I bought this book 🙂
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Retelling
Blurb from Goodreads:
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
Hi all, today I am coming at you with a book review! Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this to debut! I was browsing the “readers also enjoyed” section of Goodreads over the summer, and this book popped up! Winter is my second favourite season, and I was sooo attracted to the cover. It was love at first sight, but then I saw that it wasn’t coming out until February… but just let me tell you now: it was well worth the wait!
First of all, I really loved how music was an motif throughout the book. It basically drove the relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King. I also love that this book is about goblins! Honestly, I’ve read tons and tons of supernatural books, but never one like this. I know that it’s based off the film Labyrinth, but I’ve never seen it. It was a nice change of pace from all vampire media I’ve consumed. To further add on to the greatness of this book, the author is Korean, so it falls under the diverse books category! YA seriously lacks in this department, and I’m always trying to find diverse reads to enrich my life.
“What would you do, if you were a free man?”
“I would take my violin and play. I would walk the world and play, until someone called me by name and called me home.” – Goblin King
Anyway, on to the meat of the review! I loved the relationships between the characters! I really enjoyed reading the exchanges between Liesl and Käthe, the two sisters who get involved with the goblin world. Käthe is the younger, prettier sister, who dreams about a bigger and more luxurious life, rather than the one they live in the countryside. Liesl is the musical protege who is cursed by the gender expectations of the late 18th century. The Goblin King uses Käthe to get to Liesl, and it was interesting reading about that power struggle.
Once Liesl is physically in the Underground, I enjoyed the relationship she developed with the other goblins, as well as the king. Liesl is a pretty solid character, she works hard for her family, but she also has flaws. This wasn’t a Cinderella story, and I appreciate it when authors work to make their stories complex and relatable. Although to be frank, I’m happy I follow S. Jae-Jones on Twitter, because she would answer questions about the characters. She has stated that she considers Liesl bipolar. If I didn’t have that knowledge prior to reading, I would gotten very frustrated with Liesl’s constant mood swings. So please keep this in mind while reading; I have seen many reviews complaining about this character “flaw” who don’t know about her bipolar disorder.
“A candle unused is nothing but wax and wick,” I said.“I would rather light the flame, knowing it will go out than sit forever in darkness.” – Liesl
As for the Goblin King, he was delicious. I’m such a sucker for the bad boy troupe, but he had his own flaws and pain. I simply wish he didn’t try so hard to control himself around Liesl. Let the monster out boy, we all want to see it!
My one critic would have to be that it was slow during some parts, but that didn’t bother me too much! The beautiful writing more than made up for it. Oh, and guys. The ending killed me. I stared at the ceiling for about 30 minutes wondering if the ending was real. However, I heard there’s going to be a sequel. Thank. Goodness.
So let me know what you thought of the book! I would love to know. Thanks for reading!
“I am not a saint; I am a sinner. I want to sin again and again and again.” – Liesl
Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 hearts
Cover: 5 hearts
Plot: 5 hearts
Characters: 5 hearts
Pacing: 4 hearts
Writing: 5 hearts