Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4 Stars
I have…a lot of emotions. I’ve waffled back and forth on this rating so many times its insane. This book gave me so many feels! Good feels, bad feels, lovey feels…I’m honestly kind of reeling still. I finished my re-read of Wintersong last night at 1am and promptly wrote my review (I didn’t write one the first time around for some reason). I finished Shadowsong less than 12 hours later.
The first thing I will say is that this is a quick read. I devoured this book. And I mean DEVOURED. I haven’t eaten since I started it last night and I only slept around six hours. Pretty sure I even dreamed about the sexy Goblin King. I mean, who wouldn’t dream about the guy though? He’s pretty dreamy.
SO for fans of the The Goblin King, I feel I should say outright – this book does not feature him heavily. He is mentioned a lot, and his history is finally shown, but he and Elisabeth spend around 90% of the book completely apart. Romance is not the focus of Shadowsong – you have been warned! S Jae-Jones gives you glimpses of it, but the main focus of Shadowsong is Josef. I missed my Goblin King, but I did enjoy this book, perhaps more than the first (as my rating indicates). There was more of a focus on the magic, the history of the Underground and the history of the King himself. I liked the stories of the past, the folklore, the original take on goblins.
The only thing that kept this particular read from being a 5 star book, for me, was the overly flowery writing. Now, I know that S Jae-Jones is a flowery writer. I love the way she writes for the most part – Wintersong and most of Shadowsong were absolutely beautiful. But, I found myself skim reading towards the end of the book, it was just too much at times. Additionally, I felt as though the blurb for Shadowsong was a bit misleading – Elisabeth spends MAYBE 5% of the book in the Underground. Though I understand why the book was written the way it was, and really enjoyed it as a whole, I kept finding myself wondering when she was FINALLY going into the Underground! I even referred back to the blurb because I thought I had misread it…but no! It says right there that she has to go back into the Underground, which she does…EVENTUALLY.
My only other very small complaint was that I predicted the ending of the book before I even picked it up to read it. I guessed before starting Shadowsong what would happen, and my guess was 100% correct.
My Takeaway: Overall, I enjoyed the sequel to Wintersong. I actually liked it more than the original, despite the lack of romance. I did miss The Goblin King, but loved the magic present in Shadowsong. The overall story was beautiful and clever, a very unique premise to be sure. AND for those who found Elisabeth a bit frustrating in the first book, she is much more relatable in this one. I liked her more as a narrator and connected with her more as well.