters. It isn’t the Wonderland of nonsense that Carroll created, but a Wonderland where everything does make sense and is beautiful and good. Wonderland isn’t without its regular people and even its bad people. It’s not perfect. It’s just better.
I had a delightful time listening to this series and I hope to see more from Frank Beddor in the future. As it stands, these novels and the Hatter M graphic novel series are all he’s put out. I think more Wonderland novels would be fun, but with an imagination like his, he shouldn’t limit himself to just this one world.