Genre: Fantasy Fairytale YA
You’ll like this if you like: Sympathetic, Multi-Dimensional Villains, Evil Queens, a Heart-Breaking Backstory, or Tragedies.
Cleanliness: Catherine, the future Queen of Heart, kisses a man while she’s being courted by the King, but she makes it explicitly clear to her cat, Cheshire, that should she ever get married, she intends to be faithful only to one man.
Hero Type: Protector
Favorite Profound Quote:
“Tell me, does it make it easier, knowing the union had been foreordained? It was all laid out for you in stone and ink. You didn’t even have to make the decision yourself, just go along with all fate expected of you.”
She approached the table, narrowing her eyes. “That’s cruel of you to say, after my one choice was taken from me.”
“That’s cruel of you to say, after being given a choice to begin with.”
Favorite Descriptive Quote:
“Her thoughts were thrashing inside her head, clawing at the inside of her skull, but she kept her mouth shut tight.”
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. 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 an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
After finishing this book, I remembered why I felt so apprehensive about picking it up in the first place.
Tragedies are almost physically painful for me to read. The more I get sucked into the story and the more I come to love the character, the harder (yet easier) reading becomes. Harder because each page is like willingly approaching my deathbed, bringing with it a sense of doom. Easier because I’m so completely entranced with the story.
While reading could be hard, it was a magnificent story with gorgeous writing and a sobering reminder that we make our own choices.
At first, everything started out very simply. Catherine was being courted by the King, but wanted to be courted by Jest. Then layers of complexity were quickly added as we find out about a nightmarish creature terrorizing citizens and as Jest’s past is revealed.
As for the romance, I loved every moment. Jest was charming, playful, and above all, incredibly sweet. And so was Catherine.
The characters were just as awesome. Each of them are so uniquely lovable, from Catherine with her dreams to own a bakery to her quirky friend, Margaret, who stitches parables into the linings of her gowns.
This story was beautiful, yet heart-wrenching. I adore Marissa Meyer’s writing, but if she wrote something with a happily-ever-after ending in the future, I wouldn’t complain 😉
Other books by Marissa Meyer:
Do you like tragedies? Why or why not?