At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
The original Carroll story that inspires Hearless is set in a Victorian landscape that's skewed just enough that any fantastical distortion somehow feels right. Staying true to his ideas Ms Meyer has crafted a vision of what just might have given the Queen of Hearts her slightly kooky and at times infamous bloodthirsty ways.
Without meddling too much with the quirky characters, we get to see a young Catherine, full of hope and dreams but she's not the only one with ambition. The King is foppish, weak, and yet all he wants is a Court filled with gaiety and of course, somewhere down the line a suite of his own offspring! Cath, however might have caught the King's eye but she's met Jest, whose irreverence and mischievous ways quickly capture her heart. Here Ms Meyer gets creative and mixes characters we know and adds a singular and painful twist. As a reader, I knew something awful was coming and yet the swiftness just made me catch my breath. Still the author pulls us further down into this version of Wonderland with it's clever play on words and unless I'm mistaken, a salute to Poe as well!
Definitely not a fairytale but perhaps a cautionary one?
This is a voluntary opinion of an advance reader copy.