Oct 2, 2014

Review: Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Title: Winterspell
Author: Claire Legrand
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 9.30.2014
Pages: 464
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling
Series: Winterspell #1
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

I can't say I really remember the story of The Nutcracker. I have a vague memory of a few details, but this seems like a grown up, darker version of innocent childhood story.

To me this kind of has a Victorian steampunk quality to it. I love that sort of thing, with all the machines and building of things.  Yet, once you get to Cane it becomes more of a London slum mixed with high tech that contrasted to the people and places around them. I loved how that technology was view as bad and invasive and only a product of a mad and quite evil "queen".

Faeries. Oh how lovely, or horrible, they can be. They are slightly more malignant in this tale, with what seems like due cause but not quite to this extent. They have found a way to bind their magic with that of machines. They become cyborg like to better channel their powers and rule of this human land.

Clara goes on such an adventure that it makes your head spin. Literally. Through out the beginning of this book, I advise to read slow. In parts it is very detailed and kind of gets confusing, almost like you can't get a mental picture of what's going on.

Clara is one of those characters you can't help but admire. Her strong will and determination just have you routing for her and her quest to inadvertently find herself while trying to get her father back and save two worlds.

I loved how this story seemed innocent like a child's story but quickly gets a tad....gruesome maybe? Claire did an amazing job reinventing this story. I love almost anything that has faeries and this did it for me. It was exciting and suspenseful while a little heartbreaking but full of adventure and leaves you with an ending that is hopeful of more.

Buy WinterspellNow!


  1. I'm interested to read this one especially since I loved the Nutcracker story. My mom and I would go see the ballet every year around the holidays so I'm interested to see how they adapted it to a book.

  2. I LOVED this book. It was so well-done. The world-building was great, the characters were awesome. This is one of those rare books that make you really feel for the villain. I was so torn over Anise and I loved that Claire Legrand could make me feel that way over the villain. I can't wait to buy my shiny finished copy for my shelves!!

  3. This was one SCARY! The world building was amazing.


I hope you know that every time you comment, an angel gets its wings.

OK, not really, but thanks for popping by!