I already regret finishing this book. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a novel that I immediately wanted to return to, to go back and reread. In fact, I’m almost certain that this is the first time that’s happened. I enjoyed The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork so much that, for the first time ever, I immediately went and bought the book after finishing it. What happens most often when I finish a book I really enjoy and don’t currently own a physical copy is that I add it to my to-buy list and eventually procure myself a copy. I might wait years to do so or just a few months, but it is a truly rare occurrence that I immediately go out and buy a physical copy after finishing one.
A Nutcracker retelling with a little bit of Pied Piper, The Enchanted Sonata follows the unfortunate tale of a young prince turned into a toy and the young pianist, Clara, who helps him to save his kingdom. The cast of characters in this story were so vibrant and unique that I fell in love with each of them almost instantly, even those who were villains. Already I find myself missing the Nutcracker, Clara, Zizi, and Alexi most of all.
Wallwork has a very musical tone to her writing, which I suppose is expected considering the fact that the book does incorporate music into quite a bit of its prose. But the way she melds the music within the writing of her story is truly magical, building up the crescendos of songs and the unique sounds of a moment to make you really feel as though you’re part of the story. You can feel what the characters feel, hear what they hear, and even smell what they smell.
I cannot help being immeasurably impressed with Wallwork’s writing style, the way she really helped me to feel the story. The Christmas-y theme was ever present in the ice and snow and the all around general splendor alongside the toys and the regular references to candy. And speaking of candy, the Polichinelle’s Candy Emporium sounds so utterly amazing. I adored their role in the novel as well as the whimsical feel they gave to the tale.
I frankly don’t think that my words could ever give this marvelous Nutcracker retelling justice. There is simply so much to love about it, from the Prince and Clara to the people of the kingdom and the wonderful candy emporium to the devilish musical villain and the giant, wolf sized rats plaguing the kingdom. I can definitely say that I will be rereading this one the second it gets to my hands.
Of all the books that I’ve seen underrated that don’t seem to have the number of readers they should, this is perhaps the most devastating. If you haven’t read this book, believe me, you are doing yourself a disservice by having not done so yet.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.