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This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…

Except, maybe, a mouse.

At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one...special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker's curse?

Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?

Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.

Read it now!

292 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 27, 2018

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About the author

Chantal Gadoury

12 books388 followers
Chantal Gadoury is an Amazon Best Selling Author who is originally from the countryside of Muncy, PA. Chantal likes anything Disney, plays a mean game of Disney trivia, enjoys painting and has a interest in British History. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues that love of writing today. As a recent college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels is a dream come true.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 99 reviews
Profile Image for Sylvie .
602 reviews792 followers
December 28, 2018
Every year on Christmas day I either go and see The Nutcracker's bellet or watch a Nutcracker movie, this year I'm reading a retelling.

This book took me much longer than I was intending to, but I'm not complaining at all.
I have to admit, 'Winterdream' has been the closest retelling to the original story. I've read a few other Nutcracker retellings when I was younger, however I can't remember the names, which means they weren't as good as this version.

It's a perefect Christmas read, filled with magic, hope, romance (of course) and lastly adventure. Also if there are people who love the Nutcracker (either the book or the ballet) then this book is a must, highly recommended!
Profile Image for Sheila G.
506 reviews97 followers
December 17, 2018
See my full review of this book on my blog along with others at: foalsfictionandfiligree.com


I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

Content Warning: Violence, Class Division/Prejudice

BLURB: A retelling of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King reminiscent of The Secret Garden, Winter Dream is a beautiful gesture to this Yuletide tale.


It’s been a long time since I’ve been acquainted with the story of The Nutcracker. I’ve actually never read the original German tale, and only saw the ballet rendition when I was a young child. Considering this fact, I won’t be able to compare Winter Dream intimately to its original form and how it aligns and deviates. Honestly, I’m not too concerned with doing so, as this is a retelling. After all, deviations are allowed when considering this genre!

Opening the first pages (or the first screen on my Kindle) I stepped into the scene of a chilly Christmas Eve party held in Imperial Russia. Set in a different culture on top of a different time period could easily place a strain on plots simply due to the necessity of explaining these differences. I found that this story was uninhibited by a majority of those details. Since Winter Dream only partially takes place in Russia, many of the smaller and necessary details to include if it had stayed solely in Russia were not needed.

The main societal norm that required focus was how men and women held very different positions during this timeframe, especially among the aristocracy. Men reigned dominant. Women were a necessity, a fascination, but rarely empowered.
They want to know what we are thinking, but they never want to hear us.

Clara Stahlbaum, a young woman born into a family of high-society, is well acquainted with these standard views. Being ahead of her times, Clara disagrees that one should find a suitor simply out of necessity.
Marriage. The idea of it made me flinch as I wrinkled my nose. These had to be more to my life than simply attending fancy parties, prickling my fingertips at needlepoint, and wearing tight corsets. Let alone finding oneself in an arranged marriage, experiencing painful childbirth, and then…

Her forward views place her in a rather precarious position with Viscount Yakov Petryaevy, as he aims to court her.

For anyone who loves strong women front and center, this book has just that! What I like most about Clara is that she is a girl with a conscious. Not only that, she isn’t invincible like this character trope likes to portray. Clara is very capable, yet also needs help at times. She’s real, relatable, and relishable.

Clara is well-developed, with only a few minor inconsistencies. Towards the beginning, she refers to herself as plain. Brunette. Nothing like her closest friend, Masha Lebedev. Yet, throughout the entire book, she’s not viewed by everyone else as being plain. Insta-love is present, however, I found it to be inoffensive as it’s portrayed in the original version of this tale. Besides these points, character development and growth maintain a positive curve.

This book is a beautiful depiction of love. Wholesome, deep, and true. It’s one that will make you feel warm on any cold, winter day. The Nutcracker character and the way he interacts with Clara is so refreshing and pure. I really appreciated how the author rendered this relationship.

The only main issue I had with this book was that I simply wanted more world building of Winter Dream itself. I wanted to be immersed further because it’s such a beautiful realm! It didn’t necessarily take away from the plot by what was provided but was more a personal preference.

Winter Dream is the perfect read for this time of year. Grab your warm beverage of choice, snuggle up in a nice blanket, and delve into this lovely tale!

Vulgarity: None!
Sexual content: Kissing only.
Violence: Moderate, but not gorey.

My Rating: ★★★★½

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Profile Image for Ioana.
67 reviews7 followers
December 6, 2018
"Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen."

This book has placed Chantal Gadoury on my top favourites authors list.
This books has everything: a whimsical land, a strong female lead, a charming male counterpart. I simply loved it.
It is the perfect read for this time of year.
Profile Image for Emmi Rose  (emmirosereads).
239 reviews36 followers
December 6, 2018
Chantal Gadoury is truly magnificent at her fairytale retellings. She truly captures the fairytale tone and feeling perfectly and it really sucks you in. The land of Winter Dream was truly magical and whimsical and I felt like I was just placed right into some of my favorite childhood stories! It felt young and fun in all the best ways while at the same time adding in serious tones and intense storylines which I think is definitely a feat in itself!

I also love our characters, especially our main character Clara. I loved how she was soft and traditionally feminine but she comes into her own and really knows what she wants and fights for it. I always really connect to those characters in stories and this was no different. Our Nutcracker was a dream as well. 😍 Loved reading about him and his interactions with all the characters, especially Clara of course! He was sweet and charming and I love him. Also Clara's Uncle was such an interesting character! I absolutely loved him and always wanted more!

I think my only true complaints are the pacing and character development. I absolutely loved the characters but I do feel like they could have been developed a little bit more for my taste. That could totally just be personal taste though. I also wasn't the biggest fan of the pacing. I thought it was quite slow and it takes awhile for the story to really build up. I also felt like some of the action in the middle felt a little repetitive. Despite that I will say I really, really enjoyed the ending. 😍 The last few chapters we're action packed and enthralled me and the last chapter and Finale made me so freaking happy and just warmed my heart! I almost cried. 😭 I'm a sucker for this sweet romantic endings.

I think Winter Dream is definitely a book worth picking up this holiday season! Especially if you love the Nutcracker or just fairy tales in general. It's beautiful, romantic, whimsical and perfect for the Christmas season. 💗
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
857 reviews119 followers
July 26, 2019
3 Stars

*I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*

This was a nice Nutcracker retelling even though it didn't blow me away.

It felt like younger YA to me, even though there were some older aspects, like the main character being 18 and worrying about having to marry someone she didn't like out of duty, as well as a couple scenes of violence, so that threw me off a bit. I also felt like the writing kind of skimmed the surface. The characters and romance didn't have as much depth as I would've liked.

As for what I liked, I believe this was based on the ballet rather than the E.T.A. Hoffman story, and all the retelling elements---the mice, the cursed Nutcracker, the fantasy land---were fun. The main character was one you could root for. She wasn't one to sit on the sidelines when others needed help.

Overall, this isn't a bad read, especially if you're looking for something winter-y or vaguely Christmas-y to enjoy around the holidays or any time of the year.

Recommended For:
Anyone who likes young adult and Nutcracker retellings.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Profile Image for Tyffany.
Author 6 books70 followers
November 29, 2018
I received this as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

So I went into Winterdream with an open mind—it's been a long while since I've even read the original Nutcracker, but I remembered it being one of my favorites.

And Gadoury did it beautiful justice. With her smooth, elegant writing style and lively characters she really breathed fresh life into an old classic. After the beginning, which admittedly was a bit slow to start, I was absorbed into her beautiful retelling.

Can't wait to read more of her work!
Profile Image for Princess.
2 reviews
December 2, 2018
~*~Received and ARC for a honest review~*~

The Nutcracker has always been a favorite story mine for the holidays and I'm always a sucker for any retelling of it I could find. Reading Winterdream is like reading a fairy tale or revisiting a long lost dream.

The magic, the world and the characters were all so familiar yet there is also a twist to them. Although I have some suspicion on what will happen next, the reveal near the end of the book is a really nice twist to the story of the Nutcracker. Also, I love how strong and clever Clara is portrayed in this book by how she thinks and manages every situation she is in. She knows what she wants but she is also sweet in the sense that she also keeps her family in mind before deciding her actions.

And the ROMANCE (●♡∀♡●)!!
It was so sweet and cute and gentle and perfect and hasidgag.


If you want a good book for the holidays (or anytime really), this is the book for you! Definitely worth reading and re-reading.
Profile Image for Cecily Wolfe.
Author 14 books492 followers
November 9, 2018
Another gorgeous story from this author, who is truly the princess of fairy tale retellings. I've loved every book of hers I've read, but this is hands-down my very favorite. I read this sitting by my fireplace, falling completely into the setting with the lush and evocative descriptions, as well as the emotional journey of these compelling characters. Gadoury shows that girls and women can be strong and vulnerable at the same time, which is a reflection of her ability to bring such depth to her characters. A must read for this holiday season!
November 24, 2018
I know I repeat myself but I love Chantal Gadoury's books so much-and it just might be my favourite. (Yeah, I know that I say it after every new one comes out) When I was reading it I've finally realized that Chantal Gadoury doesn't write novels or retellings-she writes fairy tales. And by fairy tales I mean the old-school, not the Disney kind, full of magic and true love but also horror and cruelty. WinterDream is a classic fairy tale at its finest and the proof of its brilliance is simple: when I've finished it, I had an immediate need to reread it. And, let me tell you, that hasn't happened since I've read Autoboyography in June.

WinterDream is a retelling of the "Nutcracker." It was actually my first encounter with Nutcracker, other than listening to Tchaikovsky's music, but it inspired me to look for more-I started searching for tickets to see the ballet and I want to see all the films and adaptations. WinterDream is full of Christmassy, winter magic and I really want to reread it closer to Christmas. Maybe it will help me feel the "magic of Christmas" atmosphere for the first time in years.

I don't know what else to say, my emotions apparently still haven't settled, so let's keep is short and simple: please, do yourself a favour this Christmas time and pick up Winterdream.
Profile Image for Chiara | _ckarys.
380 reviews263 followers
December 16, 2018
I recieved a free e-arc from the author in exchange for an honest review.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, my friends! I am a huge fan of all things Christmas, and yet it hadn’t crossed my mind to read a holiday book until Chantal Gadoury gracefully reached out to me with Winterdream. As a fan of many of her previous books, I accepted right away, and I am very glad I did! This book immediately put me into the Christmas spirit, dragging me into an enchanting world of magic, romance and adventure!

Winterdream is a retelling of the classic story and ballet of the Nutcracker, which I’ve always had a fascination to ever since I was a little girl. It is divided into three acts, the first of which follows the classic tale quite faithfully. We find ourselves at a Christmas party in the Stahlbaum family home with Uncle Drosselmeyer being one of the most awaited guests. Like every Christmas, he brings gifts for all the children and puts up a spectacular show filled with magic for the guests. He gifts Clara with the Nutcracker doll that sets in motion the whole adventure.

However similar to the original tale, the author also supplies some new elements, some of which I’ve come to appreciate from her other books as well. The protagonist, Clara, is not a child, but rather a young woman of marriageable age. This enables the author to turn the protagonist of this classic tale into a modern feminist, exploring the condition of young girls who are expected to accept unions that favor economical stability over love, and, of course, finding ways to overthrow that mindset. Another element of change is Anton, Uncle Drosselmeyer’s handsome apprentice, who plays a very relevant role in the adventure and was quite possibly my favorite character of the story.

The second and third acts are the ones that differentiate most with the classic. While we do meet familiar characters like Mother Goose and the villainous Mouse King, but Chantal Gadoury added further layers to them and enriched the plot with elements of romance and mild gore that are much more appealing to a young adult audience.

In general, I would recommend this book to fans of the Nutcracker but also those approaching the story for the first time. It is the perfect holiday read for anyone looking for something quick and entertaining.
Profile Image for ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。..
199 reviews98 followers
December 28, 2018
‘Let me help you save WinterDream.”
It was a sweet retelling. I loved the way the author described Winter Dream and made it very appealing with vivid imagery-. the sceneries were so lovely that I could imagine the castle, the forest with sugar flakes, the delicate gowns, the taste of fresh baked cookies. The author did a great job in setting Winter Dream and its residents.
As for the characters, the Nutcracker was a gentleman, the villain was the mainstream villain and I did not think it was a big twist because I read the Nutcracker and Four Realms before and SPOILER the villain was the same character. The supporting characters bothered me a bit because they were two-dimensional and Clara could have been less damsel in distress and more proactive but I guess it was a story meant to be told in a very traditional fairytale-ish way like the old stories. It was cute and a good read for holidays, I’d rate it something between 3 and 4 stars.
If you enjoy The Nutcracker ballet or fairytales, you will probably like this one.
I purchased the ebook and this review was made with intention of express my personal and honest opinion.
Profile Image for Kendra Cusworth.
195 reviews126 followers
December 14, 2021
i’ve been searching for a good nutcracker retelling and this one unfortunately didn’t do it for me. i do think though that I would have loved this book as a 15 year old. but, alas, that time in my life was many many years ago.

i think there were solid elements to this story but ultimately it did not feel like an exciting take on the traditional story and there weren’t any interesting deviations or side plots to be interested in. the side characters were lackluster and the plot quickly lost all its steam. the main character ended up being a bit boring and unfortunately so was our nutcracker.

sigh.. the search for a good nutcracker retelling continues
Profile Image for Alicia Gaile.
Author 5 books39 followers
November 29, 2018
This is a sweet and charming version of the nutcracker that takes everything wonderful about the ballet and gives the reader room to explore. The Nutcracker is charming and heroic, and the Mouse King is a suitably menacing figure lurking in the shadows. Fans of the ballet will enjoy seeing familiar scenes unfold and the characters fleshed out.

I received an arc copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Loie.
27 reviews11 followers
November 26, 2018
I loved this magical retelling of the Nutcracker! It was just amazing. I've read a few of Chantal's books in the past and she has a lovely writing style. Her characters are fully fleshed and the setting is so atmospheric.

I loved that Clara is strong and clever. She's a Russian gal in 1800s. Chantal captures this time perfectly. Gah! Such a beautiful story!! I'm re-reading it closer to Christmas <3
Profile Image for Carla.
5,726 reviews121 followers
February 16, 2020
Many people are familiar with the story of The Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas, or various translations of the story. If you have never read the book, you may have seen the ballet or a televised version of the story. This is a retelling of that story, told from Clara's point of view. The location is changed to Russia, but the story basically follows the plot I am familiar with, but with several twists. Clara still received a nutcracker from her uncle, but she is a bit older and is being pursued by Viscount Yakov Petryaevy, a Russian nobleman who wants Clara for his wife. Clara is outspoken, has advanced views about roles of women, and wants to marry for love. Enter Anton, her uncle's apprentice and The Nutcracker. Will Clara be able to save The Nutcracker, WinterDream and defeat the Mouse King. If you know the story, you know the answers, but this is a magical story that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and arriving at the finale.

I loved the Clara character. She is capable, yet also needs help at times. She’s real, relatable, and smart. She has a conscience and cares about people. She wants to help and save them, but knows she can't do it alone and is not afraid to ask for help. The Nutcracker also wants to save WinterDream and knows that Clara is the one that can help him do that. He is willing to deal with the scorn from many to do what is necessary. The world of WinterDream seems beautiful, but was not as developed as I would have liked. Having said that, I could picture many parts of it. The romance is sweet. It is instalove, but is not acted upon which I liked. It is the love that drives Clara to do what she does, even putting herself in danger. This was a well-written and paced story that pulled me in from the first page and held me there until I finished. A beautiful retelling of a beautiful story.

WinterDream was published in 2018, but was recently released in Audiobook. When I was offered the chance to listen and review it, I jumped at the chance. The narrator Anne Marie Lewis, did a wonderful job with this story. I enjoyed her expression and the voices she gave various characters. I listened to the story at normal speed until I became comfortable with the voice and story, then I sped it up to 1.3 which was perfect for me, especially as the action ramped up. This is the first book I have listened to narrated by Anne Marie Lewis, but I would not hesitate to listen to others she performs. I received a copy of this book upon request from Audiobookworms. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Profile Image for Aislinn Honeycutt.
Author 3 books23 followers
November 7, 2018
I received this book early for an honest review, and honestly, I have never been one for Christmas stories. While the Nutcracker is my favorite ballet, I never read much of the story beyond what was presented to me as a child.
This story felt like an absolute fairy tale and while I had some suspicions towards outcomes for several of the characters, I wasnt prepared for the truth that was unveiled in the final chapters.
Chantal has a knack for writing strong willed female leads who overcome the trials before them, but no one else is like Clara. She's a Russian girl in the late 1800s who balances her outspoken nature and "do you even know who you're talking to" attitude with being (in my opinion) perfectly demure and "respectful" for a woman in her day and age.
She is a bold disney princess-mosque character very much like Jasmine and unlike Gadoury's previous princess from ALLERLEIRAUH, theres not a moment where Clara retreats into herself and refuses help.
November 10, 2018
It's no secret I adore the holidays, and The Nutcracker has always been a favorite holiday story of mine. I'll admit I was sceptical of this retelling but within a few chapters I was hooked! Incredibly written with very well rounded and enchanting characters and a story that caught my breath like it was my first time reading the nutcracker all over again. Would 100% recommend!
Profile Image for Kayleigh.
309 reviews45 followers
November 30, 2018
I was kindly sent a copy of this to review.

Overall, it was a nice, quick read. As a retelling of the Nutcracker I think it’s perfect for this time of year to get you into a more festive feeling!

As far as characters went, I liked Clara but that’s about as much as I can say about her. Although I did like that she managed to stand up for herself at the end.

Anton, I did like a lot. He was gentle and kind but willing to protect Winter Dream at any cost.

The world building was lovely and Winter Dream sounded like a beautiful place, from the forests to the palace to the gardens and the author is a great job of adding a magical quality to it.

The only thing that did get to me a bit was that amount of times that Clara was told to either ‘rest’ or to ‘come’ which, once you start noticing it, you can’t stop!

But other than that it was a quick read and a decent way to pass a few hours.
Profile Image for Justine Barr.
363 reviews6 followers
May 17, 2019
An adventurous retelling of an old story.

Winter Dream begins with a Christmas Eve celebration, a familiar cast of Russian characters, and a Nutcracker given as a gift (much like the traditional Nutcracker ballet). After a battle with a certain Mouse King, the characters find themselves swept away into Winter Dream, a delicious fairytale world full of Christmas magic and sinister villains.

I was enchanted by this retelling and sped through the story with ease. The characters are well developed, with villains who are bad and heroes who are good. The plot, while predictable, is never boring and unfolds at a steady pace.

Winter Dream is perfect for a wintry night read by the fire, or an easy to follow beach read in summer.
Profile Image for Natalie.
2,343 reviews52 followers
December 22, 2019
2.5 stars

An interesting retelling of the Nutcracker, but it was fairly predictable, especially the identity of the villain. There were only a couple of secondary characters, so it was fairly obvious who the villain was. The pacing was slow, but the story was interesting and overall I enjoyed the book.
Profile Image for Pretty Little Bibliophile.
657 reviews105 followers
December 6, 2018
I truly believe that I read Winter Dream at the best possible time of the year – its winter and Christmas is just a couple weeks away. This book really geared me up for the festive season ahead.
As is clear from the synopsis, Winterdream is a retelling of the original Nutcracker story and oh what a retelling! I really enjoyed reading this book and I love that Chantal has such a penchant for creating these amazing retellings of fairytales that we all know.

With her classic elegant style of writing, that is smooth and reads like the classic caramel custard my mother makes this time of the year, Chantal has infused the very spirit of Christmas into the book, or the book has infused the festive spirit into me. Words cannot do this justice. The beginning was a bit slow, I found, but only the pace picked up, I could not put it down. This book really took me very less amount of time to finish – I could hardly put it down once I started reading it, despite that fact that I am going through my last week of classes before winter break and we all know hoe very tiring and hectic that can be.

The world building was amazing – the lush and wonderfully evocative words made it all so very real. Chantal’s words have a vivid imagery that sucks the reader right in. The description of the magical Sugarland, and Winterdream as a whole was magical really – I cannot find enough words to describe it, except saying that you should definitely pick it up this December. The character development – be it emotional or mental, was well written and explored, especially in Clara. Everything was natural and smooth flowing – the reader goes along and there are no abrupt jerks in the development of the characters and that really builds a strong structure for the story. The characters have a depth to their beings and in this manner, the author shows both strength and vulnerability in them.

I read to Tchaikovsky’s music while reading the book and I definitely recommend you all to do that too as it gives you really magical feelings.
{I received a review without any guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}
I quite enjoyed this book and I rate it a 4/5 stars.
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,124 reviews55 followers
November 28, 2018
**Review can be found at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ **

Clara is growing up, regardless of her desire against it, and everything is changing. Her best friend has been engaged, and no longer wants to be bothered with their fanciful games of the past. That means too, that Clara is a woman and will soon be wed off, regardless of her hopes to travel instead. When her family has their traditional Christmas Ball, an unwanted suitor makes his intentions known as well as a surprising gift may change everything.

The impossible had become palpable. Toys had come to life without the use of a child’s imagination; a mouse had somehow become a king without divinity… and it was all because of a story. Because magic had made it so.

If I could only use two words to describe this book, the two that instantly spring to mind are romantic and magical. This was such a lush, richly described story that transported the reader to a completely new take on the traditional nutcracker story and I absolutely loved it. This was escapism reading at it's finest, and the writing style of the author led perfectly into the magic of the story. I could not be happier with this Christmas story- this was the perfect thing to get me into the holiday season.

I have been lucky to have seen the Nutcraker ballet, play, and a cartoon a few different times in my life, but this was my first time reading a retelling of the tale, and I do so love myself retellings. If you love the story of the Nutcracker, I highly recommend letting WinterDream sweep you away in it's magic. This was the perfect fairytale adventure, a very fast read at 250ish pages that can be enjoyed in a single sitting (if your sittings are a few hours). Grab a copy, let the magic do it's work and be prepared for a sweet journey.

I am voluntarily reviewing an advance, complimentary copy of this book.
Profile Image for Laura  Hernandez.
784 reviews82 followers
November 14, 2018
"Look with your heart. Look with your mind."

I just finished reading WinterDream and I'll start by saying that author Chantal Gadoury is truly gifted as her fairy tales are always created with a magic spell that captivates me from beginning to end. This storyline was beautifully flawless and her characters leaped out of the pages and invited me into the magical world of WinterDream were I felt all the emotions that were written on each page and fell further in love with the Nutcracker.

If you are looking for a immersive holiday tale then look no further as this story is simply enchanting. -YA/NA Book Divas

{I requested an advanced readers copy for reviewing purposes and made no guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}
Profile Image for Maria Elena | _mkarys.
437 reviews175 followers
December 4, 2018
This book was a magical experience that filled me with that Christmas spirit that I love!

It will come as no surprise now how much I adore Chantal Gadoury’s books. She always manages to capture the atmosphere of a setting and make the reader live it through the page. Personally I am not an expert on the Nutcracker, my only memories of it are ties to my childhood (guess who’s going to wait for the new Disney movie to come out on DVD now?) but who doesn’t know at least the gist of the tale? The author was able to make me drift back into those childhood memories of the Nutcracker from the very first page with the famous Christmas Eve night in which the magic happens. It was perfect and I loved it!

I was so in love with the Nutcracker and I really liked how the story with Clara played out. He’s such a sweet cinnamon roll! Their first meeting was ripped out of my dreams—so cute! I particularly enjoyed how they work together in the final chapters, where you see the fruits of their mutual trust and understanding come into play into a brilliant kick-ass sequence. One of my personal favorite characters is Uncle Drosselmeyer. God, I wish I had an uncle like that! The my life would surely be magical!

If you are a fan of the Nutcracker, I strongly advise for you to read this book! But if you know nothing about the Nutcracker, I also recommend this book because it was perfection! You really don’t have to know the original story to follow it and your life will be filled with magic.
Profile Image for Lauralee.
Author 2 books18 followers
November 28, 2018
When Clara arrives at a Christmas party, she finds that her parents want her to marry a boorish suitor that will bring her money and a title. She dreads the fact that she will not marry for love. While she is assigned to entertain him, she meets a mysterious man named Anton, who is her uncle’s apprentice. As she flirts with Anton, her uncle gives her a nutcracker as her Christmas gift. When the clock strikes midnight, her nutcracker comes alive, and Clara must break his curse. Can Clara save the Nutcracker or is the Mouse King destined to conquer the Nutcracker’s kingdom of Winter Dream?

Clara is a very relatable character. She is very obedient to her parents that so that she is willing to please them by marrying a man she does not love.There are many times that she is uncertain about herself. She often questions if she can be strong and clever enough to save the Nutcracker and his kingdom. However, she learns to trust and have faith in herself. There were a few times that I did find her character frustrating. She was very weak and was often a damsel-in distress. However, she becomes a mature and tough character in the end.

Overall, this novel is about faith, love, and choices. The message of this book is to follow your heart. The characters needed more character development. The instant love between Clara and the Nutcracker made the novel seem very thin. I was disappointed that my favorite characters from "The Nutcracker" like Mother Ginger only made a token appearance in the story. I was a little upset that we did not get to explore much of the magical kingdom of Winter Dream. There were some questions that were left unanswered. Despite these flaws, it was still a very enjoyable story and was faithful to original fairy tale! The writing still has that magical charm that you often find in fairy tales. I highly recommend this story for fans of Stolen, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, and The Bear and the Nightingale! Winter Dream is a sweet little holiday story that you will want to reread every Christmas!
(Note: This book was given to me as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.)
Profile Image for Dave Wickenden.
Author 9 books89 followers
December 3, 2018
This is the retelling of the classic Christmas story of the Nutcracker. For those who love the story, the ballet, or the children’s movie; you will not be disappointed.

Ms Gadoury’s mastery of words transports the reader into 19th century Russia with the grand festivals and massive homes of the rich. No doubt because of my love of the music, I found myself humming the haunting melodies of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece while immersed in her story.

This is a love story and Clara is no child. But it has all the wonder, excitement and danger that we have grown to love in past versions. This is great storytelling and I enjoyed the retelling immensely.
Profile Image for Angel (Bookn.All.Night).
1,357 reviews27 followers
December 1, 2022
I haven't read a Nutcracker retelling before. Honestly, I forgot I even had this gorgeous edition from The Beacon Book Box. Serious case of too many books, not enough memory 😂

Anywho, I love fantasy, I love Christmas, and I have always enjoyed the Nutcracker. This was a very fun read and one I recommend for others who love the same as well.
Profile Image for Lainy.
609 reviews58 followers
December 24, 2018
Perfect fairytale

That was the best fairy tale retelling I've read, I love anything to do with the Nutcracker and this as the best retelling, it stayed close to the original tale but bringing it forward with a modernish twist.
Profile Image for Reem.
267 reviews4 followers
December 1, 2018
4.5 magical stars

"Magical beings are all around us. Some are more obvious to see than others. But we all have magic living inside of ourselves."

Once again I've read another beautiful, magical fairytale by Chantal Gadoury.
WinterDream is the perfect winter/christmas read. It's a retelling of the Nutcracker. It's been a while since I read the original one, but I loved Chantal's version so much. She writes the best kind of fairytales. The ones filled with magic, adventures and true love, and also laced with evil, horrors and cruelty. Just the perfect combination.

As usual her writing is elegant and magical. The world of WinterDream was magical and breathtaking, with lively characters that you'll fall in love with. It was a bit slow-paced for my taste, but that didn't stop me from falling under its spell.
I really liked how everything wasn't easily given away, like some fairytales tend to be. When I began the book, I thought I had everything figured out. But then I kept finding shocking truths and surprises along the way, and while I had strong guesses about the ending, I had no idea how it would happen.
Profile Image for Zach.
461 reviews1 follower
December 8, 2019
Interesting read. I am not super familiar with The Nutcracker, so it was cool to see the story told like this. Reminded me somewhat of Narnia or Stardust.

I must note, I saw two typos, and I know someone who will be most displeased to discover them.

Overall though, an enjoyable Christmas read.
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