Overall Rating: 8/10
This is a standalone novel that follows an origin story of the Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland stories. So here is my original plot summary:
Our main character Catherine aka Cath is a daughter of nobility in the land of Hearts, with a avid hobby of baking the best delicacies in all the land*. Despite her parents bitching at her to be a proper ‘lady’ and accept the King’s courtshit, I mean courtship, she falls for a mysterious court joker named Jest. With all the beloved original Carroll characters, such as the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the fierce Jabberwock, this tale promises an expected end with an unexpected journey to it.
*Book may cause perpetual cravings whilst reading.
So I really liked this book! Unfortunately my reading experience was a little lackluster. It took me almost a month to actually finish this. And since it was interrupted by a mini slump and other new releases, I wasn’t able to fully dive into this world and story. That being said, when I was reading it I found it immensely enjoyable. The writing flows very well, Marissa did a great job of recreating the magical atmosphere. The recreated characters felt as they should, and the original characters fit very neatly into the world. Even though you basically know how this story will end, I still found myself hoping that it would end differently and it didn’t detract from the story at all.
Marissa Meyer definitely delivered a fascinating origin story to an iconic villain. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone looking for something fantastical and a little heartbreaking.
Since I didn’t start my book journal/review notes until I was almost done with this book, I don’t have many specific spoiler-y thoughts, but I do have some!
When we first meet Cath, I thought, No way. She is way too nice to be the Queen of Hearts. I thought there must be some plot twist at the end so that she didn’t end up the heartless queen we know from Carroll’s original story. But, by 50 pages from the end I could see that was NOT going to happen.
I really shipped Jest and Cath, they seemed so perfect for each other. When Jest was expectedly beheaded, I wasn’t as much sad as I was angry. It seemed like such an injustice, too unfair. I mean, wasn’t Cath’s situation terrible enough? Her best friend unintentionally betraying her, her parents disregarding her every wish, and the idiot King bumbling his way through a forced courtship? With Jest’s death, while her change was drastic, I felt like Cath’s hunger for revenge and justice was pretty logical. I wanted Peter to die too! What really killed me in the end was how Hatta started to go mad, despite his efforts to outrun Time.
On another note, the three well sisters reminded me of the Weird Sisters from Macbeth. Not really relevant to anything, but I’m reading Macbeth right now for school so I though it was interesting.
That about sums up my thoughts about Heartless! Marissa Meyer hasn’t disappointed, and I can’t wait to see what she puts out next!
Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!