Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones ~ 436 pages ~ published 2/7/17 by Thomas Dunne Books
The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride….
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind and spirit and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesel can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.
But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds–and the mysterious man who rules it–she soon faces an impossible decision. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.
What I Thought:
As a giant fan of the movie Labyrinth (with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly from 1986), when I heard the premise of this book, I was immediately intrigued. Upon reading it, I was pleasantly surprised in the best way possible. It has very loose ties to the story in the movie, but it is a story completely its own that caused me many tears and revelations.
I really loved the characters in this book. I related quite a bit to Liesl (Elisabeth) in her love of music, her fear of inadequacy, and her fierce love for those she loved. I ended up really loving The Goblin King (Der Erlkonig) once we got to his softer side. Even Kathe, who I was annoyed by in the beginning, grew on me by the end of the book. The character development in Wintersong was fantastic. I felt like everyone grew so much, but in a believable way and in a believable timeframe.
I thought the world building was very well done. The Underground was thoroughly creepy, while at the same time being intriguing. I enjoyed the ways in which the Underground tried to keep Liesl at bay, but then sometimes made way for her. It was constantly changing, which kept me guessing. I loved it.
Something else I thought was done very well were Liesl’s internal struggles. She was so scared of failure, scared of being found wanting, scared of not being enough. I found myself crying several times. I have felt the same way about my music so many times, that someone will find me out as a fraud and announce it to the world. That I am not enough for someone. The internal struggle was quite poignant, and it definitely made it worth every star that I gave this book.
I know that a lot of people will cry “Stockholm syndrome!” at this book, but I have always been a Beauty and the Beast fan as well, so I guess that doesn’t bother me so much 😉 I found the love story to be full of push and pull, give and take, on both sides. This made it much more believable to me. I cannot wait to see what happens in the second book!!
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I gave Wintersong 5 STARS! If you enjoy a heart-wrenching love story with a questionable hero and a flawed heroine, then this is the book for you!!
Are you interested in learning more about this book/series? Check out the links below!
Have you read Wintersong? How about the sequel, Shadowsong? What did you think? Let’s talk in the comments!
Love and happy reading,