Ads 468x60px

Monday, December 22, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #20: Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Title: Winterspell
Author: Claire Legrand
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 30 2014
Publishing House:  Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781442465985
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


New York City, 1899, Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-perfect daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, and her father is abducted - by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to surive Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets - and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive fairy queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed - if she leaves at all.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)

I know this book got a lot of rather low ratings over on goodreads, and while normally that would dissuade me from buying a book I was feeling rather adventurous and thought why the hell not? Luckily I didn't hate the book and that little issue with the statue that a lot of people commented on? I found that I was oddly okay with it. It was a good looking statue.

It's not easy leading a double life. On one hand Clara is the mayor's daughter; prim, proper and perfect as can be on the other she's training to fight under the odd Drosselmeyer's tutelage. Little does she know that she's going to be putting all the skills she's learned to the test when strange creatures enter her home and abduct her father on Christmas eve forcing her to put her trust in Nicholas as they travel to the lands of Cane to save her father.

Clara starts of a little wimpy but it was great to see her grow as a character as the book progressed. I also liked how Legrand explored Clara's sexuality in the book because while it's obvious that she had a thing for Nicholas I'm also pretty sure she was into Anise which makes her bisexual. I haven't seen a lot of LGBT characters in fantasy so this was a surprise.

Okay, so about that statue issue. Clara might have had a thing going on for a good looking statue and maybe that might be uncomfortable for people because it is an inanimate object, I couldn't blame her. As I said, dude was hunky and turned out to be Nicholas. No big surprise there. His relationship with Clara was kind of rocky at first and he might be a little crazy but thank goodness he managed to fix himself and their relationship.

I also liked how deliciously dark the book actually was. There's a lot of misery and death and depravity and a whole bunch of sick and crazy people in it. Also drugs and a faery war. And the world building was quite detailed and highly imaginative. 

Truthfully, I'm not that familiar with the Nutcracker story so I don't know how true this stayed to the original and what aspects of it Legrand kept in this retelling. What I can say is that I liked the story and I'm glad that this book ended well and is a stand alone.


"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Finally! Another Novel Nails feature. I did this set a few weeks back and you can find it on my Tumblr in case anyone is interested. I'll place the links down below.

The cover was way too pretty to pass so I thought I'd do a set inspired by it. 

Nail polish used:
OPI Haven't the Foggiest
OPI Miss You-niverse

The pretty book.

I made a gradient using the purple and silver on three nails.

Close up of the hand drawn art. A raven, thorns and the gate (I have no idea what it is) on the cover.

Added a few jewels too.

The thumb.

Hope you like this set and if you want to check out my Instagram click HERE. For my Tumble, HERE.