Book Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Thomas Dunne Books
Published Feb. 7, 2017
436 Pages

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.- Goodreads

I almost didn’t finish this book. I was a chapter away from putting the book down. But I didn’t and surprisingly I enjoyed this read. But there were things that needed to be in this book that weren’t there.

Firstly, Liesl is desperate and doesn’t have life to her as an adult. Yes, she goes through some changes which causes her inner child to disappear but once given the opportunity to be free in a sense, her freedom is just anger and it is like that for most of the chapters. Even then her anger seemed forced, her music seemed forced. Liesl is not necessarily the strong independent character you would think she would be become or be. Yes, she pushes through things but the lazy way to explain why is because she had the power of love help her -_-

Lisel relationship with the Goblin King is forced. There is no way around that. Did he love her? Yes, I think and felt that he did. But Lisel. . . I don’t think she truly loved him. Maybe as a child but not as an adult. He was a means to an end and as opposed to trying to figure things out and fight to be with the one she loves, she accepted things for what they were and went about her business.

Granted these are strong points to not like this book and Liesl and her crap personality and romance was the reason I was going to put the book down. But I didn’t because I liked the Goblin King and the author was able to keep me wanting the truth about the King’s origins and ultimately the curse.

There wasn’t enough focus to try to find that information, which made me even more disappointed in Lisel. For the most part, she didn’t care and when there was a glimpse that she would, it disappeared. I wished the author incorporated more mythology into the story. It would have gave the book much more cushion to sit on.

However, surprisingly enough the plot moved at a really good pace. There wasn’t a whole lot going on in the second half of the book, which sucks but as a reader, I was I was pulled into the promise of Lisel saving the day and mythology.

I can see why some people didn’t enjoy this book. I can also see why people did not finish this book but I enjoyed it despite wanting more. I’m curious about the second book and that is more because of the Goblin King and less of Lisel.


2.5 Pickles