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The Enchanted Sonata

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  701 ratings  ·  334 reviews
Clara Stahlbaum has her future perfectly planned: to marry the handsome pianist, Johann Kahler (ah!) and settle down to a life full of music. But all that changes on Christmas Eve, when Clara receives a mysterious and magical nutcracker.

Whisked away to his world—an enchanted empire of beautiful palaces, fickle fairies, enormous rats, and a prince—Clara must face a magicia
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by The Wallworkshop
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Octavia No, it does not. At least not in the Ebook.

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Vibur (hiatus)
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
The Enchanted Sonata was a stirring, whimsical retelling of The Nutcracker (and yes, I was listening to Tchaikovsky on-loop as I read this). But it was far from perfect. The characters lacked depth, the humour fell flat, and for the most part, the dialogue was so dull and uninspired that I was left feeling wooden inside like a nutcracker.
And yet, I adored it.
This novel was a confection of sensual delight. Channelling the spirit of Christmas, Wallwork limns a world of snow-wreathed pines and fro
Allison Tebo
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2020 REREAD: Just as magical the second time around. I can't wait to discuss this Book of the Month on Patreon!


This book swept me off my feet and straight into a beautiful world.

The authoress did a grand job in retelling The Nutcracker. From The March of the Toys to the dance of the Peppermints, you’ll find the magical movements of this beautiful ballet retold in a new way. The music that we know and love is wonderfully translated from notes into words. ❄

On this enchanting journey
kayleigh ❁
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ 5 stars

Oh, wow, I am positively stupefied by this ingenuous magical addition to the literary world of re-imaginings and fairy tale retellings. This is my first Heather Dixon Wallwork book and it's safe to say that any fairy tale retellings she spouts I want to be the first to hear them. The Enchanted Sonata is the most enrapturing, stunning and dreamy book I have read all year. I am perfectly smitten.

I read the synopsis of this book and thought, 'hey, this sounds right up my street' a
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

B-E-A-UTIFUL! I loved this book so much!

The Enchanted Sonata was one of those books that I needed to read but didn't know it at the time. Now what piqued my interest was how this kind of sounded like a disney movie to me. Heck, I'd watch it. Plus, I basically grew up with Disney movies and Disneyworld stuff - soooo I was completely pumped to dive into it!

In it, you will meet Clara. She's kind of like the girl from The Nutc
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Personal rating: 4.25

"But I do know that in the face of bitterness and disappointment, when our souls cry out in despair and anger, that we might fight it. As we fight everything in this life-with nobility, courage, and grace. That is what makes a true prince."

Clara’s world is turned upside down on Christmas morning when she finds a mysterious present under the tree wrapped in velvety red wrapping, topped with a glistening silver bow. She opens it to find a handsome nutcracker and a strange book
Nov 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 39%

Wow, I just realised that this book isn’t long at all, but I really had to fight my way through these 39%. I’m surprised I even got that far, actually.

I was pretty much enchanted by this book when I saw it. Cover? Gorgeous. Synopsis? Amazing.

I am a sucker for The Nutcracker Ballet and was intrigued by this retelling mixing that with The Pied Piper, which I only vaguely know because of German classes. I got to admit, I was a little surprised at the choice of combining a Russian ballet w
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a magical re-telling of the Nutcracker, with a sprinkling of the Pied Piper. Heater’s writing is so vivid, it easily transports you to the world along side Clara.

Really enjoyed traversing the world, the battles were intense, and music being magic was so beautiful.

H.S.J. Williams

I will try to compose a full review later, but this book is written as a childhood classic. I didn’t know books could be written that way anymore. THANK YOU, Heather Dixon!!!
3.25 stars.

I couldn't quite get a Christmas-y feeling if Nutcracker based something isn't involved, it could be anything a movie, ballet, concert, book you name it.

This year as of last year I chose to read a retelling of Nutcracker, but sadly it didn't capture me the way I wanted it to.

The story wasn't entirely based on Nutcracker and it didn't wholly stick to the original story, which I don't mind. However, aside from being this a Nutcracker retelling there was a mix of Pied Piper in it as well
Oh, my word. This was the Nutcracker retelling I didn't know I needed. With a delightful Russian-esque candyland of an imaginary kingdom for setting, a pair of flawed but lovable protagonists, many cleverly re-imagined elements from the original story as well as a few tiny nods to other fairytales, The Enchanted Sonata is fun and heartwarming and was the perfect Christmas read. The story as a whole is good enough that it manages to rise above a few stylistic quirks and goofs (such as a rather ec ...more
Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library

Heather Dixon Wallwork is one of my absolute favourite authors of all time. She wrote Entwined, a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling which I have never reviewed here on the blog because the book is just too precious and the review would basically consist of my screaming for ten minutes. She also wrote Illusionarium, which was definitely not a fairytale retelling, but which I still loved because I adore her writing so much. So I was so incred
A delight! An absolute delight! My sister could not have gotten me a better birthday gift than The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork. I should have known I would love this book, being that Entwined by the same author is my favoritest thing ever!

This one is a mesh of at least two fairy tales, one being The Nutcracker. And such a superb retelling! The charming nutcracker. The despicable rats. Sweet Clara. Candy and chocolate. Magic and music. A heartrending tragedy... Can it be undone? An
Janne Janssens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Merie Shen
Five stars and a standing ovation!

This past semester I've been horrible at keeping up with books to read, and I discovered I've been missing so much. So with this determination to finish, to enjoy, I dove into this book and was utterly swept away.

I wanted at least one Christmasy book to boast of before the season passed, and some lovely people recommended it to me with glowing praise. Besides, it's a retelling-mash-up of a ballet and a fairytale. (To be honest, it wasn't really Christmasy at all
I'd hoped to finish this before the new year, but since I didn't, it gets to be my first finished read of 2021. :)

This had to be the absolute cutest, sweetest story I read last year! I enjoy the Nutcracker ballet, but felt so-so about Disney's movie retelling so I was slightly nervous I'd end up feeling the same about this book. But all of my reader friends whose opinions I trust the most and whose tastes are similar to mine loved it, so I needn't have worried. This story was totally unique fro
Marta Barrales
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, life hasn't been great these past weeks. I’ve been buried in exams and my depression had a comeback; truly, I've felt pretty miserable for a while. Of course, I wasn’t really in the mood for Christmas either for most of December. However, I did have tickets for the Nutcracker at my city’s opera house (since I bought them a very long time ago) and was sort of looking for something according to read, you know, to get the most out of the experience. And so I came across this wonderful ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Stalhbaum flat on the end of Dieter Street smelled of scrubbed lye and hot bread and the hint of a sooty, slightly-stuffed flue. Tonight, however, it smelled of pine and cinnamon and wafts of clove, and the air fizzed with Christmas Eve excitement.

My rational editor brain: This book is a Hot Mess and you know it. Look at it. It is unbelievably cheesy; it is disgracefully unedited. It's got its good points, but it is painfully unpolished. You would tear this book to pieces if it w
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know what the best feeling in the world is? Well, I'll tell you. It's when that book you hummed and hawed over reading finally jumps to the top of your TBR list and becomes one of the loveliest surprises you've read all year.

Full review at A Book Shrew

Admittedly, as far as re-tellings go, this started rough. It's a mash-up of The Nutcracker and The Pied Piper, and goodness was that obvious for the first one hundred pages. Subtlety was not the order of the day. It begins with Clara receiving
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This book. I SO enjoyed it! I have zero objections, and all of the praise. Everything about was absolutely splendid. Fast-paced action. Perfectly timed humor. Adorable Romance. Delicious world building. Fabulous characters. Creative plot. Rifle-wielding nuns. Transporting music.
Just. Agh. So great. I highly recommend this book.
Bryn Shutt
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books
The most adorably perfect holiday story ever ~
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DISCLAIMER: Ebook provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

4 stars

Clara Stahlbaum has her future all planned out: marry the charming pianist with whom she has fallen so deeply in love, and lead a life full of joy and music. But on Christmas Eve, when Clara is anonymously gifted with an intriguingly enchanting nutcracker, everything changes.

Suddenly, Clara is thrust into a world full of magic, war, and a terrifying force of evil that must be brought down. When Clara finds the fate of
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
The Nutcracker and The Pied Piper are two of my favourite stories, and when I saw that they had come together in The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork, I was thrilled. This book is fast-paced, and it contains a cast of characters who are each well developed. I especially enjoyed the writing style and descriptions of music. I would definitely recommend this book for the holiday season, even if you are unfamiliar with the two original stories.

Full Review on The Candid Cover
Odette Swan
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clara thinks she knows what she wants in life, and has everything planned out. However on Christmas Eve a mysterious present takes her to a new land where she goes on a crazy adventure with a life size Nutcracker, and has to fight rats. She knows that she needs to help, but she knows that she can’t miss her big concert later that night, because that is when all her dreams come true. Will Clara be able to help the Nutcracker before her time runs out or will she have to make a bigger decision that ...more
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4 1/2 🌟

ARC Review: Received for free via Netgalley for an honest review

CW: ableist slurs

Before we begin, I suppose I should make note that I have never seen The Nutcracker and only know like a few things about the Pied Piper so I cant compare, whish I suppose is a good thing.

Okay, anyway, to the story!

That was so good!

I enjoyed it from the first few chapters and was hoping I wouldn't get disappointed while ready and I really didn't. I love the visuals of the story, and the story itself.
Zoë ☆
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
I honestly had so much fun reading this book! It was so whimsical and the perfect read for around Christmas time. I read this within a day because I was so entertained that I almost couldn't stop reading. It was so cute! ...more
J.M. Stengl
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fun, exciting, satisfying retelling of The Nutcracker! I loved the musical-magic theme--so appropriate--and I loved how the Nutcracker was in his toy form through most of the story. It made his characterization all the better. Plenty of good symbolism, some satisfying side plot-threads, and a very sweet romance.
Snap this one up quickly for fun Christmas-fantasy reading!!
Em Bow
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, that was frickin’ precious.
Sarah  Loves Books, Books and More Books
This is the cutest book ever and I absolutely adored everything about it. I don't know the story of the nutcracker very well so I'm not sure how much it follows the original but it is described as a retelling of the nutcracker with elements of the Pied Piper story as well. The main character Clara is given a mysterious book for Christmas and as she reads the story she is transported into the magical world of Imperia full of magic and fairies and where humans are at war with giant rats😬.
She disc
3.5 stars

This is a retelling of The Nutcracker. I really didn't know the original version of The Nutcracker but this was a fun and light read.

I felt like I was watching a Disney animated movie while reading this book. It also gave me an Alice in Wonderland vibe since Clara was like Alice and the Nutcracker was like Mad Hatter.

A whimsical and magical story that also teaches you that not everything is what they seem and that sometimes, the thing that you want most is not really what's best for you
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Heather Dixon Wallwork has been a story artist for Disney, a writer for HarperCollins, and currently works as an animation director in Salt Lake City. She is the author of the books "Entwined" and "Illusionarium". You can find more of her stories and comics at ...more

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