Book Review: Winterspell


Author: Claire Legrand

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 464

SummaryThe 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.

Review: This novel was a wonderful read! You can clearly see the similarities with The Nutcracker, but Claire Legrand has taken it to the next level.

Clara is fully fledged character, who changes throughout the story. Legrand uses definitive action and setting for all her characterization. The world-building in this novel is phenomenal! I loved the world of Cane, the twisting magic, and the dark curses. Legrand also spends some time on the physical aspects of the three creatures who inhabit Cane: faeries, mages, and humans.

This novel is a fast paced adventure, with trouble, both romantically and physically, at every turn. Clara must face class differences, politics, and must find the strength to withstand all, or be forced into servitude in one world or the other. 

Recommendation: Wonderful! Must read! NOW


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