I read Winterspell after the cover caught my eye, because lets be honest, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. Winterspell was written by Claire Legrand and is about 450 pages in length. I honestly can’t figure out a way to sum up this book because it was all over the place so here is the goodreads summary. I am in no way taking credit for it, all credit goes directly to goodreads.
After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn’t much help.
But there is something even darker than Concordia’s corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara’s godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister’s life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life.
When Nicholas and Clara journey together to Cane to retrieve her father, Clara encounters Anise, the queen of the faeries, who has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Clara finds that this new world is not as foreign as she feared, but time is running out for her family, and there is only so much magic can do…
This book was, for lack of a better word, odd. At some points I was really into it and couldn’t put the book down but most of the time I was like “wtf is going on”. Sometimes thats the kinda book I enjoy reading but for the first half (well until Nicholas wasn’t a statue anymore) I was kinda like ehh? She talks to this statue all the time, and she does weird things like this ““The hard lines of the statue’s thighs, belly, chest, scraped against her skin, snagging at the cotton of her chemise, and she found herself moving slowly so as to prolong the contact. Molding herself to the metal, she sighed. Her palms thick with sweat, she slid them up the statue’s chest to cup the chiseled, handsome jaw, and pressed herself closer. She inhaled, shuddering, and tasted the tang of metal and the oils Godfather used to keep tarnish away. Curling into the crook of the statue’s left arm, she let the sudden fancy overtake her. What would it feel like if that iron-muscled arm could come alive and pull her closer, it’s spiked digging into the back of her neck, its cold fingers threading through her hair…?”. Like uhm thats a statue??? Not a real person who’ll pull you closer??? I just found the things she did with the statue to be really odd. I mean she did all of these things before she even knew there was a person trapped inside the statue.
I will admit to having a problem with Clara. She’s an incredibly illogical, whiny character who thinks that everything is her fault. For example, when the creepy perverted doctor (Dr. Victor) would leer at her she believed it to be her fault. Clara thinks that Dr. Victor is only interested in raping her because of something she did…uh okay sure just blame everything that could possibly be wrong on yourself. She thinks almost only about herself, even on this quest to save her father. She believes that she needs to save her father quickly but she takes her sweet time, while along the way, noting how attractive Nicholas is. She is a weak character who could be mistaken for a 5 year old with the way she whines, cries and throws little temper tantrums through out the book. I was rolling my eyes half the time because she is just such a selfish character.
There is also a hell of a lot of sex in this book. I wasn’t expecting that honestly and I wasn’t “pleasantly surprised” because some of it was sexual harassment. Clara & Nicholas end up in a whore house where they are forced to do things they don’t particularly want to do. Then Clara encounters Queen Anise, who locks her up in jail but then they get with each other? Like wait whats happening?
I mean cool, she’s getting it on with both guys and girls but sometimes it would just be thrown into the story and it just made it more confusing. It just didn’t seem necessary. I ended up skimming through most of the sex scenes quite quickly because I just wasn’t looking for that in a nutcracker retelling. This didn’t even seem or feel like a nutcracker retelling, more like a fantasy novel placed in 19th century New York.
I did enjoy the writing style though. The setting was described in very nice detail and I enjoyed reading about Cane. Cane seemed like an interesting setting and I’m glad we, as readers, got as much detail as we did. I didn’t really have any problem with the plot even though the story was kind of choppy.
This book covers the topics of sexuality, sexual slavery, sexual awareness, sex, ect but if I was looking for a book like that I would have specifically bought one like that. But no, I was surprised with a whole bunch of sex in what I was hoping was a nutcracker retelling. I don’t think I’ll recommend this book to any of my friends, unless they’re actually looking for a book like this.