Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: The Wonder (The Queen of Hearts Saga #2) by Colleen Oakes

Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: The Queen of Hearts Saga #2
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Spark Press
Publication Date: September 23, 2014

An Exiled Princess.
An Ancient Tribe.
A Dangerous Stranger with Unknown Loyalties.

Dinah, the former Princess of Wonderland Palace, has been chased into the wilds of Wonderland after the brutal murder of her brother and the ruin of her impending crown. Now, as her half-sister Vittiore sits on the throne beside her Father, the brutal King of Hearts, Dinah finds herself alone in the forbidding Twisted Wood with only Morte, a homicidal beast, for company.

Hunted by the King and his army of Cards, Dinah struggles to evade those who long for her head, including Cheshire, the King’s clever advisor, who is slowly tightening his grasp around her. Spurred on by her rising terror, the former Princess finds herself at the center of a web of conspiracy reaching far beyond the Palace and deep into the mysterious Yurkei mountain tribes.
Even with the balance of an entire Kingdom at stake, Dinah knows something that her allies and enemies do not: that the most dangerous conflict of all has already begun as she battles the enticing rage that beckons her ever closer as love slips further from her grasp.

The second book in the bestselling and award-winning Queen of Hearts Saga, The Wonder takes readers back to the most wondrous and curious places in Wonderland, and continues this darkly addictive tale featuring one of the most infamous villains of all time.

But be warned…not every fairy tale has a happy ending.
This is the story of a princess who became a villain.



Review
Exiled, alone and on the run from her Murderous Father, Dinah is lost in the Forests of Wonderland. When word reaches Dinah that Vittiore sits by her Father's side as Queen, Dinah knows she must do the one thing she swore she'd never do, return to her Kingdom and reclaim her crown!

What can I say except I loved this book. This series truly keeps getting better and better. Dinah's transformation from privileged, ill tempered heiress to exiled warrior woman was completely magical to witness. It also made me a little sad because I could see her becoming cold and we all know what happens after that. I know Dinah becoming The Queen of Hearts is inevitable but I'm not sure I'm quite ready to see it happen either. It's just so hard watching someone become so cruel through really no fault of her own.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the sequel was seeing so much more of Wonderland. No longer locked into Dinah's Kingdom or its borders allowed us to visit places far and wide not only encompassing characters from the original book but also introducing us to places unseen but hinted at as existing. The history behind Wonderland is truly remarkable and no detail it seems was left unnoticed. In a way, this series is like a Where's Waldo of Wonderland. It's quite fun trying to figure out the whose who of each character we meet. Sometimes it is quite obvious but other times I really had to put my thinking cap on to remember whom the Author was referencing from the original tale. 

Lastly, I loved the twists near the end of the story. I always knew Cheshire was a manipulative bastard but seeing why really made me think twice about my feelings for him. I'm still not sold on him being good but his motivations are much clearer now. 

Final Thoughts
Like its predecessor, The Wonder was a fantastic and fast paced read. The writing again is superb and the characters and history of Wonderland compelling. As mentioned above, It was really great to see more of the characters from the original tale and to see how each of them played a part in Dinah's transformation. Overall, I couldn't be happier with this sequel and I highly recommend picking it up if you haven't already.

With that being said, I'll be rating The Wonder by Colleen Oakes ★★★★★.

 *Review copy provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.


 About the Author
 Colleen Oakes is the author of the Elly in Bloom Series and the upcoming YA fantasy Queen of Hearts Saga, both published via Sparkpress. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son. When not writing, Colleen enjoys swimming, traveling, and immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She is currently at work on the last Elly novel and another YA fantasy series called Wendy Darling.

You can visit her webpage at: www.colleenoakes.net or at her very lengthy and sometimes embarrassingly personal blog, The Ranunculus Adventures: http://ranunculusadventure.blogspot.com/


Follow Colleen: Twitter / Goodreads Page

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