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

Title: Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga #1)

Author: Colleen Oakes

Published by: Harper Teen | 03 May 2016

Date Read: 13 March 2016

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The first novel in Colleen Oakes’s epic, imaginative series tells the origin of one of the most infamous villains—the Queen of Hearts.

Dinah is the princess who will one day reign over Wonderland. She has not yet seen the dark depths of her kingdom; she longs only for her father’s approval and a future with the boy she loves. But when a betrayal breaks her heart and threatens her throne, she is launched into Wonderland’s dangerous political game. Dinah must stay one step ahead of her cunning enemies or she’ll lose not just the crown but her head.

Evil is brewing in Wonderland and maybe, most frighteningly, in Dinah herself.

Colleen Oakes’s vivid reimagining of Wonderland proves heroes can become villains and fairy tales can become nightmares. Readers will delight in this fresh take on an infamous villain.



*ARC Kindly provided by Harper Teen Thru Edelweiss for review.*

Queen of Hearts was one of my most anticipated retelling stories I’m so excited to dive into this year. Wonderland is such a vast setting and I’m really excited on how the author will embark a journey with the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland.

I started reading this book excitedly, but then a few pages into it I feel lost. I guess I got overwhelmed with all the details that were feeded into me as an introduction. The story didn’t grab me until half way into it where all the actions and twists start to happen.

As I have mentioned, Wonderland is a   vast setting to be into. Countless of things can happen and the author did a great job in owning Wonderland as her own.

It’s familiar yet new. It’s darker yet exciting.

Plus we get to see the story unfold in the eyes of Dinah – the Princess of Wonderland and Future Queen of Hearts.

The other thing I like on this story was how the characters are reimagined. They were the same characters from the original story but in here they are made into something new. They are all familiar to us but they all give something new to us as well.

Dinah is the princess of Wonderland. She’s stubborn, feisty, whiny and aloof. But these characteristics may be attributed to her difficult and not so good relationship with her father. I did have a hard time connecting with Dinah’s character. She’s totally something else because she’s a protagonist yet a villain.

“Someday this will be my Great Hall, she told herself. All these Cards will bow before me when I rule beside my father.”

Dinah’s Brother Charles aka The Mad Hatter is one of my most loved characters on this story. Though he did have a mind of his own and it works in a very different way he’s just so easy t o like. Plus he’s an awesome in making Hats.

I also like how the Cards were re-imagined in here. The cards have different function on their government. Heart Cards uniformed in red protects the royal family and the palace. Club Cards dressed in gray were in charge of justice. Diamond cards clad in royal purple cloaks protects and manages the treasury. The Spades cloaked in Black were grizzled men with a very dangerous past.

Oh and let’s not forget the creepy Cheshire. When on the story he’s a creepy lurker cat, in here Cheshire is the king’s advisory and he’s still creepy and sneaky as ever!!

Though I did love the majority of the book I still do have some issues with it. First, Wardley. He’s Dinah’s childhood best friend whom she has been crushing on forever. Is he that numb? He showed no reaction to Dinah’s advances and blushing over him. I was actually rooting for them but when the end is almost there and still no sparks evoked from this guy. I quit. He did show some affection to Dinah but majority of the time he’s like a very cold shoulder. And though he did helped Dinah at the end, I still have a little sneaky suspicion on his character.

Next, Dinah’s father was somewhat the villain on this story. He’s a bully, tyrant and shows no love to his children. But the thing is, his character was shallow. I need more depth to understand why he hates his children. Because I cant really see a reason for his deep hatred for Dinah. There must be something more to that right?

Overall, I did enjoy reading Queen of Hearts. I love the world building and the characters. The small issues that I had actually made me more excited for the next book. I can’t wait to see how Dinah’s adventure will come next.


6 thoughts on “ARC Review : Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga #1) by Colleen Oakes

  1. Annika - Hiding Books says:

    I’m glad you liked it despite the few small hiccups. I love that cover so much. I’m pretty curious to read this now. And I love that about retellings – they take something old and familiar and somehow make it into something unexpected! It’s wonderful.

    I especially like the sound of the Cheshire – I like creepy things! 😉
    Great review!

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