Alyss Heart is seven years old when her aunt, Redd, breaks into her family's palace and kills her mother along with several important people in her mother's guard. Redd, who was passed over as queen and disowned by her parents, raged a civil war against her sister, Genevieve, in the past, but lost. Redd was not ready to give up and she built an army of cards soldiers, creating an assassin that could rival Genevieve's bodyguard, Hatter Madigan. With these behind her, Redd kills her sister and takes the throne of Wonderland.
Alyss jumps into the Pool of Tears with Hatter Madigan in an attempt to outrun The Cat and ends up in the real world. In the real world, Alyss discovers that her imagination does not work as it did in Wonderland and that no one believes her stories of Wonderland. For this reason, Alyss forces herself to forget about the past and to embrace the world in which she now lives, becoming both outwardly and inwardly Alice Liddell, adopted daughter of Reverend and Mrs. Liddell. Alyss grows up to become a very beautiful young woman and to attract the attention of a prince, who asks Alyss to marry him.
During her wedding, The Cat breaks into the church and tries to kill Alyss. Dodge Anders, Alyss's old friend, comes to her rescue and takes her back to Wonderland. Alyss discovers that all she believed as a child is really real and she embraces her heritage, becoming the warrior queen her mother intended for her to be.