Saturday, December 1, 2018

Book Review: The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

Author: Heather Dixon Wallwork
Series: N/A
Audience: +16
Genre: YA, Retelling
Publisher: The Wallworkshop
Release Date: October 23rd 2018
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Clara Stahlbaum has her future perfectly planned: marry the handsome pianist, Johann Kahler (ah!), and settle down to a life full of music. But all that changes on Christmas Eve, when Clara receives a mysterious and magical nutcracker.

Whisked away to his world--an enchanted empire of beautiful palaces, fickle fairies, enormous rats, and a prince--Clara must face a magician who uses music as spells...and the future she thought she wanted.

"The Enchanted Sonata," a retelling of The Nutcracker Ballet with a dash of The Pied Piper, will captivate readers of all ages.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

Before picking up this book I knew basically nothing about The Nutcracker or Pied Piper. I was almost ashamed at knowing nothing about them, so when I saw this book on Netgalley I knew I had to read it.

The Enchanted Sonata is a wonderful story about music, magic, and being true to yourself. The book starts off with Clara preparing for her upcoming piano concert. She’s trained all her life for this exact moment, and she is ready to share her own music with the world. The night before the show, Clara and her family exchange Christmas gifts and among the gifts is a story book. Neither Clara, nor her mother or little brother know where the book came from, but they feel compelled to read the story. Along with the book came a nutcracker, that seemed to be the main character of the book. As Clara discovers the story of the nutcracker, she gets transported into Nutcracker’s world, a mystical land where rats are as big as horses, fairies exist and music has strong magical powers.

I really loved the way this book started. I’m always fascinated by stories within stories, and this happens a few times during this book, where the flow of the main plot is interrupted by a new story. I wasn't sure at first about the author's choice to put two different fairy tales together, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well they went together.

Both Clara and Prince Nikolai embark on the journey of a lifetime, and each has their own lessons to learn from the experience. While Nikolai learns to stand up for himself and put all of his knowledge to use and not allow his uncle to make all of the decisions for him, Clara learns to see people for what they really are. There's this beautiful scene on a train between Clara and Nikolai where he tells her what he thinks about her crush on a famous pianist that most likely doesn't even know she exists. And while that statement made Clara mad and it hurts her, it's also her wake-up call, because she starts to question her feelings, how real they are, and if they're really about the pianist or about something else entirely. Clara in turn helps Nikolai become the worthy ruler he hopes to be, someone worthy of the title he stands to inherit.

We also get to learn about this mysterious person set on hurting Prince Nikolai, what drives him, what made him compose this music with such big, evil powers. I love the fact that we get to see his point of view, because it kinda made me understand why he was doing all of those things. He needed someone to blame, and Prince Nikolai was, unfortunately, the perfect target.

The book has a very cinematic feel, and I am hoping that someone discovers it and turns it into a movie. The atmosphere was just perfect for the holiday season, and the author did a great job at building the world of Imperia. The book is basically a love story to music, the power that music has over us. Music is everywhere, and although it may not have the power to turn people into toys, it impacts people in so many ways.

There's also a little love story thrown in there, and I thought it was super sweet. The only thing I wished was a little bit different was the ending. It seemed a little bit rushed, compared to the tone and pacing of the rest of the book.

All in all, I really loved this story and I truly recommend it to you guys, especially during the holiday season. It's the perfect book to start off the holiday reading, if you ask me. I will definitely read more books by this author in the future.

1 comment:

  1. This does sound like a really interesting book, and Nutcracker retellings are so perfect for Christmas time! I'm considering giving it a try, so I'm glad to hear it's so good!


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