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.
Heartless is the origin story of Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts. In Heartless, we’re introduced to Catherine, a sweet girl whose greatest dream is to own the best bakery in all of Hearts. Throughout the book, we witness the events that led to Catherine becoming the heartless, decapitation-obsessed tyrant Alice meets in Lewis Carroll’s story.
One of my favourite aspects of Heartless was the fact that I already knew how it was going to end. There were so many chill-inducing moments, such as the first time Catherine says, “Off with his head.” We also get to meet the Mad Hatter before he turned mad, the Mock Turtle before he was “mock,” and learn some possible answers to the Mad Hatter’s riddle about how a raven is like a writing desk.
I was a huge fan of Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, and like that book, Heartless has an amazing cast of characters! However, the real star of this book was the food – it was basically literary food porn! I’m not that big on desserts, but people ate Catherine’s creations as if it was some kind of religious experience, so even I was craving macarons by the time I finished it!
I also really enjoyed the romance in Heartless. Yes, it was cheesy at some points, but I think retellings are allowed to be a bit cheesier than other books.
While I did find the plot to be very predictable, this was one of those books where the characters, setting, and general atmosphere were so wonderful, so I didn’t mind too much.
Overall, Heartless was a lot of fun to read, and I can’t wait to see what Marissa Meyer releases next!