Thank you Pan Macmillan for inviting me to be part of the Heartless blog tour!
If you haven’t heard of Heartless, here’s the Goodreads link to a more detailed synopsis. The story follows Catherine Pinkerton, a 17 year old girl who just wants to open a bakery, but she is noticed by the King who means to make her his Queen of Hearts. At the same time, she is quite taken with the new arrival to the court: the joker, Jest. Also there’s a Jabberwock running about, but that’s fine, right?
Marissa Meyer’s previous series The Lunar Chronicles (also retellings) were detailed, fun and exciting. And Heartless touched on this fun, amusing atmosphere while at the same time weaving in a bit of darkness!
I loved Jest. He was mysterious, attractive and funny. He didn’t just make Cath fall for him, that’s for sure! The humorous way these two traded riddles and mumbled insults made this book worthwhile for me, so cute!
The nods to Wonderland that Meyer made just had me grinning too. Pun intended, because the Cheshire Cat was excellent. He definitely added to the humour of the book overall! The Hatta made a significant appearance too, his hat shop was delightful.
What I didn’t like was that the courtship of Cath and the King, plus Jest’s secret, unofficial courting of Cath, dragged in the centre of the book. There was a Jabberwock running about eating people, but that didn’t claim a lot of significance until certain events occurred in the story’s timeline. The creature just seemed to exist to the side until one of our characters stumbled right into a mess.
I guess that’s how Wonderland politics worked: you go to tea parties and forget any danger, focus on being courted and eating sweet cakes!
That said though, there was definitely a dark undertone towards the end which was realised in the conclusion. I had my hand over my heart! 😦 I really enjoyed the ending! And the beginning of Heartless made me so hungry, the mental imagery is stunning. Please read this with snacks on hand.
The way this world was described to me was so visually pleasing and surprising! The world-building was beautiful, Cath was a stubborn, strong perspective to read from, and the magic of Hatta, Jest and the bumbling King were a delight to read about.
Heartless is out now!
3 / 5 stars
This book is perfect to read while sipping tea and eating lemon tarts.