Long before she was the terror of Wonderland – the infamous Queen of Hearts – she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favourite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she 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.
Finishing this book was like finishing an epic adventure. There’s an enormous sense of relief and a “WHOA THAT WAS AWESOME” kind of sensation. I finished the book around midnight, so I couldn’t scream my love of it in that moment, but if I had been able to I would’ve just put it down and said “WHOA THAT WAS AWESOME” but out loud.
This book had me completely gripped pretty much the entire way through, but especially in the second half of reading. I was completely engrossed and although I knew what was going to happen (I have read Alice in Wonderland after all), I was still enraptured. There were quite a few twists at the end I was not expecting at all, though.
Cath was such a good character. There was so much development in her as a person and you can really easily see her descent into the Queen of Hearts we see in Carroll’s original book. I felt like she was turning into a really convincing villain, and although her story was heartbreaking I wanted to read more of it. (Obviously, I still want to write a fanfiction where the whole Queen of Hearts thing doesn’t happen, but there we go.)
I loved Jest, but I did feel like sometimes he was a little unconvincing; he occasionally felt like more of the type of YA literary boy hero that you want to see. BUT, he was adorable and funny and clever and yeah Jest was great.
I loved the return of other characters too, like Hatta and Haigha (the ‘g’ is silent). Reading Hatta slowly going mad was kind of weird… but very cool, especially as of course we know him in Wonderland. Raven was also a great character that I really enjoyed reading about, and was a fantastic addition by Meyer. (Oh and did I mention how much I ❤ Cheshire?)
Overall? I cannot fault this book. It was gripping, interesting, evoked the inner Alice fanatic in me, and the whole thing was just done brilliantly. Meyer clearly has researched Wonderland and it felt so believable! It’s definitely one of my new favourite books.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest, and entirely my own.
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: Feiwel & Friends // 2016
NUMBER OF PAGES: 464
PERSONAL SOURCE: NetGalley