But, I loved how this book reinvented the world of Wonderland. It took elements from the original series and used them in very unique ways. As opposed to other Alice retellings I read, this one very much focused on the political aspect which was interesting. It also highlighted the darkness and brutality of Wonderland.
I will say I found this dragged quite a bit, the plot took quite a whi 3. I will say I found this dragged quite a bit, the plot took quite a while to actually get going but once it did I was pretty hooked. Overall a solid retelling, I think I'll be continuing with the series eventually. View all 5 comments. I am the Queen of Wonderland and I will have the crown that my brother made for me. No matter what happens the fundamental characteristics of the Queen of Hearts are seen throughout the story. It reminds me that if we saw Wonderland through the eyes of the Queen of Hearts, Alice would only be the smallest speck in what could be a huge story of her own life and what drew her to be who she is.
But the part that fascinated me the most was watching her get that rage and ambition of hers under control. Dinah recognises the power seeking part of her which not one of her predecessors did, which I believe is the reason she is where she is right now. The writing of this book was, as I keep saying, impeccable, and it's unlike Alice's innocent and beautiful musing yet the description maintains the glamor that Lewis Carrol wrought out of the original. The books were written expertly and was amazingly descriptive revealing the wonders of Wonderland.
Her mother died when she was young and her father has never loved her, the brother she loves more than anything can barely reflect his love for her because of his madness but both Dinah knows that he loves her which makes her relationship with her brother the most important one she has. His artistic skills and his mad ramblings which always seem like poetry was a lovely contrast to the rather serious demeanor of the royal family.
Clearly there is a re-read of Alice in Wonderland waiting to happen for me. I loved these books and recommend to all Alice lovers. View all 6 comments. Didn't happen. I feel like this book pulled a bait-and-switch on me, and I am so incredibly frustrated right now. It promised me excitement, it intriguingly hinted at things that it never delivered. It wasn't a truly terrible book, but it was a short book, and honestly, I wished it were twice as long because nothing was ever resolved.
Plot lines were left completely loose. I was pulled in and pulled along by hints of mysterious places, by mysterious people, by supposedly ambiguous characters, and I was left dangling. I had no resolution by the end of the book. The entire book felt like a prequel. I don't consider the ending to be a cliffhanger, because in order to have a cliffhanger, you had to have a book in the first place. This book did not feel complete. The book is emotionless. It is dry.
It is all telling, no showing. The characters are all grossly caricatured, the bad characters never felt real because there is no dimension and no resolution and no reason at all as to why they acted the way they did. The main character within this book, Dinah , is 17, but I felt like this book read like a Middle Grade novel because it was so completely juvenile, and lacking in realistic sentiment. I was supposed to feel sorry for the main character, downtrodden and not beautiful and hated by her father.
I felt no such thing. I couldn't really give two shits about her, to be honest, because more than anything, the main character was a whiny, hypocritical spoiled brat who did nothing. This book had a very interesting and beautiful version of Wonderland. It is a nontraditional retelling, without an Alice. Do not expect the White Rabbit. Do not expect a Cheshire Cat. Do not expect Tweedledum and Tweedle Dee. You will not get those elements in this book in the manner you would expect, from the original Alice books.
That is not to say the setting is bad. Quite the opposite. The trouble with this book is that the setting is so awesome that an unwary reader might completely miss the fact that there was almost no plot to the book. The Summary : Usually I write a long-winded summary for the book. I'm not going to this time because nothing happens in the book.
In a nutshell, this is the book's plot. Dinah is a Princess in Wonderland, she is unloved by her father, she gets a new sister, she is angry about it, she feels like something bad's going to happen for no fucking reason. Something bad happens. We don't know what the bad thing is, but something bad happens. Something might happen in the next book. The end. The Plot : Mostly her days were filled with mind-numbing croquet, etiquette, history, and dancing lessons. That's pretty accurate.
I have to admit, I was so distracted by the setting that it didn't occur to me until the end that, hey, what the actual fuck, where is the plot? The entire book is composed of Dinah being angry at her father. Dinah hating her father. Dinah thinking about her hot friend, Wardley, Dinah feeling deep within her bones that something dark is going to happen. Wardley, something is amiss. I can feel it. There is a lurking, a presence, a danger, something BAD is happening. And someone is trying to help us.
Where the fuck did that come from?! Where is the evidence? I'm not going to take Dinah's word for it. She has these nightmares. Guess what? So do I. I regularly dream about zombies. It doesn't mean that there's going to be a zombie apocalypse anytime soon. Give me more to believe in, give me something real. I am not going to believe that there is a dark force at play in the land simply because someone tells me it is going to happen.
There are hints that go nowhere. This is what I refer to as a bait-and-switch. If you are going to repeatly mention something, I expect the book to fucking deliver on it. You cannot repeatedly mention a dark, mysterious, ambiguous figure, giving us tantalizing clues only to go nowhere with it. The rumors of his extracurricular activities ran rampant in the castle. You cannot have a villain throughout the book and give no reason to his hatred of the main character. He grabbed her chin in his hands and held it close, the scent of wine washing over her face from his hot breath.
He was shaking her violently now, and she felt her knees begin to buckle. You cannot introduce a new character without giving us any resolution whatsoever by the end of the book. The book is the most frustrating book I have read in a long time because I still don't know anything by the time I finished the book. It pissed me off, which is entirely subjective, but really, the writing style and extreme emphasis did nothing to endear me to this book or its characters. STOP it! Absolutely not.
She starts off as the most spoiled 15 year old in the whole world, a Princess, a Queen of Hearts-to-be who acts more like the holy terror that is Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She starts the book as a scowling 15 year old. Trust me. Now put on your brave face. Let me see it. And the anger and resentment never stopped. She glowers. She shrieks. She snaps. Dinah is constantly angry. She never stops being angry. Fury rises from her at every moment. Her unflinching blue gaze unnerved Dinah, who found a fury rising inside. The slightest perceived insult makes Dinah see red.
The overwhelming emotion in this book is anger, and I felt it towards Dinah, not for her. Yes, Dinah is treated poorly by her father, but Dinah herself is such an intolerable character that I never once felt any sympathy for her. Dinah has a sister, a beautiful creature. By no fault of her own, the half-sister Vittiore is stunningly beautiful, but a bastard, and loved by the father who so hates Dinah.
It doesn't matter, because Vittiore never does anything wrong but look innocent and pretty, yet she is overwhelmingly the target of Dinah's anger for no visible reason at all. Dinah calls Vittiore so many names, like "bastard child. I hope she dies of wheezing fever. Everything Vittiore does makes Dinah hate her moreno matter how innocuous, and I just wanted to wring Dinah's neck, or rather, off with her head! The Setting : The one good thing about the book. I found it really creative, it is based on Wonderland, but without the traditional characters.
There is a King of Hearts, and the Cards are actually various ranks of soldiers. There were four divisions of the men called Cards, each serving their purpose to the kingdom. Heart Cards, handsome and skilled men uniformed in red and white, protected the royal family and the palace. Club Cards, Spades, etc.
Wonderland itself is beautifully described, and we get to see croquet games with all the birds running around. There are descriptions of beautiful court clothes. The gown was lovely in a severe way, with hundreds of gray fabrics mingling together in an elaborate tweed. A large red heart arched over her shoulders and down the back of the dress, its top folds meeting at her collarbone.
White ribbons ran up and down the heart in delicate ruffles. Bright-raspberry hearts dotted the full hem of the dress. If you just want to read about a pretty version of Wonderland, this book might do it.
- Innovative Products.
- Living with Joy: Keys to Personal Power and Spiritual Transformation (Earth Life Series Book 1).
- I Am a Child of God;
Just don't expect the usual characters. The Villains : This book is simply unbelievable, because the bad guys are just bad for the sake of being bad. For example, her villified father. The cruel, evil King of Hearts who has despised Dinah since the day she was born. He constantly belittles her. He constantly seeks to humiliate her. It numbs me, because his hate felt incredibly gratuitous, there only to elicit sympathy for Dinah, and without a reason at all.
She had been lost in thought, standing midaisle. Dinah bowed her head. Dinah's romance is limited to wishful thinking. She is going to be the Queen one day, so there is no question she can, and will get the guy of her dreams. She longed to make Wardley her husband one day, which would make him the King of Hearts beside her. That's pretty much the limitation of their romance. She holds the cards no pun intended. Wardley is not a romantic interest. He is a pawn to be used as Dinah sees fit. Her lips trembled.
View all 43 comments. I enjoyed this so much - I would actually give it a 4. I listened to the audio to complete some challenges for Retellathon. After seeing that the overall Goodreads rating was only around a 3. I didn't read any of the reviews in advance, so I have no idea what the issues are with this one after lis I enjoyed this so much - I would actually give it a 4.
I didn't read any of the reviews in advance, so I have no idea what the issues are with this one after listening to it. This is essentially an origin story for the Queen of Hearts. I love retellings from the villains perspective, that's honestly one of my favorite subgenres of YA, and who doesn't love an origin story? This one felt very true to the atmosphere of the original story but brought a lot of new concepts and unique twists. I loved the deep, dark overall feel of the tale.
There were parts that were very gritty and creepy - blood, gore, torture - it's all in here but not in an obnoxious way. IMO it all works perfectly with the story. Alice in Wonderland is not a feel-good tale; it is dark and scary with twisty-turny, upside-downy things that just make you feel on edge. I loved the relationship between Dinah the Queen of Hearts and her Father. He is a demonic, evil, spiteful little man and I really hope he gets his in the next book! Speaking of the next book, I ordered this and the second book this morning from Book Outlet and I need them like yesterday!
Queen of Hearts revealed at first draw in McHenry VFW game | Northwest Herald
This left off on such a cliffhanger - I cannot wait to see where the next book takes Dinah. Another thing I enjoyed about this was Cheshire. He is an aide to the King and you can tell he is all kinds of devious. I'm not sure at this point what his true motivations are but he sure is a tricky one! He is described with similar qualities to the Cheshire Cat from the original, yet in this tale, he is a man. We also meet Dinah's main caregiver, Harris, who is just such a sweet man, who loves her like her Father never has. He is just a pure and precious gem who I hope survives the wrath that is the King of Hearts!
For Mad Hatter fans, have no fear, he is in here too; as are all the cards, the croquet games and general royal chaos. Overall, I feel like this book needs some more love. I definitely plan to get the entire series and will probably even read this one again. I am majorly geeking out over this right now. I am going to go back now though and read other reviews; I am really curious to see what others didn't enjoy about this one!
The first is challenge 3 'Faraway Land' to read a retelling that is based off a story from your heritage - I am choosing to go with my Irish heritage for this challenge. At the time Alice in Wonderland was written, and a time when my ancestors were still there, Ireland was a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland so technically, this works.
I am also using it for challenge 5 'Unhappily Ever After' to read a retelling with a dark twist - as this is told from the villain's perspective, the infamous Queen of Hearts, this works! View all 10 comments. Dec 18, Natalie Monroe rated it did not like it Shelves: could-have-been-better , dragged-on-too-much , boooring , protagonists-i-want-to-laser-face , derp-moments , watch-out-for-puddles-of-angst , cheesy-cheesy-cheesy , dishonor-on-your-cow , hate-the-characters-hate-the-book , not-as-good-as-i-expected.
This note wasn't sent in malice, I can feel it. Either it goes well, which makes it look like a deux ex machina. Or it goes horribly wrong, making said character look like an idiot. Guess what happens to Diane. Go on, guess. Diane is She's bratty. During the climax, when everything goes to s "I can't explain it, but I need to find her. During the climax, when everything goes to shit, a horse has to tell her what to do.
A horse. Granted, a magic horse, but my God! Not when you're wallowing in self-pity instead of doing shit. Don't try to tell me her dad might notice, because she totally gives one away later in exchange for a guard's silence. It's not like she's uneducated. She's the princess of Wonderland, as she loves reminding guards while being unnessarily cruel. She sits through lessons all day long, all throughout the book. You think she'd pick up a few things.
But noooo. Precious Princess Diane makes rash decisions, barely thinking through a plan before plunging up to her shoulders in it. Then whines when they fall through. She throws tantrums bordering on hysterical-outburst material. In the first chapter, when she's being presented to the throne by her very intimidating father, she zones out.
Come on, realistically, would that happen? When you're already frightened and nervous? I'd be hyper alert and march down that aisle as quick as possible, so no one will stare. The writing burns my eyes. Just look at it: "The ivory doors slammed shut behind her, the sound bouncing around the vast room. Voluminous red banners billowed from floor to ceiling, a black heart stitched across each center: the blazon of the King. Dinah's white slippers echoed loudly against the marble floors, and she felt thousands of eyes watching her, judging her. She held her crowned head as highly and regally as she could.
The entire court watched her walk up the aisle, lords and ladies of noble birth, their bright fashion a blot of color on the otherwise black-and-white marble room. I can write a Stephenie Meyer novel with all those adjectives. Sometimes, less is more. Especially in the beginning, when readers are still getting used to the world and characters.
I'm not interested in an essay on the duties of different Cards and Wonderland provinces. Spread it out like peanut butter, man. There's telling in form of dialogue, telling instead of showing, so much telling I feel like I'm five sitting through a lecture from my mom.
Show me a straining waistline. Let me hear a barked command at a servant. Don't be fucking lazy with storytelling. The dialogue is downright cringe-worthy: "Oh, Dinah, you are too good. This just what I needed. You're incredible, you know that? You've told from day one the king is a dick. You can't expect me to be bamboozled by the knowledge that he's trying to kill his daughter to keep the throne. Why though?
That's a huge plot hole that somehow slipped through. He's not dead yet and he rules by fear. Even if there is a rule that demands he must hand over the throne when Dinah is of age, can't he change it? The world-building itself is interesting. The Mad Hatter is Diane's crazy brother Charles who designs hats.
The information about Cards and their heirarchy is fascinating once you look through the word-vomit. But without a plot and interesting characters, it's nothing but an empty world. ARC provided by Edelweiss. Quotes taken from an uncorrected galley proof and may be subject to change. View all 8 comments. This was more like 3. Dinah is a teenage future Queen of Hearts in Wonderland.
At least not yet. Dinah was a strong female character. She has spunk and is feisty. She has a big heart and it hurts her to see how her father the asshole rules Wonderland. He is abusive both physically and mentally to her character. She looks out after her servants and her Mad brother Charles aka the M This was more like 3. She looks out after her servants and her Mad brother Charles aka the Mad hatter. Charles's character was one of my favorites in this book too. He wraps the reader around his finger. Something went wrong at his birth and he was born mad.
Such a sweet sole he has though. You also have Cheshire who is the King's closest adviser. He is not in cat form in this book but there are rumors that he can shape-shift into a cat. Dinah's King father springs upon the kingdom a perfect child that he worships that he supposedly fathered out of wedlock in a night of lust. I hated that heifer too. This is the first of a trilogy and I can't wait to see where the author goes with it.
What makes Dinah change into that famous evil queen? Must find out. Feb 04, Alaina rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone! Shelves: young-adult , fantasy , romance , fiction , favorites , historical-fiction , retellings , february-challenge , sci-fi , fairy-tales.
I didn't even bother looking at the reviews for this book because I wanted to read it so badly. I just didn't care if the whole world hated or loved this book - I wanted to read it and that's all that mattered to me. Queen of Hearts is obviously a retelling but it made me like the Queen of Hearts so freaking much. Dinah, who is the MC and the future queen, is basically treated lower than dirt by her father. Speaking of the King Douche, I hate his guts so freaking much. I wanted him to die the entire time I was reading this book. Spoiler alert: he's still sadly alive. Just go with it.
Either way, it was freaking amazing. Like I've mentioned before I flew through this book. I couldn't get enough. I even read that free chapter for the next book then found out that I didn't bring that book with me. Talk about pure sadness guys. I loved everything about this book. I hope the people I want dead die in the next book. I want Dinah to become the Queen she is meant to be. Jul 01, Katie. Well this was a disappointment. Up until literally the last chapter.
Dinah is one hell of a spoiled brat and sadly our main character. Vittoire arrives on the doorstep as her long lost sister - but all is not as it seems. That is interesting and if I read the second book I hope that is explored more as it sounds a hell of a more interesting back story tha Well this was a disappointment. That is interesting and if I read the second book I hope that is explored more as it sounds a hell of a more interesting back story than Dinah. The outside world beyond the palace also sounds very intriguing. View all 4 comments.
I did not expect to dislike Queen of Hearts so strongly but my God, this book was awful. My battle to make my way through the entirety of this story tested every nerve in my body. For a short book, it was a long and difficult trek from start to finish. I disliked the characters, the writing, the plot. It was a story which took all of the amazing things about the original Alice in Wonderland and introduced them to typical YA tropes… and you can imagine just how that turned out. Dinah was an immatu I did not expect to dislike Queen of Hearts so strongly but my God, this book was awful.
Dinah was an immature brat who deserved to be shoved off the tower and taught a lesson. I could not stand how selfish and bratty she acted, literally all of the time. At least the first third of this book is made up of her crying, throwing temper tantrums and pouting. Every interaction we had with her was riddled with the undertone of her constant self-pity and whining. It was childish and unreasonable how she treated her half-sibling, Vittiore. There is no excuse for maintaining such a ridiculously strong hatred towards such an innocent and benign girl, let alone someone you could potentially ally with against the fury of your father, other than your own personal lack of maturity.
I can understand that Dinah was jealous that her father seemed to care more about Vittiore than herself but I think that replacing the chance to explore these complicated familial relationships with childish antics was not the best idea. Dinah was not a worthy protagonist.
Queen of Hearts: A Baroque-Burlesque Adventure in Wonderland by Company XIV
Was his relationship with Dinah meant to be a romance? Personally, I never felt that these feelings were reciprocated but I did find it rather irritating that it was so ambiguous. Either way, his generally underdeveloped characterisation was still a sore spot for me.
While I liked him a lot more than Dinah herself, I still felt that we knew little about Wardley as a character. I did appreciate that he seemed to be a sensible lad with a no-nonsense attitude. He had no real reason for hating Dinah to the extent that he did.
He abused her and treated her disgustingly but for no real motivation. Was she a threat to his crown? Potentially, but she was also a child. He had already turned the goodwill of his people against her. It would have been easy! For the first three quarters of the story, I was completely confuddled by his motivations and utter hatred of his daughter. His response to Charles was also disheartening and I wish that he had some depth, really any at all would have been nice.
Otherwise, he was the typical poorly written villain. The plotline was also… wait, what plotline? The reason I disliked this book to the extent I did was because nothing happened. There was no end goal. Dinah had nothing to aim for and the storyline was just a random combination of Dinah crying and over-reacting to events that happened in the palace. There was a slight detour in the middle where Dinah and Wardley investigated a random mystery in the Black Towers which was never explained properly or elaborated on.
As a whole, the story was ridiculously dull and dry. For such a short book, it was scary how easily I lost my focus. I could not concentrate on the story unfolding on the page because there was so little story actually unfolding. Not only was it overly simplistic - to the point where it was almost juvenile - but she had the uncanny knack of filling pages and pages of telling instead of showing. I disliked how clunky the descriptions were and how awkwardly they were often incorporated into the body of the story.
Was it completely unique? The parts of the plot which allowed Dinah to explore these settings were my favourite parts of the book. As a whole, the world-building was passable. Oakes captured some of the important whimsical vibes of Wonderland but I did wish we knew more specifics about the towns which surrounded the palace and details like that.
This book was so damn disappointing. Wardley either. The plotline was non-existent and I disliked not having a clear end goal for the story or a decent antagonist to keep things interesting. The writing style was also too juvenile for my tastes. I was just so disappointed by this book, it was so meh. Nothing interesting happened. I am still not over this stupidity.
I think her name was Dinah or something weird in this book, but she had no unique or interesting qualities whatsoever, making it quite boring. Buttercream Master Classes. Learn more. Bestselling Books. Follow the latest trend, get your copies NOW! See all our books. Innovative Products. Shop through our entire line of innovative buttercream cake decorating essentials. All our products are meticulously chosen and designed by us to make sure we give the BEST quality for all our customers.
Shop now. As featured on:. Blog Posts. Get your FREE recipes and cake decorating tutorials right here. Thank you! Join Team Buttercream! Welcome to Team Buttercream! Email Submit.