Arc Review: Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar

Title: Midnight in Everwood
Author: M.A. Kuzniar
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling
Publication Date: January 25th, 2022
Publisher: Harper 360, HQ
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.”

“There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.” (Goodreads)

I’ve been wanting to read this one ever since I saw the cover. It’s really pretty and perfect for this time of year. I’ve actually never read a book by this author before but do have her Middle Grade series on my tbr. I’m a little sad to say that I didn’t love this one. It was good and unique as I have never read a retelling for the nutcracker before. I’m always curious to see what authors come up with when it comes to retellings. Even though since this one didn’t fully work out for me, I know that many will love the world that this author created.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it is from Marietta Stelle. She loves ballet and the enjoyment that comes from it. Her parents don’t want her to follow her dreams and would rather see her married off. Marietta is determined to live her life the way that she chooses.

I did like that Marietta stood up for herself even if it meant being disowned. No one should ever be forced to marry without their approval. The choice her parents picked out was also quite questionable but they didn’t care even when Marietta brought up her concerns. Her brother was the better of her family and I did like his character.

The book was slow for a good bit of the book but does pick up once she finds herself in another world. Although, the last half did feel a bit rushed especially when it came to her and another character. The new world was very interesting and I liked reading about it.

The only other thing about this book is that at times it can be pretty prosey and it can be a turn off for me.

Overall, this was a good book but I do wish I had loved it more.

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