Spoiler warning! This is the second book in The Looking Glass Wars trilogy so this review will contain spoilers for the first book. If you haven't read The Looking Glass Wars then you can read my review of that here instead. You have been warned!
Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
Author: Frank Beddor Website|Twitter
Published: 3 September 2007 (Egmont)
Book Depository: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from friend
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Alyss of Wonderland's rule has only just begun, and already those who prefer chaos to peace are threatening to destroy everything worth imagining. Trailed by newly appointed royal bodyguard Homburg Molly, Alyss is doing her best to keep pace with the non-stop demands of being queen while attempting to evade Molly for a few private moments with Dodge.
Alyss' life is a challenging mix of duty, love and tough decisions, and then a series of phantom sightings set fire to an urban myth of Her Imperial Viciousness' return and have everyone...Seeing Redd.
Has Redd somehow freed herself and her chief assassin, The Cat, from the confides of the Heart Crystal? If not, then who has resurrected Redd's brutal foot soldiers the Glass Eyes and set them loose to attack Wonderland on all sides?
I really enjoyed the first book in this series so was excited to get into this one. Seeing Redd follows Queen Alyss as she adjusts to her life-changing new role, all the while knowing that Redd could be out there somewhere threatening the people of Wonderland.
What was interesting about this book was how much Alyss herself took a backseat to the story, but I actually quite liked that. It meant the spotlight moved to other characters such as Redd herself and my new favourite character - Homburg Molly. Her story had me completely invested and I really liked her fiesty atitude. As Alyss' bodyguard she has some kick-ass moves but she also has a lot going on in her mind, as she has to deal with stuff relating to her past and parentage. I loved the issue of halfers being addressed - people who are half-civilian/half-Millinery. It gave a real insight into the world Beddor has created and the prejudices which arise in that world.
Going back to Alyss, it was good to see a different side of her. In the first book she came across as more confident and self-assured, where as in Seeing Redd you got to see a lot more of her insecurities. I found that really fascinating and it was great getting to explore some of her character flaws and depths. I really enjoyed her plotline with Dodge and their developing relationship. I thought it was really sweet and my love for Dodge grew even more! Even though Alyss seemed slightly quieter throughout this book, she totally came into her own when it came to the back end of the story and I loved her key role in that.
Plot wise, I felt this book was more of a slow-burner than the first book, but in no way is that a negative! The suspense throughout was brilliant and there was this great build up as we learn what each respective party is plotting. I loved that you got to see Redd planning her comeback whereas at the same time you got to see the fear and worry she's causing to Alyss and Wonderland. It made the climax of the story even more exciting as well, because there'd been all that build up.
My only real flaw was that some of the more fast-paced action scenes were quite follow. I'd just struggle to keep up with exactly what was happening because some of the things were so fantastical that I couldn't get my head around it all. Otherwise it was a really enjoyable read.
Seeing Redd is a fantastic follow up to The Looking Glass Wars and is ultimately a great tale of good versus evil. The characters are so well written and interesting that I loved reading about them and seeing both their highlights and their flaws. I'm really looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy.
What to read next: Arch Enemy by Frank Beddor, the final book in The Looking Glass Wars trilogy
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