Review: The Wonder (Queen of Hearts Saga #2)

Book Title: The Wonder (Queen of Hearts Saga #2)

Book Author: Colleen Oakes

Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (5 out of 5 stars)

Synopsis: “An Exiled Princess. An Ancient Tribe. A Dangerous Stranger. Dinah, the former Princess of Wonderland Palace, has been chased into the wilds of Wonderland after the murder of her brother and the ruin of her coronation. Now, as her half-sister Vittiore sits on the throne beside her father, the brutal King of Hearts, Dinah finds herself alone in the forbidding Twisted Wood with only Morte, a homicidal beast, for company. Hunted by the King and his army of Cards, Dinah struggles to evade those who long for her head, including Cheshire, the King’s clever advisor, who is slowly tightening his grasp around her. The former Princess finds herself at the center of a web of conspiracy reaching far beyond the Palace and deep into the mysterious Yurkei mountain tribes. But Dinah knows something that her allies and enemies do not: that the most dangerous conflict of all has already begun as she battles the rage inside of her, and love slips further from her grasp. But be warned…not every fairy tale has a happy ending. This is the story of a princess who became a villain.”

This second offering in the Queen of Hearts series picks up exactly where the first ended, with Princess Dinah hiding from her father and his vicious army in the Twisted Wood.  It isn’t long after embarking out on her own (with Morte the Hornhoov in tow) that Dinah is surrounded by her father and his army.  She narrowly escapes with the help of an unexpected ally, who may be the only other person in Wonderland who wants revenge against the King as much as Dinah.  This character helps Dinah hide from the king and his army and begins training her to fight to retake her crown.  But does Dinah even want to be Queen any longer?

Dinah is still stubborn and impulsive in this follow up, but is infinitely more likable than she was in the previous novel. Dinah’s character has evolved from spoiled princess to a true warrior, and I am anxious to see how the author completes her transformation from Princess to the infamous Queen of Hearts. There were a couple of major plot twists involving Cheshire….one that I saw coming, and another that I did not see coming that added more layers to this wonderfully crafted saga. Many of the questions that I had after the first book were answered in this volume, such as why the King hates Dinah so intensely.

The author’s depiction of the Twisted Wood during the first few chapters were absolutely beautiful. I also enjoyed the detail that went into the descriptions of the cave the group hid in to escape the Cards, as well as the field of mushrooms. We are also introduced to the Caterpillar in this book…one of my favorite characters from the original story!  Oakes has created her own unique version of Wonderland, while still remaining true to the heart of the original story and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens in the third installment of this saga!

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