Format: ebook, 205 pages.
Note: Thank you to NetGalley and SparkPress for offering me a chance to read this ARC prior to publication.
Goodreads Summary: Not every fairytale has a happy ending.
This is the story of a princess who became a villain.
A Father’s Betrayal. A Kingdom with a Black Secret. A Princess Slowly Unraveling.
As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.
When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.
Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.
Thoughts: I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. I’ve read tons of retellings and only one managed to become a favorite of mine. That should give you an idea of my track record when it comes to retellings. This book takes the tale of The Red Queen and turns it completely upside down. Our main character Dinah is compassionate, driven and layered. She’s got so many different sides to her and Oakes does a wonderful job unraveling them to the reader. The other characters were perfect for this book and they bring a realistic depth to the story.
I believe that the Queen of Hearts is the first book in a series or trilogy, so that means the story is not over. I’m very curious as to how this tale will continue. What turns Dinah into the nasty queen she’s meant to become? I’ll tell you right now, a happy ending does not fit with this story. If you like retellings or you just want to read something dark and twisted, I’d completely recommend this. Well done.