She is only a capricious, slightly spoiled, mischevious seven-year-old when her Aunt Redd invades her parent's castle and kills her mother the queen, after ambushing her father the King on her birthday. Alyss Heart escapes with only her mother's trusted bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, and they jump through the Pool of Tears to escape out of Wonderland, into a safer world. The world isn't much safer, however, in Victorian Oxford, England. Alyss lives as a street urchin, gets deported to a children's home, and finally is taken in by a Reverend and his wife, where she is miserable, still trying to recount the tales of Wonderland to a family who sees her as ridiculous as best, and a wicked liar. A soft-hearted fellow minister, Charles Dodgson, says he will listen to Alyss's stories. When he comes up with an insipid fairytale, Alice's Adventures Underground, Alyss is wild with grief and fury, and promises to never admit that Wonderland exists again -- she protects herself from the knowledge of a place that only causes her to not fit in well into the world in which she lives.
But Wonderland is real.
As are the Hatter, the Jabberwock, and the murderous Aunt Redd. And it's almost past time, but Alyss has got to get back.
First in the Beddor trilogy, The Looking Glass Wars is an unexpected new take on a strange old story, and has generated a lot of cool additional storylines, including graphic novels and book trailers.