This post is more than a little late. I finished an ARC of this a friend picked up for me at a con before the release, but I wasn’t able to get my review of it out in time since I had one of my epic migraines and then NaNoWriMo started. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind and now that I’m on vacation, I’m finally getting around to writing a few reviews to finish off the year on a high note. I hope.
Heartless is the latest from bestselling author Marissa Meyer. This time around Meyer tackles Victorian children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with an origin story for the infamous Queen of Hearts.
Catherine, or Cath to her friends, is the daughter of the Marques of Rock Turtle Cove. Her mother eagerly awaits the day when the King of Hearts will propose to Cath and she will become the next queen. But all Cath wants is to open a bakery with her maid and best friend Mary Anne. With Cath’s baking skills and Mary Anne’s head for business, they will have the best bakery in all of Hearts. Everything changes the nigh to the Black and White Ball when Cath meets the mysterious new court joker, Jest. Cath and Jest are drawn to one another, but Cath’s parents will never allow her to marry Jest and become a baker instead of a queen. While Jest and Cath begin a secret courtship, the mythical Jaberwock begins to attack the kingdom. While the King is too week to do anything, Cath refuses to stand by and watch as things in Hearts start to go wrong.
However, Jest may not be all that he seems. He has a secret that could tear them apart. That is if the Jaberwock doesn’t get them first.
While I am not a Wonderland fan, I had recently read (for the first time) the original in preparation for a friend’s Mad Hatter themed bridal shower, and I found this captured the spirit of Carroll’s land and added some extra elements to various characters. This may have been the Queen’s backstory, but backstory for other characters was given as well.
This story had the perfect mix of a love story, a mystery, and tragedy. I knew going in it would not end well for the lovers. If it did, then their would be no “heartless” Queen of Hearts. It all came together perfectly in the end with a perfectly reasonable explanation for how the Queen, the Hatter, and everyone else got to be the way they are in the classic tale.
I heartily give it Four Lightsabers. Stay tuned for more Marissa Meyer themed posts. I bought the Lunar Chronicles coloring book for myself for Christmas and am finally finalizing my TLC fancast.