I received a free physical copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her spirit and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.
But when her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl must 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.
Wintersong is a work of young, adult fantasy that draws upon German fairy tales from thte 19th century. You can see the subtle ways in which S. Jae-Jones implements these works in her writing style and the motifs found throughout the normal, particularly in the beginning. I, myself, found elements of Snow White and Cinderella. Jones doesn’t make it blatantly obvious but weaves them in expertly. However, there are also the more stereotypical elements of fairy tales found within Wintersong: magic and wishes, Goblins and changelings, a love that transcends the norm and alters the world around them. All of these come together to bring a whimsical tale that draws you in from the beginning.
Liesl is the oldest of her siblings and takes on many elements of Cinderella; she is the least beautiful out of her and her sister, she toils away at her chores alongside her Mother in order to keep the cogs of the family moving forward, and she does everything to help everyone else without truly thinking about herself. She is selfless and caring. However, with the introduction of the Goblin King and him taking her sister, Kathe, to the Underground in order to lure her in, Liesl becomes both selfless and selfish in order to save those around her. Liesl is a character that you are immediately drawn to, always looking out for those around her. She has a fire within her that is hard to quench and her love runs deep within her, something that the Goblin King cannot stop as she yearns more and more for her return. It is Liesl who helps the Goblin King in his transformation and helps him to understand himself and to allow him to love harder than he ever has before.
I loved the relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King, the way that they seamlessly fit together through music and how intimately they know each other through their playing. But, due to their circumstances, there will always be difficulties between them which causes there relationship to move back and forth as they attempt to find a middle ground that allows them to love, trust, and fully understand each other. It is due to their relationship, and the outcome late within the novel that caused me to well up with tears – something that I haven’t done in a long while and truly proves the brilliance of this novel (I don’t cry easily!). Their love is selfless, yet selfish, much like Liesl herself, but it is pure.
S. Jae-Jones brings in Wintersong a magical, dark, beautiful, and passionate narrative that is filled with love. The musical elements alongside Jones’ writing style make this narrative truly wonderful to read with the writing being lyrical in its own way. You cannot help but be drawn in by the metaphors and the way in which Jones’ elegantly describes the feelings and emotions of these characters. Nothing feels forced or out of place, but fits perfectly with each character and their personality. I was truly drawn into these characters and heavily invested in Liesl and the Goblin King, truly loving the development between the two. I would highly recommend this novel for those who love the magical, fantastical and beautiful love interests.