cover image Heartless


Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends, $19.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-250-04465-5

Before she was the Queen of Hearts in Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, she was Catherine, the spirited daughter of royalty, destined to wed the King of Hearts but determined to set up shop as a baker with her best friend and longtime maid. In this whimsical standalone tale, readers follow Catherine’s simultaneous courtships with the jovial king and his court joker, Jest, whose earnest boyishness makes him far more charming than his royal boss. Caught between her own desires and her mother’s stop-at-nothing goal to make her daughter queen, Catherine must decide how much she will risk for a future with Jest. Meyer’s Wonderland is a fun and more refined version of Carroll’s, and readers will enjoy the obvious parallels. Jest and Catherine have a playfully clandestine relationship, but it’s a slow build-up to the inevitable clash between what Catherine wants and what reality demands. Meyer’s worldbuilding is extensive and impressive, and the persistent threat of a destructive Jabberwock lends tension, but the story lacks the high-stakes danger that fans of the Lunar Chronicles have come to expect. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Nov.)