ARC: Queen of Hearts (Volume 1: The Crown) by Colleen Oakes

20410977Book Synopsis:
Expected Publication 14th February 2014 by SparkPress
205 Pages |goodreads-badge-add-black-38px

Not every fairytale has a happy ending.
This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Book Review: 4 stars black

~ I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would just like to thank SparkPress and Colleen for giving me the opportunity to do so ~

I always have high hopes for retellings. Questioning whether the author will bring something new and exciting to the table, will they regal us with a twist so devilishly brilliant that in some instances that retelling becomes more memorable than the original. Well Queen of Hearts does not disappoint.

We should be well versed by now in my obsession with Alice in Wonderland, it’s bordering on psychotic. Even my iPhone background is of the weird and imaginative world created by none other than Lewis Carroll. So of course when I saw that another retelling had emerged I jumped at the opportunity to read it.

Queen of Hearts is a retelling, but I would also classify it has a prequel. Whilst reading it, I feel as though this character is the one Alice eventually fears in Carroll’s version. Sort of similar to Wicked but with Alice. Dinah, our main character, is the next in line to become the Queen of Hearts. Dinah is rather stubborn, and believes since she is the Princess and will hence be Queen one day that everyone should obey her commands. She must practice being a ruler after all. There is no excuse for her bad manners but with a horrible father, and now the new addition to their family Vittiore who is favourited by her father, Dinah becomes vengeful and spiteful whilst she counts down the days till she is able to take the throne. In addition to this, strange things start occurring in the palace. With the help of her one true love and best friend, Wardley, the two set out to uncover what is happening. That is before either of them lose their heads.

This world was fantastic, it truly did bring a whole other imagination into Carroll’s world. I loved the Black Towers and even the ocean of flowers. Oakes writing is truly amazing, and really draws you in with the finer details. Although at times Dinah can be unbearable, her emotions and reactions are just so well justified that you have a clear picture of who she is as a reader. This is such a blessing to read, even though she was one of the most unlikable characters at the same time she was highly likeable. Does that make sense?

Another unique twist was the occurrence of familiar characters. We have Cheshire, the advisor to the King (is he bad, or is he good? I still can’t decide). The Mad Hatter also known as Charles, Dinah’s brother, who makes the most beautiful hats. Even Harris as the rabbit, evident in his mannerisms as Dinah’s tutor and true father figure. These connections and alterations were creatively written and really fit in well with the story. My favourite retelling component was the cards. How each suit had a different role in the palace, so cool.

I recommend you checking this one out. It is a lot darker than the original, with blood and betrayal but it just makes it such a riveting read. Can’t wait to continue this series!!



2 thoughts on “ARC: Queen of Hearts (Volume 1: The Crown) by Colleen Oakes

  1. Oh wow, this sounds really interesting! I really love alternate looks, not just retellings. I am sort of new to your Alice obsession, do you like the 2009 SciFi/Syfy special? I love it.

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