Title: Wintersong (Wintersong, 1)
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Titan Books (7th February 2017)
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.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones is at its heart a fairy story. Eighteen-year-old Liesl has heard stories of the stunning and perilous Goblin King all her life, she even played with him as a child. But as she grew older, she drew further and further away from his magic as she was forced to grow-up. Yet his influence still lingered in her music. When the Goblin King takes her sister, Liesl risks everything to follow her into the Underground to try and win her back. Despite the warnings, Liesl finds herself drawn to the Underground and the Goblin King. With time running out and the old laws against her, Liesl finds herself with an impossible choice.
As a fan of the film Labyrinth (1986) as soon as I read the blurb of WINTERSONG I was instantly intrigued. If you’re a fan of the film, then you are in for a treat! WINTERSONG has a similar feel to it, but the story is a much more traditional one – Liesl’s sister is not wished away, but choses to go with the Goblin King enchanted by his magic. I think it works well as a standalone (which is what I originally thought it was) but there’s plenty of scope for a sequel. WINTERSONG was a nice surprise; I really enjoyed it.
Jae-Jones tells a really compelling story that draws upon the traditional fairy tale narrative. There’s a definite familiar feel to the story as Liesl treats the stories about the Goblin King in a similar manner to how we treat folk tales. At its heart WINTERSONG is a story about love, and its many different faces whether that be romantic love or familial love. The plot was pretty much what I expected it would be, but Jae-Jones really draws you into the story. I found Liesl really appealing as a main character because I shared some traits with her. The Goblin King was really mysterious; and it was fun to watch Liesl pit her wits against him.
At times the pacing of the story was a little slow in my opinion, and I was a little bored, but it would soon pick up and Jae-Jones would draw me back into the story. The story also focuses very much on Liesl and the Goblin King, so the other characters can feel a little flat – especially Liesl’s family. That being said, I did really enjoy reading WINTERSONG and I am definitely intrigued by the possibility of a sequel. WINTERSONG is definitely a book for readers who love either the fairy tale or fantasy genres, and if that’s you then I definitely recommend that you give this book a go.