Summary:Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. 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.
“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”
Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles quartet is one of my favorite series, so it’s no surprise that I have been highly anticipating her new standalone Heartless from the moment I first heard about it. And Heartless doesn’t disappoint.
All Catherine wants is to open a bakery with her best friend, but her mother has other plans for her future: making Catherine a Queen. At a ball where the King is expected to propose to her, Catherine meets the court joker Jest, and her life immediately turns upside down.
Catherine is an extremely relatable protagonist that is easy to sympathize with. However, there was something about her character that felt a bit lacking. Meyer’s previous book Fairest was also written from the perspective of a villain, and it was one of the most chilling and psychologically complex books I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, Meyer didn’t quite replicate that complexity and depth with Catherine, which caused her to feel a bit underwhelming as a character.
Additionally, there were lots of references to weight from Catherine’s mother that were a bit irritating:
Mouth watering, she lifted her dessert spoon. “Oh good heavens, no,” said her mother. “Don’t be absurd, Catherine. You’ll be mistaken for a walrus at the festival.”
It’s clear that Marissa Meyer has a gift for writing retellings, and Heartless is no exception. It’s an entertaining novel despite the few flaws it had. Fans of Marissa’s Lunar Chronicles series will not be disappointed.