Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Book Pub Day: The Kingdom of Sweets by Erika Johansen


Title: The Kingdom of Sweets
Author: Erika Johansen
Genre: Dark Fantasy; Retelling
Publication Date: November 28th, 2023
Publisher: Penguin Group

Light and dark—this is the cursed birthright placed upon Clara and Natasha by their godfather, Drosselmeyer, whose power and greed hold an entire city in his sway. Charming Clara, the favorite, grows into a life of beauty and ease, while Natasha is relegated to her sister’s shadow, ignored and unloved.

But Natasha seizes the opportunity for revenge one Christmas Eve, when Drosselmeyer arrives at the family gala with the Nutcracker, an enchanted gift that offers entry into an alternate world: the Kingdom of Sweets.

Following Clara into the glittering land of snow and sugar, Natasha discovers a source of power far greater than Drosselmeyer: the Sugar Plum Fairy, who offers her own wondrous gifts . . . and chilling bargains. But as Natasha uncovers the truth about a dark destiny crafted long before her birth, she must reckon with forces both earthly and magical, human and diabolical, and decide to which world she truly belongs.


*I received a copy of this book digitally for free and I am leaving this honest review voluntarily*

Hello Fellow Readers,

Before I start getting into the nitty gritty of my review I will admit that I am not as familiar with the story of the Nutcracker as others might be, but despite this, I felt this was the perfect book to kick off this holiday season (even with it being as dark as it is). Johansen's writing was imaginative and beautiful and I very much enjoyed her how very descriptive she but not in a way that felt too much.

This book is very much focused on Natasha 'The Dark Sister' and the consequences of her actions throughout the book, she's not a very likable character but I don't think any of the characters in this was likable or meant to be liked. This was fine, considering the nature of the book. I did very much enjoy the first part of The Kingdom of Sweets but admittedly the middle of the book lost a lot of its steam. There were a lot of parts that seemed to drag on. The ending did pick up a bit but I am not sure if I liked it or not. 

There was also a lot of repetition about the twin sisters and how Natasha was Dark and Clara was light. Yes, I get that it's important to the plot to understand why Natasha and Clara are the way that they are, but you don't need to constantly remind me about it. 

Overall, a gothic fantasy retelling for those who need a bit of darkness in their holiday reads. 

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