Saturday, December 22, 2018
The Enchanted Sonata
First sentence: What makes music...magic?
Premise/plot: The Enchanted Sonata is a middle grade/young adult retelling of The Nutcracker. It is also a story within a story. Clara, our heroine, is a pianist. She's super-excited that she'll be playing in a fancy recital on Christmas along with some of the best of the best musicians. On Christmas Eve, she receives an unexpected present under the tree--a Nutcracker and a book. The book stars a young girl named Clara and it tells a fantastical story of a kingdom plagued with problems. There is an evil (signal the boo, hiss) musician who has with his magical music enticed the children of the kingdom away. Once he has them where he wants them--away from their homes--he plays another song and turns them into toys. The loss of a kingdom's children PLUS the ever-present danger of giant rats invading the land make for a severely troubled kingdom. The soon-to-be-emperor, Nikolai, finds himself in trouble. The musician turns him into a Nutcracker; however he--for story reasons perhaps--finds himself only partly turned. He remains alive, just a giant toy. As real-life Clara is reading the book, she finds herself IN the book. (The book is also in the book.) There is plenty of action, albeit slightly clunky seeing as how our hero is made of wood. Can Clara find a way of saving the kingdom by reversing the spells?
My thoughts: I enjoyed this one so much! I read it in two days. I found it lovely. I would say it is loosely inspired by The Nutcracker. But it also has other influences--the Pied Piper and perhaps even the Phantom of the Opera. (I'm not sure as I've never read that one. But there is a character that lives in the opera/theatre and makes music in the night.)
I found it to be somewhat predictable but not all the way predictable. (I guessed what would reverse the spell early on, for example.)
I found Clara to be a bit naive--very silly. But she is a young girl who has only dreamed up grand dreams of falling in love.
© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews