Winterspell By Claire Legrand Is The Perfect Winter Read!
Winterspell by Claire Legrand is a dark, gritty fantasy, inspired by The Nutcracker, that will chill you to the core!
"Our stories say that when the human world was first made, not all of it fit."
Clara Stole lives in New York City in the late 1800s. As the mayor's daughter, she's under constant surveillance and must maintain an air of propriety at all times. After her mother's brutal murder, however, her father turns to drinking, and Clara's will is dangerously close to being shattered.
As her father sinks becomes more and more involved with an influential gang known as Concordia, Clara and her younger sister become the victims of his carelessness when some of the gang's terrifying members turn their eyes towards the girls and what they have to offer.
But Clara has a secret. She has been training with her godfather in self-defense in order to protect her family from the inevitable confrontation that will arise due to father's involvement with such a horrible gang.
What Clara doesn't know is that Concordia will soon be the least of her worries. On Christmas Eve, creatures not of this world attack Clara's home and kidnap her father. Concordia gives her until the new year to get him back, or they will harm Clara's little sister as punishment.
"She had forgotten how to care about the city that had taken so much from her. Forgetting was the only way she had found to keep moving every day."
Clara winds up in another world known as Cane. Her only ally is a stranger and Cane's former prince, Nicholas. Nicholas was dethroned by Anise, a powerful fairy with an alluring effect on the people of Cane. Humans are tossed around and treated like animals while fairy-folk rule the realm, and Anise controls them all with her mystical presence and Sugar, an addictive substance people will do anything to get their hands on.
Nicholas is horrified to see what has become of his people but he vows to help Clara get her father back. Clara's bravery is tested at every turn as Cane seems determined to stop her and Nicholas no matter the cost. Terrified and on the run, Clara must find the strength to become the powerful woman her mother was, the woman her godfather always knew she was meant to be.
"You're powerful, Clara. Or you could be, if you would let go of your fear long enough to realize it."
Winterspell is a deliciously fun adventure that will have you gripping the book in fear as the twisted story unravels. Cane is a place worth exploring and the creatures chasing Clara, although admittedly scary, are just downright cool. Claire Legrand has created a world perfect for a dark fantasy with fun steampunk influences.
But the shining star of the novel is the protagonist, Clara. Clara is timid, and with good reason, but beneath that is a girl with more strength than she realizes and the willpower to save not only her family, but all of Cane as well. She is a fantastic female lead that girls of any age can look up to.
Winterspell is a stand-alone novel with no sequel planned, although a prequel novella was released in August. Since Winterspell is quite a dark story, we recommend this novel to older teens who love fantasy and a good romance. Curl up to this novel on Christmas break, girls, and be sure to grab a steaming cup of hot chocolate for the ride. You're going to need it.
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