Friday, May 13, 2016
The Toymaker's Apprentice
I loved, loved, loved The Toymaker's Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith. It is a great example of how wonderfully satisfying children's fantasy can really be. It is also a retelling of The Nutcracker told in alternating points of view.
Readers first meet Stefan Drosselmeyer, the hero, shortly after his mother's funeral. He is an apprentice to his father, who is a toymaker, but he wants more from life. An unexpected visit from his uncle, Christian Drosselmeyer, gives him an opportunity for just that but it won't be without risks. To be in Christian's company is almost to invite disaster. For Christian has some mighty enemies, and, his enemies aren't all human either.
Ernst is our second narrator, and, he's a mouse. In his opening chapter, I believe, he is recruited to be the tutor for the heir to the mouse kingdom of Boldavia. The heir hasn't been born yet when Ernst arrives. And when the heir is born, Ernst is upset or troubled. The heir--due to the (evil) Queen's dabbling in dark magic HAS SEVEN HEADS. Why is the Queen evil? Well, she's out to rule the world. (Perhaps the Brain would understand and applaud her ambition?) And she's out to destroy humans. She's cursed the Princess of Boldavia. And she'll curse anyone who stands in her way...
Christian is out to find a cure for the princess, and he's enlisted Stefan's help. But before this story ends, Stefan will need a cure of his own....
I loved this one start to finish. I did. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. I love the world-building. I love the atmospheric setting and tone. I love the writing, the dual narrators. I love the characters and their relationships. It was a perfect read for me.
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews