Review: Kingdom of Sweets - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

This gloriously transportive reimagining of The Nutcracker tells the tale of twin sisters, divided by envy and magic, set against each another one fateful Christmas Eve.

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.

Book Type:

Fantasy / Horror

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Review: Kingdom of Sweets
By Erika Johansen

Review: Kingdom of Sweets

A sinister retelling of the Nutcracker through the story of twin sisters whose envy reaches a fever pitch one fateful Christmas Eve.

Cursed by their godfather, Drosselmeyer, Clara and Natasha were the embodiment of light and dark. Clara was beautiful and bright, doted on by her family and society, while Natasha was relegated to a life in shadow, dismissed by those around her. On Christmas Eve, Drosselmeyer gifts Clara an enchanted nutcracker and announces her engagement to Conrad—the wealthy heir Natasha loves. Betrayed and seething, Natasha follows Clara and her nutcracker prince into the magical Kingdom of Sweets.

Natasha quickly realizes not everything—and everyone—is what they seem in the saccharine Kingdom of Sweets, and in a moment of anger and desperation, Natasha strikes a wicked bargain with the Sugar Plum Fairy. As she delights in the fruits of that vengeful covenant, Natasha begins to uncover the nefarious intentions of both Drosselmeyer and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Natasha must grapple with what she’s done, facing the darkest parts of who she is, if she’s to escape a future still cast in shadow.

Johansen delivers a unique dark fantasy that’s deeply immersive and nuanced—a grim exploration of envy, accountability, and female rage. While the plot somewhat slowed halfway through, I found myself utterly absorbed by the lushness of Johansen’s world and the horror-tinged story she wove. The KINGDOM OF SWEETS was incredibly imaginative and creepy, feeling like a sweeping gothic nightmare from which you couldn’t wake.

A holiday must read for fans of horror and Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

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