Book Review: The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

About the Book:

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.

My Review:

I am always up for a good Nutcracker retelling, so when I came across this one, I had to give it a shot. At first, I was a little leery. The Nutcracker mashed up with The Pied Piper? But my oh my, did Wallwork deliver on this tale. The way she wove in details from the Pied Piper made for a seamless reading experience.

Clara is full of agency, though she does make some foolish choices (don’t we all?), and I found this version of the Nutcracker Prince to be one of my favorites in a retelling. The musical details were mixed in nicely, and the world was vivid and clear in my mind with each scene. And the rats… ick… but what a wonderful take on these nasty little things.

It’s difficult to write a review for this book without giving away spoilers, but I adored the ending (Clara and the Nutcracker aren’t the only ones driving this plot along) and breathed a sigh of relief when all the children were… well… I’ll just let you read and find out for yourself!

It was a clean read appropriate for all ages but probably best understood by twelve and up.

You can find it here.

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