Today's post is on Winterspell by Claire Legrand. It is first in her Winterspell series. It is 454 pages long and is published by Simon & Schuster. The cover has the main character on it looking at the reader with a knife drawn. The intended reader is young adult but if you like retelling of the Nutcracker then you should give this one a try. There is some mild language, violence, and implied sex in this novel. Teens and adults only is for the best. The story is told from the first person perspective of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead,
From the dust jacket- The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets prince but when follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums. New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.
Her home is destroyed, and her father is abducted- by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets- and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed- if she leaves at all.
Review- This is and is not a retelling of The Nutcracker. Names are the same and that is about it. But if that does not bother you then you should really enjoys this one. The story is interesting, the writing is pretty solid, and the dialog is good. I like that Clara knows when to play by the rules and when to go it on her own. The hero is a little dumb but he learns quick, so I am willing to forgive him. Clara is not too stupid, just not informed about anything really. She has to figure the world out for herself. So that makes her much stronger when she gets back to her world to deal with the villains there. That is the only weak point of the story is the Clara world villains. They are wooden. They are there to be villains and to be scary but that is it. Now they do that very well but the book could have been written without them in and the plot would have been fine. That said wooden villains did not harm my enjoyment of the book.
I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.