Thursday 5 October 2023

Upon a Frosted Star by M A Kuzniar

Once a year, as the snow begins to fall on London, invitations arrive to a fabulous party held in a remote manor house. Attending for the first time, Forster is amazed and bewitched, by the opulence and magic of the evening, not least by the ethereal, enigmatic ballet dancer who steals his heart. Determined to find out who she is, he returns at a later date but finds nothing but an abandoned house and a lake on which a solitary swan is swimming. He must wait till the next winter before he can see his beautiful dancer again.

Through his love for Odetta, Forster finds inspiration for, and success in, his art, but they cannot be together until he can unravel the spell that ballet impresario Rothbard has cast over her

A mix of fantasy and historical fiction, Upon A Frosted Star is a beautiful, heartbreaking re-telling of Swan Lake, with a sprinkle of Gatsby-inspired parties thrown in. The story is simple in some ways - we know who the good guys are, we want them to live happily ever after, and we know that Rothbard is undoubtedly evil despite the magical ballets that he produces - but the telling is captivating.

The only negative I could find was that at times things move along a little too slowly. Part of this is due to Forster and Odetta being only able to meet in winter, but I also thought there was a little too much unnecessary (in my opinion at least) detour into the relationship between Forster and his friends, Marvin and Daisy. I wanted the story to stay with Forster and Odetta, and their attempts to be free from Rothbart's evil designs 

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