I'm finally going to try and catch up with my reviews (I'm not making any promises, though) so today I'll be reviewing a book I read in January for the #OWBookclub: Heartless by Marissa Meyer. The theme for that month was 'Fantasy'.
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA, fantasy, retelling
This book tells the story of the Queen of Hearts before she became the Queen of Hearts. This is the story of Catherine, the daughter of a marquess, who loves baking and dreams of one day opening her own bakery with her maid and best friend Mary-Anne. The King of Hearts is very fond of sweets and all things baked, so he wants to marry Catherine. And then we have Jest, the court's joker/jester who is very intrigued by Catherine and vice versa.
-Catherine: You know, I never thought I would actually say this but I genuinly feel sorry for Catherine and I 'understand' how she came to be the evil queen she is in 'Alice in Wonderland'. We see her going trhough so many changes - not always for the better - and you can't even blame her for it. I loved how - even though she tries to stay strong-minded - she also has her doubts. She tries to be her own person. Even though Marissa Meyer said she has taken a lot of liberties with the social rules and norms of Victorian England I feel like you get to see what it was like to be a young girl having your own dreams put aside because you were eligible for marriage.
-Jest: Oh sweet, funny, poor Jest. He is such a versatile charachter with all the struggles he goes trough from being in love with the girl he can't have to being the joker of an unbearably silly king and SPOILER his mission for the White Queen.
-Raven: Intriguing is the word I would use to describe this bird.
-Hatta: The entire time I was reading the book I kept picturing Johnny Depp as Hatta.
He's different from the 'original' Mad Hatter because he hasn't gone mad yet, but they're also very much alike because he is so peculiar.
-The King: The stupidity and foolishness of this man are so unbearable at times - which means he's a well-written character - that I wanted to smack him on the head several times!
-The marchioness: She reminded me of Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice in the way she behaved to make sure her daughter would marry the king. She got on my nerves several times.
*Plot/world building/overall rating:
This book was wonderful. Maybe it was a bit slow at first but the last half of the book really made the book perfect. Marissa Meyer really is the queen of fairy-tale retellings. She has turned this book into such a believable story that I truly felt for the characters. The portrayel of Catherine will even make me look differently at the 'original' Queen of Hearts from now on. Don't get me wrong, she is still an evil queen, but I feel like this 'explanation' has made me understand why she is who she is.
She litteraly turned evil and cold-hearted overnight, but it was still done incredibly believable and well-written. The story went from being warm and fuzzy to cruel and evil in a couple of chapters and it felt real.
I think Lewis Caroll would have approved of this prequel story. I also loved the references to the original Alice in Wonderland story and how Meyer took little details from the original story and weaved them in perfectly. I have to admit I was a bit nervous to read this book because I really love Alice in Wonderland but it didn't disappoint. It was so unbelievably good that this book has cemented Meyer's place on my auto-buy authors list.
Have you read this? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.
Bye for now