Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review: Queen Of Hearts by Colleen Oakes (Queen Of Hearts Saga #1)

Queen Of Hearts by Colleen Oakes (Queen Of Hearts Saga #1)
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Fairy Tale
Score: 3.5 stars
Page Count: 306
Book #1 of the Queen Of Hearts Saga
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: May 3, 2016

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 Dinah's furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

1. First off, can we just appreciate the cover art? Like, oh my goodness. I was pretty much sold on this book when I first heard about its release because of the fact that it's a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, more specifically, a retelling of the Queen Of Hearts. I'm becoming more of a fan of Alice every day and now that there are so many Wonderland retellings coming out within the next year, I really wanted to start by reading this book. Here's the review:

2. I thought the characters were so interesting and they were all dark and whimsical just like you'd expect. I liked the characters because they reminded me a lot of the Tim Burton representations. Dinah aka the future Queen Of Hearts, is more or less the hero of this story. She's a teenager getting ready to take her father's throne one day in order to be a better ruler than he ever was. She was very determined to stay out of her father's way but was also set on challenging him whenever she thought it was worth it. She was also very loyal to her friends which was a nice element to the villain we've come to know her as. This retelling did a great job as portraying Dinah in more a hero sense.

Her father was very abusive and you can't help but hate the guy's guts. He was quick to put Dinah in her place using fear and physical abuse as a way to do that. Charles was easily my favorite character in the book, a familiar character that you already know and love. He was innocent and Dinah would do anything in order to protect him from the world and her own father.

3. I liked the world of the book, though I wish there was a little more detail about it since I thought it had a lot of potential. It was definitely dark and had a gothic feel and a place I'd be both excited to visit and terrified to venture through. It seemed like a world in which only nightmares lived and that was greatly expressed with the Black Towers and the areas surrounding the palace. There were also interesting creatures such as the Hornhooves and the general feel of the book was both scary and thrilling but also fun and full of wonder and whimsy. 

4. Lastly, I enjoyed it overall. It was a promising start to this series and having read the first pages of the next book in the series, I'm intrigued on what will happen next to the Queen Of Hearts. It's a book I'd recommend to anyone looking for a darker read on a playful subject and of course, to fans of Alice In Wonderland if you want to explore this retelling of Dinah.

The reason I didn't give this book a five-star rating was because it was a bit slow. It didn't pick up the pace for me until about 3/4 of the way into the book and I did find myself getting a little bored in some parts of the book. The ending was a nice one, though it also wasn't something I found amazing. I couldn't really connect with any of the characters but I still enjoyed their story. 

So, I hope you guys enjoyed this book review! Is there a retelling you can't wait to read? What fairytale would you like to read a retelling of? Let me know in the comments! Read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!


  1. I have this one and I am looking forward to reading it at some point! I am glad you could enjoy this one overall and that it turned out to be set in an interesting world with a unique character. Her backstory sounds especially interesting too. Just a shame how the pacing got in the way of things a little bit at times.

    1. I really hope you enjoy it when you pick it up! It's a pretty good read for what it is and I was personally a little let down by it just because I love exciting fast pace story lines when it comes to fantasy novels. I still think you'll enjoy this one though!