One of my blogging goals this year was to share more book reviews. I love reading and have really begun avidly again so I think it’s high time I start sharing my thoughts on the books I read with you. I hope this is something you will all look forward to.
You might have noticed from the bookish content I have shared in the past that I like historical fiction, thrillers and romance. I’m also beginning to delve into the genre of magical realism and fantasy, and even horror to some degree.
The first book I read in 2022 was Midnight in Everwood by M.A Kunziar and it was enchanting.
Synopsis for Midnight in Everwood
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.
There was something truly magical about Midnight in Everwood. The thing that most stands out is the beautiful writing. The descriptions in this novel are truly delicious. You honestly feel as though you are in a winter wonderland in a land when the air is scented with sugar and gingerbread. I loved that about this book; the balls were described with exquisite detail as was every meal they ate. Which, as you might imagine, generally was a meal of sugar plums and chocolate and gingerbread.
However much I liked the writing however, I also really admired Marietta’s character. An English girl expected to conform to the expectations of both society and her parents, Marietta dreams of being a ballet dancer. She longs to break away and live a life for herself, not for others. And her bluntness and ability to ire her father really demonstrated her courage and determination. But Marietta is also proud, defiant to the point of foolishness and she pays the price of those flaws Everwood. She also learns and grows in Everwood and falls in love.
Her time in Everwood isn’t magical, it’s horrible. But she learns great courage and falls in love and returns to her own world changed. I loved the ending and thought the novel was quite novel in many respects. See what I did there?
I hope to read more from this author, although I do believe this was her debut novel, so I’ll likely have to wait a while.
Have you read this book? Do you think you will? Share in the comments below!