‘Heartless: A Queen of Hearts’ Book Review

Sophia Langlois, Writer

Heartless is a breathtaking fantasy-romance prequel to the world of Alice in Wonderland, from the point of view of the main antagonist, the Queen of Hearts.

Cath is a simple girl who wants to open a bakery with her best friend and fall deep in love. With mounting pressure from her parents to accept the king’s proposal, her self-sufficient dreams are floating farther away with every courtship. When she meets the court jester for the first time, she understands what true passion is like. Against all better judgement, she continues to see him despite the high stakes for them both. She is determined to live the way she wants, but with all the deceit, dizzying magic, looming fate, and monster attacks, her ideal life is put into jeopardy.

Marissa Meyers writes Heartless with a beautiful figurative and elegant style. Her use of obscure and ornate language captures the essence of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and adds her own touch to the world, creating her own unique tone. Using the creative writing style of Lewis Carroll, who uses perturbing and whimsical poetic language to contradict all common sense, Marissa can create a playful, whimsical banter between the two main leads. When Catherine, the narrator, responds to Jest that she is all right after waking up from a fainting spell. He responds with, “‘Tisn’t rude to rebuke an arbitrary greeting, a nonsense question upon first meeting. To be all right implies an impossible phase. We hope for mostly right on the best of our days.” This philosophical statement really highlights the complexity of the English language that is brought to attention in the book, which elevates the essence of the book to a new level. Using this diction and tone, “Perhaps we know each other in the future and you’re only remembering backward,” Meyers can perfectly insert her own original story into an already existing literary masterpiece. Aside from the amazing vocabulary used in the book, the passion between Cath and Jest is descriptive and consuming. The romance aspect of the book is expertly developed, it is just enough to be intriguing but does not take away from the main plot line. Another thing done well in the book is the imagery of the setting. Every character is so well described, they become real. Everything Cath bakes, the taste lingers in the words and on the tongue. The action scenes are so vivid and expressive as though the scene is playing out in person.

A word of caution to anyone that gets too involved in books, this one will tug on heart strings, but it is worth it. This book is perfect for any romance-fantasy lovers looking for a new exciting read down the rabbit hole. I give this book 4.8/5 stars.