Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina, but as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered. At the wishes of her family, she will be obligated to marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Although Drosselmeier’s magic is darker than Marietta could have imagined….
When he constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself walking through a land of snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets and must find a way to return home.
Midnight is Everwood is a beautiful retelling of the Nutcracker. Set in Nottingham in 1906 this enchanting tale captured me immediately and whisked me off to the the magical world of Everwood. As you would expect Everwood is an wonderful cold and snowy world exquisitely described by the author from the frosty scenery to the mouthwatering food descriptions and explanations of the ballet poses. This is a world which appears sugar-coated on the outside but as we delve deeper it’s harbouring a more dark and sinister side. This gorgeously rich world is well constructed with a vibrant cast of characters and vivid imagery. I enjoyed the combination of historical fiction and fantasy and with the additional Nutcracker overtones it all coalesced beautifully. Set at a slow pace I was able to take the time to savour every exquisite detail.
Marietta is a strong female protagonist determined to live her life the way she wants to live it and not the way her parents dictate. Fiercely independent she wants to forge her own way in society and not be married off to someone she doesn’t love. She is determined to fulfil her dreams and continue with her passion for ballet dancing. She creates wonderful strong and empowering friendships with Pirlipata and Dellara, who are both equally interesting characters. The villains are brilliantly portrayed, Dr Drosselmeir is an intriguing character and I liked him initially, however it’s not too long before he begins to show a dark and sinister side. King Gelum is cruel and vindictive, a really chilling character who also makes the perfect villain and you will loathe him. The romance is kept to the minimal and it is written in such a way that it is very slow to build and doesn’t dominate the story. However, as a fantasy romance fan I would have liked to have seen more romance in the storyline and more closure to Marietta’s blossoming relationship.
Midnight in Everwood is perfect for the run up to Christmas. This beautifully written wintery fairytale is perfect for all fans of fantasy retellings and historical fantasy. I look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.
Publication Date (UK): 28 October 2021
Page Count: 352
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊