Author: S. Jae-Jones
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Synopsis: Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
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.
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Wintersong is one of those books that I fell in love with the title and synopsis of a long time ago, and have been impatiently awaiting it ever since. Although I’ve never seen Labyrinth, the whole plot just seems magical and exciting, and I knew it was going to be a book that I absolutely adored.
I’m not sure what my favorite part of this book was – whether it was the beautifully detailed world, the characters who had so much depth and made the book fun, or the plot that was both haunting and unforgettable.
I honestly hadn’t read anything like this, although I try to read quite a bit of fantasy. It was simply a beautiful book, and I truly loved the way that music was incorporated into the novel. It adds so much extra to the book, and makes it even more enchanting. The characters are also well written and completely full of depth and personality, and it’s super easy to really connect with them while reading this book.
Want to know what else I really loved about Wintersong? The fact that so much of it was based on family ties and love. So often it seems like the whole element of family is completely missing from YA fantasy, but that wasn’t the case in this book, and I applaud the author for it. In fact, it actually focuses on the two sisters in the book, and the depths one sister would go to in order to save the other.
The whole goblin premise was new to me, as I’ve never actually read anything else with goblins, and I have to say, I think it was really well done – I found it enjoyable and different, and it really was of interest to me from the very first moment that I picked it up.
If you love YA fantasy, you really have to check out this book. It was such a beautifully written novel and had so many of the elements that make a great fantasy, all wrapped up into one (with an absolutely gorgeous cover). The author clearly has a gift when it comes to storytelling, and I’ll definitely be reading anything else she writes!
Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and erstwhile editrix. When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.