Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


I found this story very compelling yet didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the other books in Marissa Meyer’s fairytale re-interpretations.  Unlike Meyer’s other heroines, Cath didn’t seem quite as quick to be able to stand up for herself which I found frustrating.  She instead let herself go with the flow and expected things to work out just fine until Jest intervenes to change directions.  I also felt that the romance was under-developed.  Jest and Cath have insta-love, which is impressive considering they only have two moments privately.  Although this would be forgivable, it’s this love that resulted in Cath’s ultimate demise so it should be extremely significant!

I understand that when telling the story of the queen of hearts you’re signing up for a certain kind of ending, yet I was still expecting more.  With all the talk of the looking glass I was also expecting to actually have some adventure out there!  This is one that gives me very mixed feelings, but would still recommend giving it a read.  Compelling story-telling, but the characters just didn’t quite work out for me.

Warning: Contains repeated violence.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of “Alice and Wonderland” and particularly Marissa Meyers.