Heartless – Marissa Meyer
‘The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly
Heartless is a beautiful written retelling with monsters, magic and decadent pasties that will make your mouth water!
I received an E-ARC via Netgalley from Pan Macmillan and I am super excited to be able to read and review it for you!
Since this is a review, below is spoiler central, if you haven’t read the book, don’t read any further. You have been warned.
Heartless is the story of Catherine Pinkerton, a talented baker determined to control her own fate. However, when you are the daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Rock Turtle Cove and the unmarried King’s choice for Queen, destiny has other plans.
When Hearts are introduced to the new court joker, Catherine becomes enthralled in a secret courtship with the yellow-eyed Jest. We all know how this story ends, the Queen of Hearts is the evil of Wonderland, but this is the story before she became the villain.
Going into this I was very skeptical how the author could make the Queen of Hearts who is a notorious villain actually likable, but I was surprised that Marissa seemed to do it with ease.
Catherine tugs on our heart strings early on, with her delicious baking skills and dreaming attitude that left me wanting her to reach all of her aspirations. I enjoyed watching her develop into where she would eventually end up. I know that sounds weird because she turned evil but with the amount of challenges she faced and the obstacles she tried to overcome, you could trace back all the small things (and some larger ones) that added up to transform her into the Queen of Hearts. She was a beautifully written character, and in the end I even enjoyed her becoming evil.
“Off with his head.”
Although Heartless was based around Catherine, there were other characters that I have to mention! Enter yellow-eyed Jest, who was by far one of my favorite characters! He was charming, full of magic and mystery, and won Catherine’s heart along with my own and I am sure he will wins over many other readers! I am glad there was more to him then meets the eye, I liked that he was a Rook from Chess and he was serving his Queen. I liked that he was conflicted, and that he would do anything for Catherine. The ending was hard and I held out hope right until the end, but my heart was left shattered. I just have too much to say about the amazing character that is Jest! I would love to see more stories surrounding him honestly… Short stories or maybe a prequel in Chess, that would be lovely!
This was such a character driven book, yes the plot was awesome, but you fall in love with the characters that Marissa has perfected. Cheshire, Hatta, Haigha and Raven were so fantastic, and look I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more about these characters, they were written so well and it’s really a merit on Marissa’s writing!
The plot within was wonderful, although I found it more character driven, the story as a whole was interesting, and I liked all the small plot details that were incorporated from Alice in Wonderland. It really gave a nod to the original author and kept the story with an authentic feel. Heartless was a really fun story, and in the last quarter the pacing really stepped up and the story line packed a punch that won’t be forgotten in a long time.
Now I did rate this book half a star lower than I am sure everyone expected but this rave review. The reason for this is that the first few chapters didn’t draw me in as a reader. I think a lot of things added together on this one, it was slower paced at the start, the world was being set but it didn’t grab me right at the beginning like I hoped it would. In my opinion, Catherine wasn’t a very entertaining character right at the start, she was a bit of a boring character up until she met Jest I found. Although, she definitely redeemed herself, but the first few chapters were a little drawn out and it just left me hungry because the descriptions of her lemon tarts were literally mouth watering!!!
Heartless is my first experience at reading Marissa Meyer’s work, and there is a reason they call her the Queen of retellings! Her writing is lyrical, with beautifully weaved descriptions and details. I found myself captivated in her writing style. You could really notice the amount of research Marissa did from Alice in Wonderland to portray an accurate depiction of the Queen of Hearts. It’s the little details intertwined within the story that I appreciated the most in Heartless, and it left me wanting so much more!
‘A heart, once stolen, can never be taken back’
Overall, Heartless is adequately named and I love when a title really reflects the book! The cover is amazing, and the book struck all the heart strings and leaves you pretty much destroyed but absolutely loving the ride that this book took us on. I believe fan’s of Lewis Carroll will really appreciate the details, and I definitely would recommend this book to fans of retellings!
Favourite Moment: The Hatta’s tea party!
Favourite Quote: “You have my heart, Jest. I don’t know if you deserve it or not. I can’t tell if you’re a hero or a villain, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Either way, my heart is yours.”