Queen of Hearts

queen of heartsQueen of Hearts

Colleen Oakes
HarperTeen, an imprint of  HarperCollins, 2016, 2014

Here is another version of a familiar tale, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. This story is told from the Queen of Heart’s POV and so far Alice is nowhere in sight. Dinah, eldest daughter of the increasingly vindictive King of Hearts, is very alone in her world. She has her tutor, Harris and her maidservant Emily; but her mother is long dead; her younger brother, Charles, is mad and plays at making hats all day; and her father wants absolutely nothing to do with her even though she is to rule beside him as Queen of Wonderland when she comes of age, that is, until she marries. After her wedding her father is supposed to graciously step aside and let the new bride and groom be the King and Queen of Hearts. But her father is jealous and malicious and the depth of his cruelty becomes so evident, Dinah can no longer turn a blind eye to the “Evil [that] is rising in Wonderland.”

I really felt for Dinah because of the terrible treatment she received from her father, and as a result of his disrespect, from palace courtiers as well. With a father like that it’s no wonder she became the cruel Queen of Alice’s Wonderland. I did like the way the author brought in the various well-known characters of Carroll’s, such as the White Rabbit (her tutor, Harris), the White Queen (Vittiore, Dinah’s half-sister), Cheshire (evil advisor to the King), TweedleDee and TweedleDum (Nanda & Palma Dee, identical twins who serve Vittiore) and the Mad Hatter (Charles, her younger mad brother).

What I didn’t like was the bloodshed and torture. The tale was too gory for my tastes, although I’m sure many readers would consider it mildly PG-13. I won’t be reading the sequels because of that reason, although I would like to find out what happens to Dinah. It is because of the gore I give it a

Rating: 2 paws

bobbiesue booksReviewer: BobbieSue

We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge!

Topic:  Read a Book Published this Year!

Click on the logo to go to our SRC 2016 page!

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9 thoughts on “Queen of Hearts

  1. pilch92 June 26, 2016 / 10:45 pm

    Nice review. I was interested until you said it was gory. I love Alice in Wonderland though.


    • Sabina Ayne June 27, 2016 / 8:23 pm

      I liked it, too. I was really on the side of Dinah – but I just couldn’t stomach the killings. Bummer.


  2. Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff) June 27, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    I love retellings of classic stories. I haven’t read this one of Alice, but I recently read Gregory Maguire’s take.


    • Sabina Ayne June 28, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      Unfortunately, I didn’t like Gregory Maquire’s rendition, either!


  3. Cheriee Weichel June 28, 2016 / 10:01 am

    I agree with other comments. I was interested in this book till you got to the violence bit. Like you, I can’t read that stuff. Thanks


  4. Timmy Tomcat June 28, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    I would have given this a try but, maybe not now. Thanks for the honest review. We now have a book for story time that has swearing in it and Dad has been editing what he says. He feels it does not add to the story and cannot figure it as it is well written otherwise with no need for four letters in any way. Go figure


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