Queen of Hearts
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Blood of Wonderland
Summary from Goodreads:
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: 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.
Revolution is rising in Wonderland. Dinah’s battle has begun.
This is a sort of prequel to the original Wonderland stories. The author is trying to explain why the Red Queen or Queen of Hearts is the way she is. Why she is a little bit crazy and wanting to cut off people’s head. This is a good story based in the original world that Lewis Carroll created. It is not as fanciful as other Wonderland stories, but it feels more authentic.
All of the main characters are here, except Alice, although many have become human reincarnations of the characters Carroll created. Ms. Oakes has created a great backstory with lots of court intrigue and evil characters. Dinah is a very sympathetic character, especially in the second book. She is lost not only in the world, but within herself. You find yourself wanting to help her through out the story. Once she does accept who she is and what she wants, she is often thrown into impossible situations and leadership roles she is not quite ready for. At times she acts quite childish but then at others a lot older than she is.
Parts of the story are quite macabre, especially in the first book. And there are some gruesome parts, which makes both books quite dark.
The ending of the second book was not quite what I was expecting, there is a hitch in the story line that when you think about who Dinah becomes makes sense, but it also breaks your heart that it happens.
So far two excellent books on the making of an evil queen, hopefully the third book will be just as satisfying. Finally, how about those covers? I just love the way they look like cards.