Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Winterspell by Claire Legrand!!

Hello everyone! Happy Saturday!

How's your weekend going? Mine is going pretty well, losing sleep while devouring an extremely captivating book and finding myself actually swooning with a character like very few times (Jamie Frasier the Highlander is quite something!!) and today I'm actually off to have a girl's pampering day with one of my besties, as an her early birthday gift for me!

But I have a review for an ARC as this week's Saturday Pages and it's quite a great one! I was very lucky indeed to be approved this one by Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss for this one on my second try! As an ARC I'm also counting this one for my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge!

WinterspellWinterspell by Claire Legrand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Winterspell was one of those highly awaited books that I was beyond happy (and surprised!) that I got the chance to read and review ahead of time. I requested it via Edelweiss and was declined the first time, so imagine my surprise when I tried again and was approved for it!

Since I knew there was a prequel novella coming out, I decided to wait to read it after I had read the novella, and I think it was quite the right choice! Reading Winterspell will spoil the story of Summerfall for you, and it was fantastic to discover Cane before the war and gave a much different and welcome insight to what's going on in Winterspell too.

Winterspell starts with a hint at Cane but with the focus on Clara Stole and her struggle to feel safe in her life in New York. Her mother recently dead, murdered, and her father folded in grief and a puppet of the mob, she struggles to keep herself and her sister safe from some very dark characters that are her father's "allies".

Clara is quite a complex character, she has an inner strenght and resiliance that seems to fly out of the window when confronted with some dark (and frankly scary) characters, but I couldn't blame her for feeling terrified of a certain Dr, he's a character that would make you shiver in anger and fear all at the same time. She's had a bit of an unusual upbringing with her Godfather, a very curious man that was a friend of her mother's and that has been telling her stories and training her on self defence since she was little.

I had began to wonder what the connections with Cane would be and where on the storyline after Summerfall we'll land with this one, and even if I didn't get my curiosity satisfied all too soon, I was treated to great storytelling and retelling, with some really interesting twists to the Nutcracker story thrown here and there!

Once Clara finds herself in Cane with Nicholas, she is thrown straight into a most dangerous game, war and dance of deceit, doubts, misplaced trust and self discovery that culminates on meeting Anise, the current queen of Cane and a half breed (that we met if briefly in Summerfall). Anise was a fascinating character, mad as a hatter and full of hate it seemed on the surface, but with a much unexpectly softer and fragile core that we barely get to glipse here and there. I found Clara's relationship with Nicholas and Anise both extremely interesting and well done, both serving to further the story and to help grow Clara's character to the savior that Cane needed.

The writing was gorgeous and captivating and I'm very much willing to read anything that Clare Legrand would write, and even if this one stands very well as a standalone, with an hopeful & open ending but satisfactory enough, I would also see enough openings for maybe companion novels or at least novellas, there's a lot of Cane that can be explored I'm sure!

A wonderful retelling that doesn't requite any knowlegde of the original story to be enjoyed, but those who know about the Nutcracker will find themselves delighted in the way that Clare has twisted the story in her own way. Very well deserved 4 to 4.5 stars to this one!

View all my reviews


  1. I'm curious about this book. I've not read any of her books before but have heard the best things. So happy you enjoyed this one!

    1. This one was a great retelling and of a story not so commonly retold, so it was dark and also very refreshing!

  2. Great review Pili. <3 I'm so so glad you enjoyed it :D Oh, how I loved this book. Sigh. I must re-read it after my hardcovers arrive, hih :D Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3 I just adored Clara and Nicholas.

    1. Yup, I loved it! =D And I agree Carina, Clara and Nicholas had a fantastic chemistry together!

  3. Teehee! I didn't like this one at all. As you know. Too much plot underdevelopment and character mess and weirdness. Not my cup of tea!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Yep, I know we've been a bit out of synch as of late with book, but I'm right now reading one that you also loved! ;)


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