- Page Count: 320
- Release Date: May 3, 2016
- My Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads book description:
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.
I absolutely love retellings and take them pretty seriously, so I’m not throwing “favorite Wonderland retelling” out there casually. I really liked this for the most part and thought it was an imaginative, promising start to a series!
It’s the story of the Queen of Hearts as a teen, so Dinah’s still a princess. The way that all the familiar characters are woven in is so great: the Cards are different orders of soldiers, the White Rabbit is her caretaker, the future White Queen is her half sister, the Mad Hatter is her beloved brother, the future Knave of Hearts is the boy she’s in love with, and Cheshire is her evil father’s sketchy advisor. And they’re all human.
This book is a really short read and mostly set up an awesome world & plot for the sequel to build on. The King of Hearts is a ruthless ass. People are sketchy. There are vague hints of mysteries. The Black Towers prison is creepy and gross. The royals play croquet. Dinah loves Wardley but he doesn’t seem to reciprocate. And there was PINK snow!
The story did take a few chapters to get its footing and struggled with tone throughout… like it was somewhat juvenile, yet pretty dark at times? There were also a few “wtf is this” moments with some dialogue or descriptions. The writing was pretty decent, though.
I wasn’t expecting seriously complex characters from this short of a read, so I was fine with everyone. Dinah isn’t the strongest main character (and makes some big decisions just because unknown sources tell her to check something out or flee?), but I mostly saw it as room for character growth. And I felt so bad for her with her horrible father and everyone that half of the time I wanted to scream “off with their heads,” so the whole sympathetic future villain thing was well done.
There were definitely some weak spots in the story, but if you love Wonderland then it’s worth checking out! I loved the creative take on everything enough to give it 3.5 stars and am definitely reading the sequel. Sequels? Is this a series?? Idk but I’m there for it.