5 Things about Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

February 21, 2018 Review 8 ★★½

5 Things about Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Source: Purchased
Pages: 320
Release Date: February 12th 2014
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Retelling, Young Adult
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.

Another Queen of Hearts Retelling

There was a big trend of these for a bit not long ago. Or at least, it felt like there was. The only other one I can think of is HEARTLESS (which, to be fair, was released after QUEEN OF HEARTS). But anyway, in this novel it wasn’t too clear this was exactly a villain origin story. The characters are clearly inspired by Wonderland characters, and share some of their names/ titles, but it’s not clear how Dinah is going to be come the mad Queen we know from Alice’s tales.

An introductory book

This is the first book in the trilogy and it definitely feels like one. The world is introduced, we just get glimpses of the underlying big threat, and not all that much happens overall. Still, the set up has me interested in seeing what is to come.

The characters felt pretty flat

A short novel, not much happening, and flat characters really made me think this was only okay overall. The characters were clearly intended to be shady and mysterious, with shocking revelations about them happening near the end. Unfortunately they just ended up being rather one dimensional. I guessed those twists (and I’m 90% certain I’ve figured out at least two future character twists)

One of my least favourite romance tropes

No, it isn’t instalove. It’s actually kind of the opposite, but the kind that develops off page. Dinah is in love with her best friend, a guy she has known for all her life. They’re not in a relationship yet, but this crush does occupy more of Dinah’s thoughts that I’d like. It doesn’t help that we didn’t get to see the relationship develop over time, so I’m not invested yet.

I’m still interested in the sequels

Like I said, this is an introductory plot and barely scratches the surface of the court intrigue and King’s plot. Fortunately the ending (with Morte!) was very suspenseful and has me interested in seeing what is to come. Hopefully the future plot twists and revelations are not as predictable as I think they might be.


QUEEN OF HEARTS was a small book in which not all that much happened. Most of it was meh, and the characters not all that interesting. Even if I think it’s predictable, I wish there had been more court and political intrigue.

Despite it being an “okay” read, I’m still interested in following Dinah’s evolution into the Queen of Hearts we know. 

Rating Report
Overall: 2.7

8 Responses to “5 Things about Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes”

    • Bec

      I’m hoping the characters get the chance to grow with time as there is potential there. It just wasn’t as well executed as it could have been in this book :/

  1. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Yeah, I felt pretty much the same about this book when I read it? I was keen to continue the series after I finished it, but now time has passed I have realised I’d probably rather spend that time reading books I’m super keen on, not just mildly interested in.

    I feel like maybe Alice in Wonderland retellings in general were a big thing for a while? There was this, Heartless, Splintered, Alice in Zombieland and a few others. It’s kind of a shame they all came out at the same time because I feel like everyone is pretty much over them now, and yet I feel like there’s probably a really awesome one out there somewhere.

    if you do end up reading the rest of the series, I hope you like it!
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton: The Good, the Bad, and the Problematic

    • Bec

      Yeah I’m trying to focus my time in similar ways, and focusing on books I already own. But considering my circumstances mean I’m going to be switching to more library/ ebook reads I might get the chance to check these sequels out anyway.

      They did all come at once it gelt like, and all of them seemed to fall flat. It didn’t really help prolong the hype.

    • Bec

      It’s a really small book, so I’m just going to keep telling myself it was time constraints that led it to being only an introduction haha.

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