Happy publication day to Midnight In Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar! Many thanks to HQ for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this wonderful book.
A spell-binding retelling of The Nutcracker, filled with enchanted toys, decadent balls, fierce feminine friendships and a forbidden romance. For fans of The Toymakers, Caraval and The Bear and the Nightingale.
There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.
When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.
But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.
I must confess that I have never read the original Nutcracker, but I fell in love with the ballet years ago, and because of this, I was so excited to read this reimagining. It was everything I hoped it would be and more – just pure Christmassy wonder. M.A. Kuzniar’s writing made me feel like a child again, as I was swept away by the magical world of Drosselmeier’s creation.
Marietta is a character who is easy to fall in love with, and I adored her determination to follow her dreams and loyalty to her new friends. In Drosselmeier, we are gifted a character who is mysterious and chilling and yet absolutely captivating and wondrous. I think I would have found it impossible not to fall for his charms in Marietta’s shoes.
Kuzniar’s writing is wonderfully descriptive, and I was utterly captivated. The world that Marietta is drawn into is so delightful on the surface that it makes King Gelum’s cruelty quite startling. While reading Midnight in Everwood, I found the real world just melted away, and it was a real struggle to drag myself back to it when annoying things like the need to eat interrupted my reading.
I adore the ballet and wasn’t sure how this would translate but the author has captured the very essence of it and I could almost hear the music as I read. I know this book will become part of my Christmas reading ritual for years to come, and I am absolutely desperate to get to Waterstone’s to collect my hard copy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
M.A. Kuzniar spent six years living in Spain, teaching English and travelling the world which inspired her children’s series The Ship of Shadows. Her adult debut novel Midnight in Everwood was inspired by her love of ballet and love of The Nuctracker. She lives in Nottingham with her husband, where she reads and writes as much as can and bookstagrams @cosyreads.