Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Publish Date: February 7, 2017
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

In "Wintersong," it is the late 1800s and Liesl is a young adult haunted by music and the Goblin King. She is the plain sister. Her sister Kathe is the beauty. Her beloved brother is the one that their parents push to become a musician as they believe it is more of a job for a male rather than a female. Liesl is the one that composes the gorgeous music that Josef plays and that enchants the Goblin King to make Liesl his bride. Inspired by the movie "The Labyrinth," this is a fantastical story of love, passion, and music.

So first off, this story is inspired by The Labyrinth, which was one of my favorite movies as a young one, but it is not exactly like The Labyrinth. There are no Jim Henson puppets here. The Goblin King still fits the mold of David Bowie's character in the movie. Many of the rules of The Labyrinth are still in play in this book but the author only uses that world as a jumping off point for weaving this great story. 

World-building is always important to me in genres like fantasy and this book definitely has it. You don't need to have seen The Labyrinth in order to understand the world of the Goblin King. The author weaves in a lot of detail to make the world come alive for readers. I loved the way that the author was able to make this fantasy world become realistic. 

The writing of the book is also really good. There are some really beautiful turns of phrase in this book that made for great reading. There are many passages that will stick in my mind long after I closed this book. 

Overall, this was a great story and an impressive debut. It is billed as being a young adult book and may be most appropriate for older young adult readers based on some of the aspects of the relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King. 


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