1 protagonist: Catherine. Daughter of a Marquis, desperate to open her own bakery, renowned in the Kingdom of Hearts for her delicacies.
1 maid: Mary Ann. Business savvy, right hand woman & friend.
2 parents: The Marquis and Marchioness. Desperate for a good match for their daughter.
1 court joker: Jest. Lemon-eyed boy from dreams. On hand with his Raven to provide light-hearted comedy, entertainment and intrigue.
1 Cheshire Cat: my favourite character.
A sprinkle of betrayal.
A cup of ‘other relevant characters’, cleverly intertwined, down to the last detail.
A pinch of romance
A dash of unrequited love/undesired affection
1 sugar-pie pumpkin: turned into a pie.
1 King: highly naïve and useless.
A fistful of hats: all shapes and sizes.
This is Wonderland: before Alice.
A slightly predictable book, no doubt – but with just a hint of zest, a squeeze of lime – the perfect twist of a pastry crust to keep you enthralled – Meyer’s speciality. A fairy-tale retelling: the basic ingredients already present, and then suddenly a tart placed between the pages of the book, a nod to the future, a taste that makes you smile as you see the links between everything: the baking powder that makes the whole story rise.
It is impossible to take just one bite from this story; (no matter how invested you are in the characters’ fates, the wonderful array of baked goods described in this novel will have you devouring each page, your appetite whet for more, more, more – until the last word has been inhaled. While this was probably my least favourite of Meyer’s books (although still held in high esteem, considering the Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series to read and re-read and re-read and thus probably hard to top), reading about the back-story of the Queen of Hearts until the final, crucial last line (the icing on the cake) was highly satisfying. Villains are wonderful to read about, and even more intriguing is their past, their background, the reason for their corruption – which Meyer served in the perfect portion.
Heartless, tart-less, Lady Catherine Pinkerton of Rock Turtle Cave: prepare to have your appetite wonderfully fulfilled.
details: /publisher - macmillan /publication date - 9th february 2017 /genre - fantasy