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The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork: A Book Review

The Enchanted Sonata 
Author: Heather Dixon Wallwork
Genre:  YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: The Wallworkshop
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Pages: 388
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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: The Enchanted Sonata is a retelling of “The Nutcracker” with a mix of “The Pied Piper”. Clara dreams of becoming a future pianist and marrying the young, handsome, and talented musician Johann Kahler. On one Christmas Eve, she receives a nutcracker as a gift along with a magical book. The book tells the story that the Nutcracker was once a prince. He was cursed by a magician who used music to transform the prince into a Nutcracker. The children of the prince’s kingdom were also turned into toys. Clara learns that she has been chosen to break the spell that has been cast on the prince and his kingdom. Can Clara save the kingdom before she misses the chance to catch Johann’s eye or will she realize her dreams of snaring the handsome musician may not be as good as she had previously thought?

    It took me a while for me to warm up to Clara. At first glance, Clara seems like a Mary Sue. She is beautiful, talented, and flawless. Once I warmed up to her, I really adored her. She is vulnerable and insecure. There were moments in which she is very childish. However, she grows into a mature woman and realizes her mistakes. She realizes that her dreams she had been wanting to come true were not as good as reality. I also like that Clara is not a damsel-in-distress. She is very smart, and I admired how she saves the Nutcracker and his kingdom.

    Overall, this book is about dreams vs reality, belief in oneself, and hope. The novel did have a few flaws. The novel has many flat characters and it suffers from too much telling and not enough showing. I was a bit disappointed that besides the names of Clara, Nutcracker, and Drosselmeyer, there are not any other beloved characters from “The Nutcracker” that appears in this book. However, I did like the world-building of the Nutcracker’s kingdom which resembled an alternative version of Imperial Russia. The novel’s main strength is its vivid imagery. I highly recommend The Enchanted Sonata for fans of fairy tales and for classical music lovers. The Enchanted Sonata is a superb read for those who love The Bear and The Nightingale, Hunted, and Shadowsong.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

This is the official book trailer of The Enchanted Sonata:


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