Author: M.A. Kuznair
Genre: Adult Fantasy Retelling
Published by: HQ
Publication date: 28/10/21
My rating: ★★★★★
I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Midnight in Everwood is a retelling of The Nutcracker and it is stunning! I like The Nutcracker, its never been a favourite though, Kuznair has made me fall in love with the story in a way I never have before. Everything about this, from the writing to the setting of Everwood is beautiful, enticing and downright unputdownable! I would go as far as to say its my favourite retelling I’ve read in a very long time.
Set in Nottingham, 1906, the book follows Marietta, an aspiring ballerina. When Drosselmeier arrives in Nottingham and takes up residence opposite Marietta’s family home, her world is turned upside down. Finding herself in a world she never knew existed, trapped in King Gelum’s palace, Marietta must find a way to escape the King’s clutches and return home. I loved every second of this book, I’m in awe of Kuznair’s writing style and ability to instantly transport readers to a world of magic. I couldn’t stop reading once I had started, captivated and enchanted in equal measure. This will definitely be a book I gift this Christmas.