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.
Published: February 7th, 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I really, really, really wanted to love this book but it just fell a bit flat for me.
Before I talk about anything else, I must mention S. Jae-Jones’s writing and how hauntingly beautiful and poetic it was. From the very first chapter I was drawn into the story and completely hooked. However, I do have very mixed feelings about Wintersong. I loved the first half of the story (especially the goblin market bit!) and being introduced to this magical world, I was on the edge of my seat as the plot got more exciting and intense. But, as i reached around the 50% mark, the pacing of the book slowed right down until it felt so dragged out and left me feeling unsatisfied with the ending.
Liesl was an interesting heroine. She was always thinking of her family and their needs before her own. She wasn’t described as being your typical ‘stunningly beautiful’ heroine, but rather beautiful on the inside which I think is a nice, refreshing change to see in YA literature. Liesl was always thinking of her family and their needs before her own. It did get frustrating at times though, as she always seemed to be jealous of her brother and sister and never did anything for herself.
I also have mixed feelings about The Goblin King. I wasn’t exactly swept of my feet by him but I found myself wanting to know more about him. He was such a complex character with so much history and i wish the author wrote more about his character before he turned into The Goblin King.
As for the romance, I just couldn’t feel the connection between Liesl and The Goblin King. Their relationship felt forced and for the majority of the last half of the book, it was the main focus and everything else took a back seat to their romance. This is also around the same time the momentum of the plot slowed right down and it dragged on and on and on.
All in all, I started Wintersong thinking that I would love it, but I was ultimately left unsatisfied and disappointed, especially with the last half of the book. It feels weird for me to not be recommending a book to you all but if you are thinking of starting Wintersong, please don’t let me stop you as everyone’s opinions are different!