One of my favorite stories growing up was Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
I loved the logical illogic of Wonderland, not to mention all the wondrous and strange (and a little more than slightly dangerous) people and creatures Alice meets there.
Alice in Wonderland inspired my love for both croquet and chess. Although it is the books I loved, and not the animated movie as much. (I did enjoy the most recent movie, save for the ending*, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.
The reason I wanted to include it my recommended reads is not only because it’s awesome (fantasy with a touch of horror if you don’t examine things too closely, and a large dollop of horror if you do) is because I’ve plucked a bone here and a feather there from Alice and woven them into The Faerie Thief.
Now, The Faerie Thief is not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. There are just bits of pieces in the bones that were inspired by Wonderland.
The Ruby Queen, as you’ll see, is a bit of the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts, while the garden is cousin to the garden of talking flowers Alice came upon in Through the Looking Glass.
As the story unfolds, you’ll find hints and shadows and a fingerprint or two of Wonderland–both in the land and in the characters. This is my way of celebrating a well-loved story and thanking Mr. Carroll for sharing both Wonderland and Alice with the world. Some of the things you’ll find will be intentional, many will not have been**, and some will be things you may have noticed that I never did. 🙂
Anyhow, if you loved Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, you’ll get extra enjoyment out of The Faerie Thief if you’ve reread it recently.
* I’m firmly in the anti-Wendy camp when it comes to ordinary people falling into extraordinary worlds. By this, I mean that if a person has gone to the trouble to find a way into a fantastical land–and brought me along on the journey–the last thing I want that character to do is spend most of the time trying to find their way back to reality and real life. As a reader, I’d rather become a naturalized citizen of this new and wondrous realm than be dragged back at the end to a life of waiting in line, taxes, and geometry. In short, a life completely devoid of dragons, magic, and talking flowers.
** How can this happen, you ask? Well, for example, it wasn’t until I’d finished writing The Ruby Queen’s Garden before I realized I’d written in the rabbit hole and had a character fall down it. Upon rereading and reflecting upon what I’d written, it was blindingly obvious. At the time I was writing it, however, I, er, failed to notice. >.<