Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath 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.
In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With her bestselling Lunar Chronicles books, Marissa Meyer gave the Cinderella story an adrenaline-charged kick in the pants. Heartless puts a similarly thrilling twist on the mythology of Alice in Wonderland, focusing on the back story of the reviled Queen of Hearts. Like Wicked, Meyer’s book asks us to question fairy-tale notions of good vs. evil and consider that villains might be turned bad by wretched life experiences. We absolutely loved this story—the writing is sumptuous, and Lady Catherine Pinkerton is a strong-willed, modern heroine.
Before she was the Queen of Hearts in Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, she was Catherine, the spirited daughter of royalty, destined to wed the King of Hearts but determined to set up shop as a baker with her best friend and longtime maid. In this whimsical standalone tale, readers follow Catherine's simultaneous courtships with the jovial king and his court joker, Jest, whose earnest boyishness makes him far more charming than his royal boss. Caught between her own desires and her mother's stop-at-nothing goal to make her daughter queen, Catherine must decide how much she will risk for a future with Jest. Meyer's Wonderland is a fun and more refined version of Carroll's, and readers will enjoy the obvious parallels. Jest and Catherine have a playfully clandestine relationship, but it's a slow build-up to the inevitable clash between what Catherine wants and what reality demands. Meyer's worldbuilding is extensive and impressive, and the persistent threat of a destructive Jabberwock lends tension, but the story lacks the high-stakes danger that fans of the Lunar Chronicles have come to expect. Ages 12 up.