Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 8th November 2016 (US), 9th February 2017 (UK)
Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be 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 a 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 a 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.
*I recieved a free eARC of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Heartless follows the Queen of Hearts from the famous Alice in Wonderland stories before she becomes the character we all know and hate today. After hearing the premise of this book I was sold, I love anything Alice in Wonderland related so I was very excited to read this book. I’ve not heard of many stories focusing on the origin of the Queen of Hearts so I knew this would be interesting.
Catherine (the soon to be Queen of Hearts) is a young woman being pressured by her parents into a marriage with the King, despite her desire to do other things. She adores baking and wants to open the best bakery in town. Cath’s love of baking is a unique hobby, it’s not something I’ve come across in other books. I loved Cath’s passion and determination to achieve her dreams. She’s a very strong-minded character and I enjoyed following her throughout this novel. Even though she tries to become independent over the course of this novel, she was also very caught up in her attempts not to disappoint her parents.
Then Cath meets Jest, the King’s mysterious new joker, and she’s enthralled. She feels an attraction towards him that’s she’s never experienced before and he introduces her to a world of joy that she’s never imagined. Jest is a wonderful, intriguing character. He’s witty and funny and a complete gentleman. He was entertaining to read about as you never quite knew what to expect from him.
“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”
This story is set in Wonderland and draws a lot of inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s original story. I’ve always adored Wonderland so it’s no surprise that I loved it in this book also. It’s a bizarre, familiar place that Marissa Meyer has added her own ideas and story to.
I was captivated from the beginning of this story. Although, there are some slow moments, especially in the middle, it didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of reading this book. The development of Cath and Jest’s romance lead to many adorable moments as well as many sad moments which will pull on your heartstrings.
Marissa Meyer’s writing in this novel was reminiscent of the original, with the speech and society echoing Victorian England. I loved all the quotes and references to Caroll’s writing. The fact that this novel is a retelling of a very famous story makes this an easy book to become engrossed in.
If you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland or Marrissa Meyer’s other novels then you will love this book. The romance is wonderful and there are so many offbeat characters and strange goings on which make this story enjoyable.