Wintersong (Wintersong #1) by S. Jae-Jones
Published: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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.
It took me a very very very long time to finish this book. I started it back in the middle of January and just finished it a few days ago (edited to add that I started this blog post in February, and it is now June…safe to say that it took me a very very very long time to finish this review as well). To say that this story moved slow is an understatement, but I pushed through and I am glad that it’s finally done!
The writing in this story was great, it was probably the only aspect about this book that I enjoyed the most! I thought the book was very well written, and I think what makes me dislike this book is the main character and the very slow moving plot. Since the plot moved so slowly, the world building was fantastic. I could visualize exactly where Liesel was (it also helps that she is underground in a cave, so not much is really needed for that).
What bothered me the most was Liesl, the main character in this story. She was constantly being described as the not so pretty sister, that was very hard working, and had to be the one who kept everything together or nothing would get done. It annoyed me a little bit when Liesl would use this as a reason to try to get her way. But on the flip side, I liked that there wasn’t a fairy godmother to give her a makeover to get the guy in the end. Liesl also had a tendency to flip back and forth with her decisions on whether or not she wanted to be with the Goblin King, queen of the underworld, and basically almost everything.
I could go on, but then I think at that point I’ll just be rambling. I’ll end on an aspect that I enjoyed about the book. I liked that this book didn’t have a traditional relationship or one that necessarily ended with everyone having a happily ever after. It’s nice to see that not every YA book has to follow what has become a cliche. I didn’t feel like I could connect with Liesl and the Goblin King as a couple, but I could definitely understand his reluctance on a lot of things.
If you can handle slow moving plots, and indecisive main characters then I would definitely suggest you pick up this book. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you don’t mind waiting and just totally emersed yourself with Liesl and her story then you will enjoy this book.