GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ The Kingdom of Sweets: A Novel of the Nutcracker by Erika Johansen | I Smell Sheep

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Kingdom of Sweets: A Novel of the Nutcracker by Erika Johansen

A dark retelling of the Nutcracker.

As we begin to transition from Halloween to the holiday season, THE KINGDOM OF SWEETS by New York Times bestselling author of Queen of the Tearling trilogy Erika Johansen (on-sale 11/28) is the perfect horrific and magical companion to the rapidly chilling nights of the coming winter. A dark retelling of the Nutcracker, Johansen expertly crafts a new frigid world of magic, deception, blood, and revenge that will consume readers until the very last page.
by Erika Johansen
November 28, 2023
Genre: Folklore, dark fantasy
Light and dark. Twins Clara and Natasha are cursed as such by their godfather, the powerful sorcerer Drosselmeyer. Clara, the favorite, grows into a life of beauty and ease, while Natasha is cast aside as her shadow, ignored and neglected and—one Christmas Eve, betrayed by her family. But she finds a chance of revenge when Drosselmeyer arrives with an enchanted Nutcracker that offers passage into an alternative world: the Kingdom of Sweets. Here, Natasha discovers a power far greater than she has ever encountered before—and a dark bargain that might grant her deepest desire.

For readers that crave complex, selfish female characters; for those who read chilling stories late into the night; and everyone who enjoys a dark retelling with fresh twists and turns, THE KINGDOM OF SWEETS takes the magic of the ballet and twists it into a devious, dangerous tale that readers won’t hesitate to sink their teeth into.

"Johansen transforms a beloved holiday classic into a dark tale of vengeance.... Fans of artistically influenced, realistic historical fiction wrapped in moral allegory will relish Natasha's Nutcracker-adjacent narrative.”—Booklist (starred)

"The famous Christmas ballet takes a sinister turn in Johansen’s spooky retelling... It would be a simple thing to take the outlines of The Nutcracker ballet and make it grim, but Johansen is doing a lot of delicate character work here, primarily around envy, social limitations on women’s choices, and accountability. The world beyond the candy fantasy is satisfyingly creepy but also an effective landscape for exploring what happens when you ignore the rotten core of your deepest desires. An eerie and sophisticated dark fantasy."—Kirkus (starred)

"In this stand-alone novel, Johansen writes a beautifully twisted version of The Nutcracker, exploring the nature of revenge and its costs in horror-tinged fantasy. Recommend to fans of V.E. Schwab and Hannah Whitten."—Library Journal


About the Author:

Erika Johansen grew up and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing.

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