Dorothy Through the Looking Glass by Ron Glick, illustrated by Toni Kerr
The Wizard’s journey to Wonderland has exposed a shared history between that faery land and Oz – but the meaning behind the connection is still largely a mystery. Dorothy and Alice have come together to save Wonderland, but can they do anything before the Wicked Witches succeed in taking over Oz? With the looming conflict already threatening two worlds, the path ahead leads Dorothy to a third: a mysterious unnamed world that exists on the other side of a mirror in the university at Oxford – where reality itself has been set backwards, and Dorothy finds that entering this particular faery land may end up being a one-way trip. Meanwhile, Alice must come to grips with what Wonderland did to her all those years ago.
Written with a faithful eye to the original Baum and Carroll classics, Dorothy Through the Looking Glass continues the epic adventure that brings together both classic heroines from Oz and Wonderland in a new modern story.
*I got a review copy of the book from the author.
I have been waiting to read Dorothy Through the Looking Glass ever since I finished the first book in Ron Glick’s Oz-Wonderland Series, The Wizard in Wonderland.
And book two does not disappoint. There is just as much intrigue as in the first book, and the plot thickens, as more characters’ roles in the stories are introduced. I don’t want to give too much away, but the Cheshire Cat proves to be more than a talking cat with a disappearing act, and not only are the four witches of Oz not what they seem, they are also not all necessarily on each other’s side.
Similar to the first book in the series, Dorothy Through the Looking Glass ends with a wonderful twist and cliff hanger, and I can’t wait to read the third book in this series. There are many alliances between unlikely characters, and mysteries behind the fates of others.
Again, Ron does a great job in bringing the wacky world of Wonderland to life, even down to how people are allowed to move about in the land. He also introduces the rules of the land through the looking glass, which is backwards like Wonderland, but in reverse. And if that doesn’t make much sense, don’t worry, it all gets explained in the book.
I thought the way books are read in the looking glass world was particularly clever. All books are written backward, making them illegible unless you hold it up to a mirror, but one book that Dorothy picks up has gold embossed lettering on the cover. She accidentally falls into the snow, and the words on the cover are imprinted upon the snow. It gives her the name of Mombi, one of the wicked witches of Oz, and a clue to the mystery Dorothy is trying to solve.
For the most part, I felt the book had great, vivid descriptions of the different worlds and the characters. At times however, it felt like there was almost too much dialogue. Someone once used the phrase “talking heads” to describe one of my works, and I think it could fit here to describe a handful of chapters. Although the dialogue was convincing and realistic and moved the story forward, filling in important gaps, at times I wished it was broken up a little more.
But the last third of the book was when the story really picked up for me, and became a page turner. Hints of main characters’ true motives become more clear, as well as some surprising partnerships.
Being a fan of magic, I like that more characters are gaining magical abilities in a strategic way. I’m very interested in seeing how it all unfolds, and being familiar with Ron’s work I know he will continue to tell the story in a way that delights and surprises, all while using characters that have strong motivations and both good and bad qualities. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long for book three in the Oz-Wonderland series!
Published: December 31, 2013, ~130 pages