Book Title: The Crown (Queen of Hearts Saga #1)
Book Author: Colleen Oakes
Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆ (4 out of 5 stars)
Synopsis: “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 Dinah’s 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. But be warned…not every fairytale has a happy ending. This is the story of a princess who became a villain.”
I have really been enjoying a lot of these new fairytale retellings that have been coming out recently, and I especially like new twists on origin stories for these classic villains. I think this series has a chance to be really great. This first book in the story of the Queen of Hearts was part fairytale and part mystery, and the plot kept me engaged throughout the entire novel. I also very much enjoyed this author’s interpretation of characters we all know and love such as the Cheshire cat, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter.
At the beginning of the book, Princess Dinah, the future Queen of Hearts, is fifteen years old and is clearly a spoiled brat. There’s really no other way to describe her character. Her mother has passed away, and her father has little to do with her and her mentally unstable brother, Charles (the Mad Hatter). Unexpectedly, a long lost half-sister arrives at Wonderland palace and turns Dinah’s life completely upside down. Dinah immediately becomes blindly jealous of her newly discovered sister, Vittiore, and her father’s affections for the girl.
The book then fast-forwards two years, and you would think that Dinah would have matured a bit, but you would be wrong. She’s still the same self-centered girl that she’s always been, but this is where things start to change a bit for Dinah. As her coronation day approaches, she begins to receive cryptic messages from an unknown source. Once Dinah starts to discover some of the cruelties that are occurring in the kingdom, she vows to become a better ruler than her father. Little does she know that she has entered into a nightmare that she cannot easily escape, and she may have to give up everything, including her crown, in order to survive.
Be warned that the ending of this book will leave you with a lot of unanswered questions, so be prepared to feel a little frustrated!