Only queens with hearts can bleed.
This is not the story of the Wonderland we know. Alice has not fallen down a rabbit hole. There is no all-knowing cat with a taunting smile. This is a Wonderland where beneath each smile lies a secret, each tart comes with a demand, and only prisoners tell the truth.
Dinah is the princess who will one day reign over Wonderland. She has not yet seen the dark depths of her kingdom; she longs only for her father’s approval and a future with the boy she loves. But when a betrayal breaks her heart and threatens her throne, she is launched into Wonderland’s dangerous political game. Dinah must stay one step ahead of her cunning enemies or she’ll lose not just the crown but her head.
Evil is brewing in Wonderland and maybe, most frighteningly, in Dinah herself.
This is not a story of happily ever after.
This is the story of the Queen of Hearts.
“And if I lose my head?” Wardley asked.
“Then I will be very sorry,” she said. “It is a lovely head.”
Let’s get the one Content Warning out of the way:
- Child Abuse
The characters were mostly believable, though none of them were really likable. I did want Dinah to succeed. However, instead of it being because she was well-developed and I cared what happened to her, it was because I’m a horribly vindictive person and her father is a 2 dimensional jerk. I don’t really understands why he goes out of his way to be an ass to her, but he constantly does and it’s more annoying than anything.
The world is probably the best part of the novel. There’s a creative use of the space with a good level of detail given to descriptions. The settings were relatively immersive, which is definitely something I look for while I’m reading.
The plot was a bit confusing. The story moved in the direction of Dinah’s coronation and avoiding her father’s wrath for the majority of the book, but close to the end it shifted in a completely different direction. The shift made little sense and the story ended without any conclusion. It’s probably the most drastic cliff-hanger I’ve read in a while and I’m going to preemptively say it might have been better done as a single novel combined with its sequel. The end seemed more like a place I’d put a bookmark in and go eat lunch, but come back to and finish the rest. It’s relatively frustrating, especially since I don’t know if I care about the characters enough to keep going with this series.
Overall, I rate Queen of Hearts 3 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of Queen of Hearts and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Books-A-Million (US)
- Barnes and Noble (US)
- Waterstones (UK)
- Book Depository
- your local bookstore or local library
For more information about Colleen Oakes and her work, visit her website.