Heather Dixon Wallwork’s The Enchanted Sonata is a retelling of The Nutcracker in which Clara is spirited away to world where the children and soldiers have been turned into toys. Even the Prince has been turned into a nutcracker, weeks before his coronation. The mastermind of the curse uses music in effort an effort to make the country turn against their future king, who he thinks isn’t worthy of the title. Clara teamed up with the prince work together to break the curse, keep his kingdom’s faith, saving the kingdom from giant rats and get Clara back to her world in time for her to play piano at a concert in the evening.
Just to be clear, I know nothing of the story of the Nutcracker. I may have to read it later just to how much was changed and how they compare them to each other. I really did enjoy The Enchanted Sonata, both Clara and Nutcracker seemed like real people. They both had their flaws and weren’t perfect. Which is something that authors tend to forget because they want people to like their characters and in doing this they make their characters unrelatable because none of them are humanly flawed. This makes me really appreciate authors that give their characters flawed.
I liked that the villain of the novel had motives that are a little gray. They make him more of a villain because of the circumstance rather than someone who was just evil because they can be. Dixon Wallwork takes the time to explain the villains motives and goes into his back story. Which is also something that authors forget to do especially in shorter novels. Though his personality could have been developed more, but it was nice to at least have a backstory.
The Enchanted Sonata is a pretty quick read and was a lot less holiday related than I thought. There wasn’t a whole lot of mention of snow. Christmas was really only mentioned when Clara was in her world. I was unfortunately looking for more of a holiday story. Though, this may just be unfair because I was thinking it was a holiday story just because The Nutcracker is something I associate with Christmas. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of it, but it made the atmosphere a little weird to me.
Over all The Enchanted Sonata is a fun read with some life lessons to be learned. It had a bit of a fairy tale feel due to there being a very clear moral to the story, but because of this the novel had a more whimsical feel(the fairies also helped.) I’d recommend this one to someone who is looking for a light and fun read. While it was almost 400 pages, it didn’t feel like it.