Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — 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 yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she 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.
SOURCE: ARC via publisher from BEA
Catherine – It’s hard to love a villain, even if she isn’t one yet you KNOW it is coming. I cab tell you I didn’t hate her by any means but it did take me longer to invest in her for this one reason. To see her grow as a person as well as a backbone was an impressive sight.
Small thing for me – I’m a huge fan of multiple POVs and while I loved watching Catherine chase the impossible I think with the amount of magic and fantasy surrounding this world I would have loved to see a bit more of what the other characters were truly thinking, doing, etc.
Going in to an origins/prequel story an author has an uphill battle already but to give us the origins story of a villain? The struggle is real. How do you make us feel sorry/root for someone that causes so many problems? That we’ve never known to be kind? Can finding out what happened before help us feel some sort of connection with or sympathy for her? That is what Meyer set out to do with her first stand alone, Heartless.
This is a rare book for me. Heartless gave me such great detail that I felt like I truly could see the scene in my head in full living color. This would make a stunning movie that I would pay good money to see. There was such a richness to Meyer’s storytelling that you become encased in the setting fully. The characters were extremely entertaining and the riddles throughout kept you on your toes with Catherine though she could have used a dose of reality a bit earlier too.
Part of me loves that this is a standalone but another says “BUT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO FIND OUT!” I don’t know what it says about me as a person (I have a black heart maybe?) but when that switch flips? When she truly becomes the Queen of Hearts? MAGIC. I felt her wrath through the pages and sympathized with her need for vengeance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen through a villain’s eyes so clearly and agreed. If anything I don’t think enough heads rolled at that point.
LET’S GO TO WORK QUEEN.
Want to countdown to Heartless with us? There are only 48 DAYS TILL HEARTLESS! Fierce Reads is giving away some many great things so be sure to follow the hashtag #HeartlessCountdown and play along! (I’m sharing today’s task there today!)