Review of Wintersong by S Jae- Jones

WIntersongCoverWintersong
By: S Jae-Jones
Release Date: February 7th 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Format: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
The moment I learned about Wintersong I was desperate to read it. I have been a fan of the movie Labyrinth since I was a whee child and have wished for a retelling or something set in the world with the Goblin King. I felt that with Wintersong my dreams and wish had been granted. This shows the really high expectations I had going into this book. I tried to lower them and keep myself grounded but I’ve gotta admit I expected the very best.

I found the writing to be really magical in this book and though I felt a bit confused at times about the world I was drawn into the story easily. I did find Liesl a difficult character to connect to because she wasn’t a very nice person- she let her insecurities and jealousy direct her behavior. I felt that Liesl was really a lot of the ugliest within each of us. She was jealous of her sister’s beauty and the attention she got because of it. She was jealous of her brother’s musical talent as well as the affection and support her father gave him. I could undertstand these feelings she had because we all feel these things. I felt that Liesl struggling so much with these emotions possibly she’d have intense character growth as the story progressed.

This novel has two sections really- the before and the Underground. The before focused on Liesl’s sister’s abduction and what she will do to retrieve her sister from the hands of the Goblin King. Though Liesl feels intense jealousy at times for her younger sister she also feels love for her and wants to help bring her back. I felt this section of the book was sort of rushed and I honestly think the two sections of the book could have easily been broken into two books allowing for more time on character and world development.

The second section of the novel focused on Liesl’s time in the Underworld, her relationship with the Goblin King and her search to compose the music that almost haunts her. The Goblin King was a character with great potential though I always wanted a bit more from him. I pictured my childhood favorite, David Bowie’s Jareth, in the role. I think this had to do more with my own dedication to inserting him into the book rather than his character really being much like the Goblin King from the movie.

To help that along the author chose to include several lines from the movie and with his description I had no trouble picturing him. I will say though that the comparisons for me were face value. Past the quotes and the image the essence of this Goblin King was much different than Jareth from Labyrinth. He never seemed as cruel as the movie version. We get to see some of his past and his love for music. This humanized him for me and took him from the role of a bad guy (in the movie) and placed him solely as a love interest in the novel for me. I never really saw him as evil or dislikeable.

I went into this book expecting it to be very heavy on the romance and that was an important aspect of the story line but I felt more centered on Liesl’s music and her need to express herself through it. Many paragraphs were dedicated to this and it was a really huge part of the story (hence the ‘song’ part in the title).

I’d say my biggest complaint was that I had many questions that just weren’t answered fully enough for me. I believe there will be a companion novel but I’m not sure and this distresses me some. I think I’d have been happier had this story been broken into two books which would have allowed for a deeper look at the world and more time to create more connection between the Goblin King and Liesl. Though they shared many scenes together I felt it was missing that chemistry I so desired. WintersongBookstagram
Final Thoughts:
Try to hold off on putting your own ideals on what Wintersong is. Detach it from the labyrinth comparison if you are a huge fan such as myself. Try to take this book for what it is rather than the void you’d like it to fill.

Stacking the Shelves

Yep, it’s my monthly Stacking the Shelves. I seem to only do this once a month this summer. Maybe I’ll get better at it? Maybe not. I have so many awesome books and bookish things to share with you. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff but here it goes…

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books

For Review

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Updraft by Fran Wilde
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Metaltown by Kristen Simmons

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Pyromantic by Lisha McBride
Freya by Matthew Laurence
Duels & Deceptions by Cindy Anstey
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
The Cruelty by S Bergstrom
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Purchased

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass Coloring Book
Pre-order Gift from Bloomsbury- Quote Notebook
Sarah and Worm Labyrinth Funko

Gift/Won/Trade

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Traded- The Dark Days Club UK arc
#currentlyreading bookmarks gifted by @herbookishthings check her out on Etsy
Dead Girls Society won from the author

Bookish Repping

On Instagram I am so lucky that I’m repping a few bookish business’ with their awesome products. I’m so honored and really it never loses the excitement. I wanted to share what I received this past month

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Pillow called Vintage Reading Collage by the incredible Evie Seo

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Candles by Novelly Yours. These candles *happy sigh* My tenure will be up at the end of this month and I’m so so sad. But that means that if you want a discount of 10% you should get on it (use code MFAF10 on any purchase). My time with NY has been so incredible. Brittany is professional, kind, and amazingly creative.

And…I think that’s it! How are YOU? What are you reading? You might notice a fall theme to all my pictures- I keep thinking if I pretend it is fall the temperature here in Texas will drop. Sadly, that’s not been the case. Today the heat index was 120. Just no.

You can find more bookish pictures on my Instagram (where all of these were originally posted)

My Newest Obsession- Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones + INT Giveaway

If you follow me on Twitter you would have seen me screaming to the void about Wintersong and how desperately I want to read it. This book is inspired in part by Labyrinth– which was childhood favorite movie. I’ve spent years obsessed over The Goblin King and yearning for someone to take his character and delve deeper. My dreams have been answered and JJ has written a book I know I’ll love.

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About the Book

BWIntersongCovereware 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.

Coming February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne

This past week Griffin Teen graciously sent me the first 40 or so pages of the book to give me very much appreciated look at what I was looking forward to. To say I dropped everything to read would not be an exaggeration.

I have been waiting to get a feel for the atmosphere of the book and characters and this teaser was perfect to do just that. I immediately got swept away in the story and the visuals were PERFECT. As I read further, each page, inspired dread because I knew it would end and I’d be made to wait so long to read more. Some pain though is worth it, wouldn’t you agree?

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The novel begins with a beautifully written overture about a boy and girl singing and dancing in the woods. The little girl never knows who the boy is but he asks her to marry him and plays games with her. This is such an excellent beginning and though not long it sets the story up and is so very vivid. I could feel the woods, I don’t know if it was supposed to, but it made me think of cool days and being chilled in the shadow of trees.

Chapter 1 introduces us to the main character and her sister. In only a few short chapters you get a very clear idea of these sisters personalities and how they interact with one another. I felt it was beautifully executed. Both sisters have fault and seem highly realistic in their passions and insecurities. Once the tall stranger enters the story I couldn’t help but picture David Bowie’s version of the Goblin King. Even if you aren’t a fan of Labyrinth JJ’s descriptions and the book’s atmosphere will have you visualizing the setting and characters.

I really could go on and on about these 44 pages I’ve just read but I think you get the idea. This book is beautifully written and after just a short teaser I am INVESTED. I want to know what will happen next. I am attached to the characters-though they are not perfect in the slightest (this honestly makes me even more attached to them).

Have you added this book to your to be read list? If not you SHOULD. Here it is on Goodreads. Also, you MUST check out the author’s website and sign up for her newsletter. Both are full of exclusive content you will want to see.

Giveaway

I’m giving away a pre-order of one Wintersong hardcover. This is international if Book Depository ships to your location.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stacking the Shelves- Hurray For Amazing Book Mail

Hi there! November is creeping to an end and Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. How is that possible? I have lots of family coming over to celebrate and eat so next week should prove to be pretty busy. I hope to squeeze in some good reading time regardless.

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This last week was a pretty good one. I re-watched Labyrinth (hadn’t seen it in years) and yeah…just as amazing as I remembered. I actually watched it twice last week and I had to Google search Jareth and all the different theories/analysis on his character.

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Very much. Very much indeed.

Have you seen it? I think Jareth is such a perfect YA villain and watching it as an adult I think I enjoyed him even more. Though, it is a tad creepy with the age difference-but he is immortal. I’ve also listened to two songs from the movie, Within You and As the World Falls Down about a thousand times each. There’s a graphic novel series called, Return to the Labyrinth. The ratings seemed meh but I am pretty curious. Has anyone read them?

Beyond my David Bowie/Labyrinth obsession I also did some reading. I read The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker and wow was this book suspenseful. It was really hard to read in spots because of the subject matter but very well done. I found it hard to stop reading after the mid-way point and would recommend this contemporary/issues book to all those that enjoy creepy, disturbing, suspenseful reads.

I also read a good bit of Their Fractured Light and AHHHH it is really good. I’m loving the characters and can’t wait to own the hardcover. I think at some point the whole Starbound series needs to be reread one after another.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

Books

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Thank you Penguin, NOVL, Amulet, Random House, Simon and Harper!

Last Week’s Posts

That’s it for me! How was your week? Tell me about your thoughts on Labyrinth and the books I received this week for reviewing.

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