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.
This was another anticipated of the year. I am a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles series and I wanted to see her interpretation of of Wonderland and the Red Queen’s backstory, and it didn’t disappoint.
At first I like that Catherine started off as a normal girl who dreams of owning her bakery instead of royalty, while it did come across as a Disney princess who dreams of something more, the story was framed differently. It reminded me a lot of the movie/musical Waitress about a women who dreams of owning her own bakery but sometimes life gets in the way. She, of course is forced to marry the king and she really doesn’t want to and she falls in love with Jest, the court jester.
I like her relationship with Jest, it reminded me a lot of Wicked in a sense with Elphaba and Fieryo’s relationship and sometimes the song “As Long as You’re Mine” comes off in their scenes together. While it was the cliched forbidden and secret romance the characters were framed better. Jest was a good character and I liked his character arc, but I don’t want to get into it without spoiling anything.
I also liked her interpretation of Wonderland, her writing was very descriptive and it put us back in Wonderland, without trying to make a prequel with a lot of forced references and it flowed a lot better within the story.I pictured mostly the Disney animated movie when I thought of Wonderland.
My only gripe with the story is that it started off very slow and it wasn’t as plot heavy in the first half of the book but mostly devoted to character development, its the second half of the book is where the story really picks up and you see how Catherine becomes the Red Queen, but I also felt that it was a bit rushed and I would have liked to see some build up before she turns completely evil.
In the end, I think Heartless was a great book and it was a good take on Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland, and the world of Wonderland. I know this is a stand alone book but I hope to see more of Marissa Meyer’s work. I heard she is doing one on superheroes.