• Page Count: 454
  • Release Date: September 30, 2014
  • My Rating: 2 stars

Winterspell (Winterspell, #1) 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 not human. 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 really don’t know what to do with this book… I WANTED to love the idea of it so, so much. Barbie & the Nutcracker is still one of my favorite Christmas movies (I’m not even going to pretend to be cool here) and I love basically any and all takes on The Nutcracker. Or so I thought.

I didn’t necessarily dislikethis book, but it was straight up bizarre. I did love the gorgeous cover, the amazing worldbuilding, the faeries, and the darker tone. And… points for creativity??

But oh my goodness I don’t even know where to start with the weirdness. This book got almost NA at times with the sexuality yet all of it was just odd. To start out with, Clara is attracted to this giant statue of a nutcracker in her grandfather’s shop and gets reallllly weird with it.

It’s just super awkward and cringeworthy at best. Then that nutcracker statue turns out to be a human guy who’s been watching her her whole life. No big deal.

I don’t even know where to start with the weirdness after this, so I’ll just say read the book if you have a lot of tolerance for characters who make strange choices and aren’t entirely likable… literally everything is questionable. Like Clara is the prisoner of Queen Anise and I’m pretty sure she had some kind of Stockholm Syndrome before she started sleeping with her. But that’s the least of this story’s issues.

Otherwise the pacing was a bit slow but it’s almost like it got so weird that it was entertaining just for that factor! It was just impressive that it could get THAT odd. Unique for sure…


4 comments on “Review: Winterspell by Claire Legrand”

  1. That does sound awkward! I’ve this on my shelf forever for the day I’m in the mood for it. Now I’m not sure I will be. I am still intrigued by the world building.

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