With all of the movies coming out about Disney villains, I was searching for a fantasy book to read and came across “Heartless” by Marissa Meyer. “Heartless” is the untold tale of the Queen of Hearts formerly seen in “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. Meyer reveals why the Queen of Hearts is the villain in the beloved classic.
“To be all right implies an impossible phase. We hope for mostly right on the best of our days.”
― Marissa Meyer, “Heartless”
Lady Catherine Pinkerton is the daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Rock Turtle Cove. All Cath wants to do is follow her dream of becoming a successful baker. However, her duty to fulfill her parent’s title weighs heavily upon her. She attends the King’s black and white ball to tend to her duties as the daughter of an esteemed family. Unfortunately, she catches the attention of the King and gets thrown into a possible courtship with him.
Cath just wants a simple life. A life that gets more complex when she meets the enchanting Jest. Now torn between fulfilling her position as the daughter of the Marchioness or listening to her heart, Cath tries to do it all. She falls into her new life that brings madness, magic, and mayhem. Although her parents try to control her life, Cath resists and turns to pave her own destiny.
Meyer uses Carroll’s initial outline of the Queen of Hearts to create a backstory leading up to her transformation into a villain. As I read “Heartless” I knew where it ended, but I was surprised at how Cath shifted from an innocent young girl into a heartless woman. Meyer’s take took me by surprise, but she was able to encapsulate Cath’s character and form a relationship with the readers that took my breath away.
I found by the end of the book that we all have monsters within us. No matter how good of a person we are, our story could have been written differently. It’s within all of us to stand up to adversity as it comes and that’s the difference between a villain and someone like you and me. A villain gets knocked down when faced with adversity and they turn to the monster inside. The “hero” gets back up and continues forward.
Although this book may seem childish at first glance, a lot of depth and wisdom lies within these pages. We can learn a lot from the villains in our life. So please go give this book a read!