" The Enchanted Sonata" is a wonderful story written by Heather Dixon Wallwork. Based on the tale of the Nutcracker, this story takes you into the real reason the little man played the flute and mice and children followed him. Clara Stahlbalm is a 15 year old pianists and she already has a future planned to marry the amazing Johann Kahler, the greatest piano player of that time.
One day Clara receives a book and a toy Nutcracker in the mail. Clara lives with her mother and younger brother and she begins reading the story to them. Clara becomes so involved in the reading of the book that before she realizes it she is thrown into the story, in the Kingdom of the Imperia.
Erik is bitter and determined to kill the Prince. Erik's story goes back to when he was a child and he killed the King because he thought the King didn't stop the rats from killing his family. This story is full of wolf and bear sized rats that will eat a person in a minute. They attack all the time. What Erik doesn't realize is the King didn't know about the family in the woods so he had no control over the killings of Erik's family.
Nicolai and Clara are on a mission to get Clara back to her time, but Nic seems to be falling for her. All Clara wants is to get home and make it to the concert so she can play for Johann and hopes he will fall in love with her too.
Clara soon realizes she must stop Erik from playing the different songs that work against the Prince. He wants the Prince dead so he can take over the palace. Clara and Nicolai read the book for clues on how to unlock the spell. Soon Clara realizes she must play the songs on a piano there in Imperia and the trick Erik added to the songs is to play them backwards. Clara does it! The child and soldiers are alive and she is back home playing her recital. Once Clara plays the music all she can do is think of Nicolai. Johann comes to congratulate her and play a duet with her when she realizes it isn't Johann she truly loves, it is Nicolai. And Clara knows she must go back. The fairies sent the book to put Clara and Nic together and to save the village of the mean magician, Erik.
Together Nicolai decides not to execute Erik and he leaves. Clara and Nic decide to marry because they are in love.
This was a darling book with very descriptive details of the ugly, gross, horrific rats. The rats were disgusting and the only one who could truly have them leave the city was the magician. As he played his flute they danced merrily along behind him.
Definitely the story has a cross between the Pied Piper and the Nutcracker with lots of extras thrown in. I read it to my grandchildren as a fairy tale book full of excitement and suspense. I really liked the book and it would be perfect for ages 12+ to read on their own, Good book!
Dixon Wallwork is a musician, animator and author.
Working under Disney Interactive, she has illustrated for
many popular franchises including Lucasfilm, Marvel and
Pixar, and was the story lead for the Moana playset. She is
the author of two novels published by Greenwillow Books –
HarperCollins: Entwined and
For more information visit Dixon Wallwork at www.story-monster.com.
Say hello and see more of her gorgeous illustrations on Instagram,
and Twitter. Also, thanks to Smith Publicity for allowing me to read the book. *The opinions are 100% my own, and *I was not monetarily compensated for the review. *I received the book free of charge in exchange for a honest, written review.