Published by Thomas Dunne on February 7th 2017
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
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.
This was one of those books that we both felt pretty neutral on because while it had pretty prose with vivid descriptions that transported us into the world, it left us wanting a lot more. This felt over before it really began and had us wishing the pace slowed down so we could savour the story, the relationships, and the world just a bit more.
While every story is a copy of a copy of a copy, and WINTERSONG is technically a retelling, this story felt like nothing new. It was too easy to compare this one to others that have come before it and realize that these books did things so much better than this. It was too easy, too predictable, and too similar to dozens of other stories that have the same basic plot line.
However, we both agreed that the musical aspects were really interesting and we loved to see how it was incorporated into the plot itself and that it was deemed part of the magic system as this made us both really happy. Although Dani found it difficult to understand some of the more specialist lingo, Jamie was pretty happy to see music being used in that way as a musician. In relation to this, the magic worldbuilding was incredible but definitely not used as much as it could have been.
We were both disappointed with the quickness of all the relationships as it felt as though things happened too quickly. We were hoping for a magical journey but it felt as though everything started and stopped too quickly without us really getting to be immersed.
This is definitely a check out from the library or a pass from us. Or just watch the movie Labyrinth. Either or will work fine.
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What did you think? Let us know in the comments, making sure to preface any spoilery comments with “SPOILER DISCUSSION”.
- Have you seen the movie Labyrinth?
- What is your favourite book that incorporates music?
- What do you like about retellings?
One copy of WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones. INTL via TBD!
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