Rating: 3/5 stars
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. 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 a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
I received this book in my Owl Crate subscription box some months ago. It is my first time reading one of Marissa Meyer’s books even though I have some of the Lunar Chronicals on my bookshelf. I was looking forward to reading it and was expecting more enjoyment from it. I was a little disappointed. It pulled me in at the beginning but then it lost its grip on me as the story became a little boring and then picked up again at the end.
Cath is a likable young woman who has a knack for baking. She dreams of opening her own bakery with her friend/ household servant Mary Ann. Of course her mother, a Marchioness, has other more royal plans for her daughter. This is the central conflict of the story. Cath wants nothing to do with the witless King of Hearts, but is pushed to become his wife by her mother. When Cath meets Jest, the court jester, she becomes romantically interested in him instead.
I felt this book lacked a lot of wonder and magical fanatasy that you would expect from a story that is set in the world created by Lewis Carroll. I pushed myself to get through the middle of the book. It got more interesting and darker toward the end of the book. I could somewhat see how Cath would turn from a sweet, optimistic young woman to the bitter, mean and unstable Queen of Hearts. But I also found this change in personality too much of a change of who she was and a little too contrived. So I will give the Lunar Chronicles a chance because I hear they are better. I enjoyed Meyer’s writing style and she does a nice job of world building, but this story just fell short of my expectations.