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.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Alright, so this review is a long time overdue – I picked this book up a while ago and heard bad reviews from people. Now, I always take Goodreads reviews with a grain of salt. There are a ton of Goodreads reviewers who hated the Falling Kingdoms series, for example, a series that I adored! The bad reviews I heard for this book, however, came from friends of mine – friends with the same taste in books as me. I’m glad I decided to pick Wintersong up. Despite what my rating may indicate, I absolutely loved this book. There were just a few things I couldn’t overlook when deciding on a rating.
The plot and premise of Wintersong were fantastic – I loved the underground; its laws, the parties, the Goblin King, was all phenomenally written. I LIVED for the stories of former Goblin Kings, and stories of the current King’s own past. Which brings me to the next thing I loved about the book – The Goblin King. Dear lord, I adored him. He was playful, sexy, mysterious, and mercurial. All of the things I love in a dark and brooding male lead.
I feel as though a lot of readers were turned off by the music in the book. I could see how it may drag on a bit, the descriptions did get a bit long. I, for one, enjoyed it. It was beautifully written and essential to the plot. The plot was structured around the music in Elisabeth’s soul – and I enjoyed how S Jae-Jones incorporated it.
What I didn’t like, however, was Elisabeth. There were chunks of the book during which she just…annoyed me. She was so JEALOUS of her sister, of her brother, of everyone. She was unsure of The Goblin King, often twisting his words to make them seem harsh and hurtful. Half of the “cruel” things he said, she provoked him to say. It really annoyed me. Towards the end of the book, as she gained confidence, I started to enjoy her as a narrator, but the beginning of Wintersong was a struggle for me, purely because of her attitude at times.
That being said, overall I think it was a beautiful book. It was well written, kept me intrigued, and got to me emotionally. I cried throughout the entire last chapter, although the ending did remind me a bit of Titanic (HE COULD HAVE FIT ON THE DAMN DOOR ROSE). Those of you who have read the book may understand this particular reference’s relevance. If you’re curious, message me for an explanation.
My Takeaway: There were elements of the book that frustrated me, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I was lucky enough to receive Shadowsong from the publisher and will be starting it the moment I publish this review! Look for my review of it within the next few days!