Posts Tagged 'queen'

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  453

Iowa Award Winner 2018-19

From the author of the Lunar Chronicles series comes a story about the Queen of Hearts before she became the Queen of Hearts.  Catherine wants to open a bakery with her best friend and marry the new court jester, but her parents are insistent that she pursue the King who has shown great interest in her.  She does not want to disappoint them in any way, but she feels strongly about her desire to create pastries for a living and despite never having worked for a living she feels she could be successful at it.  Her best friend and maid is good with numbers and they hope to someday use Cath’s dowry to open their dream bakery.  Cath realizes she has had a privileged life, but also has never stopped dreaming and hopes she never has to.  When the new court jester comes to court she is instantly dazzled by his tricks and ability to show her amazing things she could never have imagined.  She hopes she has the courage to give up everything she has ever known in order to pursue her dreams, but she has no idea the many obstacles that lay before her.

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles series will enjoy this fun title.  Cath’s character is well developed and easy to identify with.  Jest is mysterious, magical, and brave in a way that makes it easy to see how Cath would become enamored with him.  The king, by contrast, is silly, weak, and refuses to deal with the new beast who has begun terrorizing the kingdom.  The world captures a lot of the magic from Alice and Wonderland but adds new modern twists as well.

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Genre:  Fantasy

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  358 p.

Award Winner:  Iowa Teen Award 2009-2010

This retelling of Alice in Wonderland follows a girl named Alyss, whose mother was queen of Wonderland until her evil sister, Redd, overthrew her on Alyss’s seventh birthday.  In order to protect Alyss, her mother threw her and her personal bodyguard into a looking glass so that they could escape until Alyss could grow up and assume her rightful position as queen.  Alyss ends up escaping into Victorian London where she is forced to grow up with people who do not believe any of her stories of Wonderland.  She comes to wonder if she did make it all up or if it is as real as she thinks it is.  Meanwhile, Wonderland is in squalor due to Redd’s tyrannical rule.  Can Alyss revive Wonderland and take what is rightfully hers?

Fantasy readers will not want to miss this story.  It is creative, imaginative, and full of adventure and suspense.  It is the first in this series so there will be more and anyone who reads this story will be eager to read the next in the series.  The characters are unique and memorable.   Even people who didn’t necessarily enjoy the original Alice in Wonderland will be able to appreciate this story for the fun adventure that it is.  Highly recommended.