I was so excited for this book! It’s the perfect read for the Christmas Holidays!
The world Wallwork immediately established was magical and intriguing. There is a sweet childishness to it and yet, at the same time, there is danger and adventure. That is a terrible explanation. But just read the book! Then perhaps you will understand.
The characters were colourful and dynamic. Clara began as a child who could only see her dreams of marrying the handsome and accomplished pianist Johann Kahler, but as the story progresses, she grows into a brave, kind, and sweet woman. The Nutcracker… I loved him. He was chivalrous, fearless, and gentle and had an adorable sense of humour. I really liked how the narrative switched between POV because this gave it a faint storybook feeling.
The plot was gripping and was paced really well. I didn’t find myself lagging behind trying to catch my breath or crawling along at a snail’s pace half asleep.
Now about Wallwork’s style of writing… How to describe it? The first word that comes to mind is warm. And then we could add magical and pleasant. She has a way of writing that pulls in a reader and places a charm upon them. Despite this, though, there were a few things that could be polished up. For example: “Their parents slept on, stirring a little for the draft from the open doors, but they did not stir.” There were also a few words missing here and there.
This book has flourishes of The Nutcracker (obviously), the Phantom of the Opera, the Pied Piper, and Beauty and the Beast. Maybe that’s just me making those connections, either way, I loved the spectrum of the plot.
Lastly, this was a clean read. The exclamations went something like, “Oh, cabbage!.” Or “He’s just a great pancake-head.” Honestly, I find that kind of cute…
I definitely recommend this novel! It was an enchanting read!
Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.