ELS library assistant Aimee falls for Marissa Meyer’s Queen of Hearts origin story, Heartless.
This book had me hooked from the first sentence: ‘Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.’ Needless to say, I then had to grab one on my next “essential” shopping trip. I can safely say that throughout reading this book, my so-called diet went out of the window!
It is set in the magical realm of Hearts and is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland. The story is about how the Queen of Hearts, the villain of the Alice in Wonderland tale, came to be. It follows a young girl who loves to bake and dreams of one day owning her own bakery. The descriptions of the delicious delicacies she creates literally make your mouth water. With her wondrous baking and kind demeanour, the King is quite taken with her and just so happens to be looking for a bride to become Queen. This would mean that her dreams would be dashed – a Queen would not be expected to run a bakery. Plus, she does not love the king. Her heart is draw to another mysterious man, Jest, who seems to want to make all her dreams come true… What will her decision be?
This book is wonderfully written. Marissa Meyer creates a dream-like world that we associate with the wonderland created by Lewis Carroll, where everything is slightly quirky, magical and upside down. Along the way, we also meet other familiar characters, such as the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, who are all a part of the great tragedy that leads to sweet Catherine becoming the heartless Queen of Hearts.