Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Goodreads Summary:

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what 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, her father abducted--by beings distinctly nothuman. 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.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Publication Date: September 30, 2014

I am a huge fan of The Nutcracker, so I was very excited to check out this retelling. Plus, I figured it would help me get in the holiday spirit. I liked Winterspell enough, but the pace at times was very slow and I found my interest waning.

I really wanted to like Clara. I mean she supposed to be like sweet little Clara from the ballet, right? But the book’s Clara keeps having dirty thoughts about a statue, causing a lot of eye rolling on my part. I mean although the statue turns out to be a real guy, it felt odd to me. Clara also came across at times as having a victim-blaming mentality.

I did like some of the darker themes in the book, especially in regards to Clara’s messed up family and her need to save them. The action scenes were also very exciting and the bad guys in the stories were very creepy. The other realm was interesting and I was shocked by some of the twists that occurred in the latter half of the novel.

Overall, I liked some aspects of Winterspell, but my hang-ups with the main character took away a lot of my enjoyment.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. I've seen this book around, but didn't realize it was a Nutcracker retelling. Sorry you didn't love it as much as you were hoping to!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. Hmmmmm I've always heard you should write the story you wanna read... :D Seriously though, you gotta get the second in The Memory Witch books out! I'm dying to read it!!!!!