I am so in love with this series. I became a fan of Colleen Oakes in reading the first book in this series, QUEEN OF HEARTS. Yes, this is the retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It feels fresh because the focus is on how the Queen became so evil. It is hard not to root for Dinah, even though I can see her heading in blood thirsty territory.
This is the story of Dinah, the Queen of Hearts. She is not yet queen. BLOOD OF WONDERLAND is so much darker than you imagine Wonderland can be, and much more fantastic. This is a magical story about the Queen’s exile from her home. The King has killed her brother and placed her (fake) sister, Vittiore, on the throne. Dinah is cast out and sets off in the twisted woods. She has few supplies and the king’s Hornhoov, named Morte. Morte is a magical horse-like creature: part beast, part horse, part warrior. Dinah encounters much danger, and wondrous sights. She struggles to survive with little knowledge of survival outside of the palace walls. She laments over her memories of love left behind, and death. So much death. She encounters a traitorous spade that seeks to help her. Help her what? This Spade pushes her to a place she never thought she should end up.
This book reveals Dinah coming into her own. By the end of the story, I barely recognize the girl from the beginning. She has been through so much and I have grown to love her and this world so much more. Dinah is this really cool character. She goes through so much in this story. Secrets are revealed here that rock her world to the core. I cannot imagine she would come out of this unscathed. This is where the queen finds her rage.
What else can I say about this book that makes it clear that this is an excellent read? YA or not, this is a tale many will enjoy. I loved the details given about the twister woods, the palace, the characters, the animals, even the food. The author incorporates so much from the original story. This book offers stunning visuals, and an addicting story with which to propel the reader into the world. Wonderland is everything I hoped it would be. I could completely understand how Dinah would react to a girl like Alice from seeing her in this story. She is a woman scorned. She is a survivor and has earned her right to her way or no way. Following her tale I felt bad for her and wanted her to get her vengeance.
I can only hope the sequel to this book comes out soon. I have to know what happens next.
Queen of Hearts Series
Blood of Wonderland by Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts #2
Also in this series: Queen of Hearts
Published by Harper Teen on January 31st 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Royalty, Classics
Also by this author: Queen of Hearts
eARC provided by HarperTeen
Revolution is rising in Wonderland. Dinah’s battle has begun.
Colleen Oakes’s twisted reimagining of the Queen of Hearts origin story continues in this thrilling sequel, Blood of Wonderland.
Dinah has been exiled from Wonderland. The vicious father she always feared has framed her for the brutal murder of her brother and turned the kingdom against her.
Now hiding in the lush and mysterious Twisted Wood with only her war steed at her side, Dinah is faced with a choice—to leave Wonderland forever, or stay and fight her father for the throne.
When a chance encounter with one of her father’s long-lost enemies brings Dinah more allies than she ever could have imagined, war starts to feel inevitable. But before Dinah can lead her people into combat, she must confront certain truths about her heart and her destiny—no matter how dark those truths may be.