Author: S. Jae-Jones
Category: Young Adult
Status: Book 1 of Wintersong series
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 book is a retelling of Labrynth and considering this is the first time I’m even hearing of it, I can’t say anything on similarities. I picked up Wintersong because a lot of people have been reading it and I wanted to read fantasy.
I honestly don’t know how to review this book. I started wondering this half-through the book itself.
Okay first off, the cover is extremely pretty and I want the hardcover of this book only so I can take a hundred pictures of it.
We follow Leisl, being the overlooked child in her family with a gorgeous sister and super talented brother. She used to play with the Goblin King when she was a child and somehow ended up promising him a bride (she’s a child?????) and he comes back to collect it by taking her sister.
At every part of the book, music was interwoven. It meant something. I liked that.
Okay so until about half the book I was pretty interested. It was slow, gave me vibes like that of Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King but I was engaged because of the goblin thing. I haven’t really read stories about goblins so this was new.
But I’ll be honest, after half of the book I just became so bored. I paused reading it and went on to read other books for about a week. I came back only because I had a quarter left and I thought I might as well finish it.
Leisl annoyed me. She kept comparing herself to her sister in terms of beauty and if I counted, we’d probably find way too many times she’d thought about this. She’s a composer but against her younger brother’s brilliant playing, she was overlooked by her musician father. I liked that she loved her family very much and she had a burning passion for composing music. BUT. She annoyed me and when she wasn’t annoying, she bored me.
The Goblin King was very interesting. He’s probably the reason I managed to finish the book. I wanted to know more of him and every little while another layer of him peeled back, showing us a new part of him. He loves music as well and that’s why he bonded with Leisl. To be honest, it’s quite unfortunate that he fell for Leisl because other than the music and love for her family, she doesn’t have much to show.
The romance between Leisl and The Goblin King was very slow burn. It took A LONG time for it to develop and by then I’d already had my bored hiatus/pause. I wanted to see more of them together and we didn’t get much of it until the end.
Most of the slow burn was because of Leisl. She did not believe that he liked her, she kept getting hung up over things and when they FINALLY got together, I was almost at a point of yelling at her in frustration.
I think if you have patience and can get past the slow development in the plot, you might like it more than I did. After sitting through all of that, there was no exhilaration or twists and I became disappointed by the ending.
Will I read the next book, Shadowsong? I don’t know. I am interested in knowing how the story progresses but I don’t know if I can sit through another book with Leisl as the MC.