Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ascend Audio

Ascend Audio

Amanda Hocking
For ages 14 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Therese Plummer
Brilliance Audio, 2012   ISBN: 978-1455857012

Not that long ago, Wendy was a seventeen year old who was living a pretty boring normal life. Now everything is different because she knows that she is a Trylle princess and her people are in grave danger. Wendy’s father, Oren the king of the Vittra, has agreed not to attack the kingdom of Forening and to keep the peace until Wendy becomes Queen. Though he has left Forening alone, he is now targeting the Trylle children who are living around the country with their human host families. Wendy’s trackers are doing their best to retrieve the changeling Trylle children who are old enough to come to Forening, and to protect the younger ones who need to stay with their human families for a while longer, and because of this there are very few trackers available to protect Forening. Everyone is jumpy and scared, and Wendy feels torn in several directions. She needs to protect the changelings, improve the living situations of the trackers, and protect her people from the Vittra. All at the same time.

   Since the kingdom is in danger, Wendy decides that her eighteen birthday celebration should be simple. On what should be a special day, Wendy spends hours in meetings because she has to justify giving amnesty to a Vittra, Loki, who came to her door. She learns from Loki that King Oren has been torturing him for a long time, and Wendy cannot bear to send the handsome and charming Vittra back to Oren, perhaps to be killed. She has to defend her decision, because no one else wants Loki around.

   Soon after her birthday, Wendy is marries to Tove. Though she likes Tove well enough, she does not love him, but the marriage is a good move politically speaking. Wendy hopes, with Tove’s help, that she will be able to protect her people from the Vittra, and also make changes in her own society.

   At first it seems as if the wedding is going to be a joyous occasion, but then Oren arrives on the scene and Wendy has to insist that he leaves. Oren is so infuriated that he attacks another Trylle settlement and destroys it. Many people die and Wendy is appalled when she sees what her father has done. Could it be that the best thing for her to do is to give herself to Oren to stop the bloodshed? Would the Trylle be better off if Oren was their king?

   In this fascinating conclusion to the Trylle trilogy, we see how a teenage girl struggles to make the right choices for her people. Wendy is willing to give up on her own hopes and dreams and on her chance of happiness to protect her kingdom, but what if her sacrifice is not going to be enough?

   Listeners who have been following Wendy’s journey will be thrilled by this audio title. Throughout the narrative, threads of romance are woven into the fabric of the main story, and listeners are kept guessing until the very end.

   A bonus Trylle story is included with this recording.