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The Enchanted Sonata

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  123 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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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
♥ Kayleigh Kehoe ⚜ (Awkword Reviews)✍
Oh, wow, I am positively stupefied by this ingenuous magical entity. 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' and I had a little flutter in my stomach that happens whenever I see a book I will pr
Mellie Antoinete
I think the authoress may have accidentally pigeon-holed her villains into a flat, cardboard box which manifested itself in glaring linguistic continuity errors (“....just as I caught the scent of rats, I thought to myself rats.”). It’s a shame because this book had beautiful moments. Waking through her Kristallgrad was like a dance through Candyland and the way she structured Nutcracker as a character was nicely done. But a story needs two parts to create one whole - protagonist and antagonist. ...more
Janne Janssens
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Nov 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
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
The Book Valkyrie
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
Olivia (The Candid Cover)
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
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.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The most adorably perfect holiday story ever ~
An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The biggest thing on Clara's mind is the beautiful pianist, Johann Kahler - until she receives a nutcracker that whisks her away to a magical empire where someone is turning children into toys.

First of all, look at that cover! It's gorgeous and reminds me a lot of The Night Circus. Secondly, I enjoyed the beginning of the novel. I was very interested in Clara's life and music.

However, once the nar
Nov 04, 2018 marked it as to-read
Oh, I am SO down for this!!
Amber Stokes
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amber-s-kindle
I absolutely adored Entwined by Heather Dixon, so I was excited for another book by her with such a promising premise. And it truly is a charming story!

First of all, the way the story is told is very clever and fun, a story within a story with plenty of adventure and surprises. Second, Heather excels at imaginative descriptions, and this book is full of them—from the way Nutcracker is portrayed to the grandeur of the train and city to the delightful candies and cozy rooms in Polichinelle's. (Now
Laura Trenham
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
First, thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book

The Enchanted Sonata is a beautifully written book filled with magic, adventure and a series of loveable characters. It is a retelling of the classic story The Nutcracker, which I have not read, but I think it would certainly do it justice.

The book centers on the protagonist, Clara, as she prepares for a piano concert which she has been training for, for a long time. Before she can perform in this concert
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!!
Lisa Schneider
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Clara receives a nutcracker and a book for Christmas her carefully planned out life is irrevocably changed forever. She finds herself on a magical adventure to save a kingdom. I loved this retelling of the nutcracker. I loved the way Clara and Nikolai's stories intertwine. Wallwork created a beautiful tale that is solid and wonderful. I really don't have anything negative to say about this book. I think 4 stars is appropriate, the only complaint I would have is just that I personally wasn't ...more
Zoë ☆
Oct 24, 2018 marked it as unread-arcs  ·  review of another edition
This story sounds AMAZING and I am so happy that I got approved an arc!! I can't wait to read it! But also... Just look at the cover?! 😍
Morgan (youarethelibrarian)
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*I received an ARC from NetGalley; all opinions are my own!*

I will start by saying I wanted to read this because of the author. Heather Dixon Wallwork (formerly published as Heather Dixon) wrote one of my favorite books, Entwined, so when I heard she had written a new book, I was all over it! I didn't even care what it was about, but the description of "a retelling of The Nutcracker Ballet with a dash of The Pied Piper" had me intrigued! I enjoy any sort of retelling, so I had to see what Mrs. W
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall rating: 3 stars

I was the cover art and synopsis for this book.

The main character, Clara, is a super talented pianist with a serious crush on a fellow pianist, Johann (like, she carries around a photo of him in a locket - it's obsession level crushing). Clara has been chosen to perform one of her original pieces at the huge Christmas Concert on Christmas Day, where she hopes to impress Johann and make her recently deceased musician father proud. However, on Christmas Eve sh
Lotte Van Herreweghe
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Enchanted Sonata is Carla’s story. But it’s also Nikolai’s story, the story of Imperia and a heartwarming Christmas story.

Carla is a sixteen year old girl. She plays the piano and she’s good at it. This year, she is selected to play in the Christmas concert. It is great honor and Carla is over the moon. Not only will she be able to set off her career, but Johan Kahler will finally hear how good she is and he'll realise, just as Carla once did, that they belong together. What Carla didn’t kno
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The overall story was decent. There were definitely scenes i enjoyed, and i especially liked the character of Erik (the antagonist).

The reason i rated this 3/5 is due to a few factors. The first is that a lot of descriptions were clumsy, especially around the middle of the book. It made things a little cluttered or distracting.

Secondly, the tone of the book shifted especially around the first third/middle of the story, as though trying to become more of a comedy - which ruined the flow of the st
Nicki Markus
The Nutcracker is such a Christmas tradition in the UK, so I know the story well. This is the first time I've come across a retelling, and I loved what the author did with it. The blending with The Pied Piper of Hamlin worked well, and I actually stayed up late last night to finish reading, because I only had fifty pages to go and wanted to see how it would end. I enjoyed the way the romance part of the plot didn't overshadow the rest of the action, and there were plenty of thrills and daring ad ...more
Kimberly Karalius
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-favorites
While a little slow at times, this was SUCH an adorable retelling of the Nutcracker. The romance was sweet and the action was thrilling. The cover art, of course, is stunning too!
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book! I started reading it without knowing much about the story, only that it was slightly based on The Nutcracker and I could not stop reading. This is the perfect book to read during winter and Christmas. It’s magical, whimsical and heartwarming!
Emma Kiely
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for my honest review.

The Enchanted Sonata It is a retelling of the story The Nutcracker, which I have read many times and loved.
I have to say that this book is so beautifully written my imagination was in overdrive and I loved it.

I enjoyed literally everything about this book. The villain had to be my favourite character and I loved the fact there was such an amazing backstory for the vil
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
3.5 stars

All you need to know about The Enchanted Sonata is that it's a retelling of the Pied Piper and the Nutcracker. As soon as I read that in the synopsis, I said: "What? You have. To. Count. Me. In."

The Enchanted Sonata is fantastical, whimsical, and whisks you away to a different place. I hadn't felt a good Christmas-y story like this in a while, where a book made me want to drink candy-cane flavored hot chocolate and snuggle into my blankets with some socks. I don't want to give away
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hall-of-fame
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.

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 a nutcracker as a Christma
Christiana Reads
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review; all opinions reflected below are my own!

I was so happy when I heard my request for this book had been approved as I could not have picked a better time to read this. It's the perfect read for this period leading to winter and Christmas!

I have so many thoughts at the moment, even though I finished this book yesterday and I've been thinking about it all day today, but I will try to be as thorough as possible wi
Jessica | Booked J
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way. Review also found here at Booked J.

I needed a book like this, at a time like this. I'm so glad I was able to read it. There are books that are so vivid and fast-paced, and purely magical, that they are the ultimate getaway from ordinary. After the last few months from h*ll, this was one of those rare bright spots. In short? The Enchanted
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-fantasy

"What makes music... magic?"

This book has such a promising premise; the nutcracker fused with the Piped Piper sounds like one of my new favorite things. This book brought upon all sorts of wintery goodness.

What is this book about?
The Enchanted Sonata centers around the young pianist Clara, who has a massive crush on the professional pianist Johann. Clara is so smitten that she has planned her entire future around him. She, then, hadn't planned to be pulled into a fa
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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