Author: Marissa Meyer
Heartless is Marissa Meyers’ backstory for the Queen of Hearts (Catherine) from Alice in Wonderland. Catherine is a young girl being courted by the King, but falls in love with the court jester. Not more can be said about the plot without including spoilers, but it is a tale of love, adventure, and revenge all set in the magical world of wonderland.
I absolutely loved this book! I have never read the lunar chronicles, and so have never experienced Marissa Meyer’s writing – I am now eager to read more of her work! As a big fan of the programme ‘once upon a time’ and the novel ‘Dorothy must die’ I was intrigued by the premise of a twist on a classic tale that we all know. This novel humanises the Queen of Hearts, usually seen as a characture type character, as Meyer creates a backstory for her, depicting her history with the mad Hatta and the origins of the classic line ‘off with his head.’ The characters are a huge selling point of this novel, with quirky and bizarre characters that we expect from tales affiliated with Wonderland, including the addition of the jest. ‘Jest’ is Catherine’s love interest, and an incredibly loveable character, full of charm, charisma and cheek. The dynamic between Jest and Catherine keeps the story fresh, although there are soppy moments, there interactions are generally playful, and full of banter, making their ‘love story’ entertaining for readers.
As you read, you almost forget that the lead character of Catherine, is the Queen of hearts, as she is a genuinely likeable young lady, falling in love with, whom her parents and society deem to be, the wrong person. But towards the end of the novel, you can feel Catherine turning due to the events that have taken place. That is the beauty of the novel, the humanisation of this classic villain, from a young, loving girl to the murderous queen of hearts as we know her to be. Meyer has created a story that allows us to sympathise with a character we have been taught from childhood to loathe – not an easy feat for any author, and yet Meyer does it almost effortlessly, through the plot and the believability of the love between Catherine and Jest.
A highlight of this book is the nostalgic feel as you read about familiar characters such as the mad Hatta and the creature of the Jabberwock, whilst also feeling fresh and new due to the different perspective and new characters. Meyer is fantastic at upholding the kooky and bizarre character of the wonderland books, whilst also enabling us to relate to the characters. Overall this is a vibrant, fresh, and brilliantly quirky novel which I absolutely adored much more than I thought I would. A fantastic book that I would recommend to all fantasy lovers and, of course, fans of Alice in wonderland