Dial (Penguin), Oct 15 2009, $17.99
Queen Alyss of Wonderland has taken over throne from Redd, who used dark imagination to rule as a dictator. In a contentious battle between the two females, light imagination wins. However a third player surfaces as King Arch of the Overlands wants to rule Wonderland. He employs WILMA (Women of Inconceivable Loss and Massive Annihilation) to ruin the Heart Crystal, which is the source of all imagination in creation.
The power of imagination vanishes from Wonderland and will soon disappear from earth and other worlds too. Alyss tries to line up support to fight the King and Queen of clubs and other allies of King Arch, who insist there is no place for imagination to flourish. Her lone remaining choice is to ally with the Redd Queen as her friends are being tossed in prisons by the WILMAs and the caterpillar between puffs says nothing of meaning.
This is the final book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy and in spite of the subject retains all the imagination and charm of the previous novels (see THE LOOKING GLASS WARS and SAVING REDD). Alyss is bold and brave as she rules with benevolence until the threat surfaces that returns her into a determined resolute fighter. Arch is an interesting enemy whose goal appears not be power but instead the elimination of power; which makes him a difficult opponent to defeat as he has a personal quest. Although written for young adults, older readers will enjoy Alyss’ latest adventures in Wonderland.