[Review] Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga, #1) by Colleen Oakes

queen of hearts

Title: Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Harper Teen
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC

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 Dinahs 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.


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My thoughts:

Despite loving and not reading much retelling, this one was an utter disappointment. I was really looking forward to this one because I would love to see how Wonderland will be portrayed. Not to mention how simply intriguing the cover is that just captivated me to read the book instantly.

This book follows a princess named Dinah who is soon to be queen, but she lives under the terror of her father who treats her not like a daughter, but that’s just it. Dinah finds to avenge herself by becoming a queen. Then, she finds herself a competition– another daughter that the king hides– that will lower her odds on becoming a queen.

From what I’ve read on the book, that’s basically it. Look how dull the summary of this book is. It was really disappointing. I find it so boring and annoying as well. Fortunately, it was readable. Yes. I almost might have put down the book and mark it as a DNF, but being a reader who doesn’t do that, I finished the book and just acquired more disappointment.

What I like about this book is the Wonderland retelling and the world-building the author has done. I might like some characters from this book, but I don’t really like most characters especially the protagonist, Dinah. Reading her is just like reading a robot–no emotion at all. She’s boring and bland and dull, and reading this book was a complete challenge.

Besides these, what I really hate about this book is that it was all story-telling. It didn’t completely focus on a character’s development. It was just merely telling a story about Dinah and her being a queen to-be. It was really annoying on her side and on the writing itself, making this book a package of cringe-worthy.

Still, it’s a readable book in a Wonderland setting where no Alice can be seen, well that’s a different take on the retelling. It also has no romance at all; not having romance could be a good thing, but it didn’t work out on this book because it badly needs a whiff of romance to make it more interesting. And yet, it’s readable. You decide if you still want to read this. Maybe it’s just me who didn’t like this.

2 swords2 swords for a huge disappointment!


About the author:

colleen oakes.jpg

Colleen Oakes is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Elly in Bloom Series, The Queen of Hearts Saga (Harper Collins 2016) and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling and totally immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She currently at work on another YA fantasy series and a stand-alone YA novel.


Do you like books with fairy tale retellings? Comment below and let’s talk about it.

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