Title: Wintersong (Wintersong #1)
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling
Release Day: February 7th 2017
ARC was kindly provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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.

3 stars because my god the writing! 

“You are the one who wanted a happy ending, my dear. So you tell me, how does the story end?”
Tears slipped from my face, and he wiped them away with his thumbs.
“The foolish young man lets the beautiful maiden go.”
“Yes.” His voice was clotted thick with unshed emotion. “He lets her go.”

This book is not for everyone. First of all it is slow as fuck, 30% in and nothing had happened, I had to push myself most of the time to actually finish it and that’s never a good sign. But I did, once I pushed myself past the 30-35% mark, it picked up pace and it got to the plot, which lasted about another 30-40% before it dropped again. So really, you can reduce this into a novella and not miss a moment. It. Is.THAT. SLOW. And it has a lyrical writing that combined with the pace, it makes for a very slow reading experience. But you know what? I liked it.

“Love is the bridge that spans the world above and below, and keeps the wheel of life turning.”

This is a retelling of Labyrinth. Which I’m not familiar with, but I saw it on NetGalley and I loved the cover, the blurb sounded awesome and I went for it. Liesl, a young girl who loves music and her sister Kathe are the two protagonists that get trapped in the Underground by the Goblin King. This is my first book about goblins and I kind of find them fascinating in a disturbing way? The power they had, the underground and all of the creatures, I’ve never read anything like it before. Once the story gets to that part, it all becomes so rich. In dialogue, in characters and the potential this plot has.

“This was the immortality humans were meant to have: to be remembered by those who loved us long after our bodies have crumbled into dust.”

Lyrical writing is something that if done right can make a book so damn good and this one was good. Liesl and the Gobling King form a romantic relationship – which happened sort of out of the blue for me so I didn’t get it at first and I wanted more time to get there but with Kathe to the mix and how he affect the world above as well as the little tales we were told during this about the history of these people, it was so damn good. Although the sisters are not my kind of people, sometimes I just wanted to reach in the book and yell at Liesl because FOR REAL GIRL WTF ARE YOU DOING WAKE THE FUCK UP, but you know what not all fictional characters have to be perfect and I’ll leave it at that.

“Does the crown serve the king or the king serve the crown?”

There’s a hint of politics among worlds, a ton of music that might annoy a lot of readers, some creepy stuff and slow, so damn slow progression with anything that will make you go mad but 80% in I had already paused my reading and went to request the next one. Hopefully it will be a bit faster because there’s so much to read about this world and I know the pacing will make a lot of readers DNF this. But if you’re in the mood for something slow, this is most definitely it.

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21 thoughts on “Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones”

  1. I don’t mind slow, as long as everything else is good, esp if the characters are good. And I like lyrical writing. I don’t know if I’ll be crazy about the music stuff? But I have this book and I’m looking forward it! Especially the goblins since I’ve only read one book about those so far. I also haven’t seen Labyrinth, but I think I’d like to!
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  2. I had such high hopes for this one. And I really, really wanted to love it. As soon as I saw “Goblin King” I had visions of a glammed up David Bowie. LOL Yeah, I didn’t get David Bowie. I got a story that moved at a snail’s pace and I was just begging for something, anything to happen. All the focus on music and composition left me yawning and I never connected to Liesl. But I stuck with it because, like I said, I desperately WANTED to love it. I wanted so much more of the Goblin King and was just left wanting. I still haven’t decided if I’ll pick up the second book, but after seeing a Booktube review from a trusted source, I’m thinking I’ll probably skip it. *sigh*
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    1. Yeah, I totally get it. I didn’t expect David Bowie because I have never seen Labyrinth so maybe that helped to not get my hopes up and it was my first Goblin book. I kind of want to read the next one because the story is so fresh to me, I just read it a few days ago and I want to see how it ends but I get what you’re saying.

  3. I must admit, I’m not a big fantasy reader. I like it but in small doses so when I see a fantasy that moves at a glacial pace, I slide right in and grab a copy because it’s about as much as I can handle to be honest. But this even sounds too slow for me. I bought a copy a while ago because so many were hyping it up. I love lyrical reads and even though the romance sounds a little sudden, I think I’ll still really enjoy it. I must say, your reviews are absolutely brilliant Kei, so damn entertaining. Absolutely loved it! <3

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