I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Blood of Wonderland by Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 31, 2017
Source: the publisher
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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.
I absolutely loved Queen of Hearts, the first book in this trilogy. So it pains me to say that Blood of Wonderland was a bit of a let-down. Oakes’ writing is amazing and the imagery is lush and beautiful, and the story itself was a fast read; however, the first half was absolute filler/Second Book Syndrome.
Dinah was a great character in Queen of Hearts – fierce and fiery, if not a bit spoiled. Her character development in Blood of Wonderland, however, was amazing. She becomes very self-aware of the privileged life she had. She goes through a lot, learns a lot and comes out of it ready to fight for her crown in a war that could cost her everything.
I can’t say much about Wardley without spoilers. When we left him in Queen of Hearts, he was in a very precarious position and we don’t learn his fate for a very long time. All I’m going to say is this: What I said about him in my Queen of Hearts review was pretty much right on point.
As I mentioned in my review of Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat is an incredibly devious and self-serving character, someone you wanted to trust but knew you couldn’t. In Blood of Wonderland, he was… Well, I still don’t fully trust Cheshire, but I’m very intrigued by him. Also, WTH was with that revelation he dropped on Dinah?!?! I actually believe his story, but.. Whoa… I also don’t fully trust Gorrann but he’s very protective of Dinah and I like that. I WANT to trust them both, I just don’t know yet if I can.
I was totally intrigued by the depiction of the Caterpillar in this book. I can’t say too much without spoilers, but he was pretty intense and maybe a little crazy.. Possibly? Sort of..
One thing that concerned me was the depiction of the Yurkei tribes. I could be wrong, but it seemed they were supposed to be Native American-like in their style and behavior; however, it was done in a stereotypical way and could be viewed as problematic. Again, I could be wrong in my assumptions/evaluations of this, but I didn’t feel I could write a full, comprehensive review without mentioning this.
The ending was intense and curious. I’m definitely excited for book three. Since book two was mainly filler, I’m dying for some action and I think we’ll see a LOT of action in book three as the war comes to a head and the battle begins. To the Battlefield we go!