Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
From New York Times bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer, comes a vision of Wonderland like none you've seen before, telling the untold story of the girl who would the notorious Queen of Hearts.
Visit Marissa Meyer's website for more information
As a huge fan of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles I was really excited to see what she would do with an Alice in Wonderland retelling and couldn't wait to get started on Heartless. This isn't exactly a retelling though, it's more of an imagined prequel to the story most of us already know and love. Did you ever wonder why the Queen of Hearts acts the way she does? Why she's so obsessed with tarts? Why her favourite catchphrase is "Off with their heads"? I have to admit it never really crossed my mind to think about who she could have been before she was the queen but that's where Marissa Meyer's wonderful imagination comes into play.
You see once Catherine was just a girl who loved to bake, a girl who dreamed of opening her own bakery and perhaps finding a loving husband who would support her career choice. Catherine's skills in the kitchen and the delicious treats she bakes have captured the attention of the king and he is determined to make her his bride even if that's the last thing she wants. Unfortunately Catherine is also cursed with an ambitious mother, one who would stop at nothing to make sure her daughter became the next queen, even if it means Catherine will never be able to find true happiness.
Heartless starts with a much lighter tone than I expected, Catherine is obsessed with the idea of opening her own bakery and it's pretty much all she thinks about in the beginning, she spends time creating new delicious treats and trying to figure out how she will be able to open her shop without her parent's support. She's a sweet girl, rather naïve and very easy to life. As the story continues it gradually gets darker and darker as Catherine is forced into a role she never wanted. The further she gets from her goal the more bitter she becomes and it's incredibly easy to feel sorry for her and to understand how she ended up the nasty queen we met in the original stories.
Marissa Meyer did such a fantastic job of capturing the feel of Lewis Carroll's stories, the world feels very familiar yet the story is different enough to be interesting and she's included all of my favourite characters along with some fun new ones. I loved her take on the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter with his tea parties and you'll even see the Jabberwock. Fans of Alice in Wonderland will absolutely love this book and I'm really hoping that we'll get more retellings from this author in the future.
Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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