Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
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.
Now Wonderland sequels/prequels/retellings/adaptations/spinoffs are nothing new. But I’ve seen this book advertised so many times I have to admit I’m intrigued. First impressions? I think this could be a really good read, provided that it avoids not only the usual pitfalls of fantasy (pointless romance, bad metaphysic, etc.) but also avoids just repeating the plot of the myriad of other Alice in Wonderland prequels and the ‘they weren’t always a villain’ treatments that the Wicked Witch of the West or Captain Hook so often have been subjected to.
But I like that they’ve kept in the baking reference from the original Carroll, which bodes well for the book as a whole. The temptation is to make the queen of hearts a dark, sexy villain (I’m looking at you Once Upon a Time) but perhaps here we’ll get the more wacky, surreal elements that knit together the original story.
I am slightly concerned that she’s going to be called Cath throughout the book which, in my opinion, makes her sound a bit like a character in East Enders, but that is entirely my own classism shining through and I’m going to push past it. That said, names are important and the fact that they’ve given her a very English (I wanted to say ‘normal’ but what I meant was non-fantastical) name would suggest a groundedness that has piqued my interest.
The author is one I’ve read before, I really enjoyed the first of the Lunar Chronicles (I haven’t got to the others yet please don’t spoil them for me), so I have a vague idea of what I’m getting myself in for. But this isn’t pure world building in the same way that The Lunar Chronicles are, this is almost world shaping, Wonderland ‘exists’ already so there are certain parameters in which one must work. I’m interested to see whether the Wonderland I know from the books is cast aside in order to suit Meyer’s plot or whether they fit together or are some kind of hybrid?
I’ve ordered it, so long as the postal service doesn’t collapse in the next couple of weeks I should have reviewed it. I’m looking forward to seeing how another person has interpreted the somewhat difficult beast that is Wonderland.