Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Magic, Fantasy, Retelling, Fairy Tale
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Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. 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 choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Catherine Pinkerton is daughter to the Marquis, longed after by the unmarried King, and shrugged off as a little odd by most of the people in the Kingdom of Hearts. But Catherine is more than that. She’s a baker, and has plans with her maid and best friend Mary Ann to run a bakery business and sell the best tarts in all of Hearts.
But the King has other plans: marriage plans. As the King asks her father for his permission to court Catherine, she is taken aback by the newest face in the Royal court: Jest the Joker. As her feelings for Jest and his amber eyes grow, Catherine strives to push forward with her baking business, avoid the King’s advances, and stay alive through the attacks of the furious Jabberwock.
When it eventually all piles up and secrets start to emerge about Jest and his friends Raven, Hatta and Haigha, Catherine must choose between her life in Hearts as the Queen, or to run away with Jest and leave her friends and family behind.
My Thoughts on Heartless
“Murderer, Martyr, Monarch, Mad.”
Marisa Meyer is such a good story teller. Her famous Luna Chronicles have racked up a whole lot of stars on Goodreads, and while I have yet to finish the series (having only read Cinder so far, and only half enjoying), after reading Heartless I know I have to jump back into that series.
We’ve read and experience through movies and TV numerous telling and retellings, stick-to-the-story novels and original stories from Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, but I haven’t read anything quite like this. You may recall the Once Upon A Time spin off show, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. It didn’t last long, but that was a really fun spin on the story we all know so well. In that there was a back story for the Queen of Hearts and how she became to be that way, and it’s similar in Heartless.
Just a girl, falling for a boy, having her ripped apart, and her seeking revenge. It’s funny how most “villain” stories come from a place of love.
I adored how Meyer put Heartless together and created this incredible sweet-girl background for the infamous Queen of Hearts. I feel like it’s totally plausible (as much as fictional worlds can have plausibility), and Lewis Carroll would approve and be proud of this retelling.
The characters were brilliant, and I loved them all. The ones we know already, like the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the White Rabbit, and of course the Cheshire cat, had a spin on them that definitely suited the story, and Catherine as a leading lady was superb. Jest was this adorable young man with just that hint of danger and mystery. He was impossible, as Catherine said, and that made him wonderful.
“It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.”
Definitely loved this book, and if you’re even a little bit of a Wonderland fan, then you really should pick up this book. Check out Erin’s review of Heartless on Blogger’s Bookshelf.
Have you read Heartless? What did you think?