January 30, 2017 by Zoë
Liesl has grown up with stories of the Goblin King, but she isn’t sure that she really believes them. That is, at least, until her sister is bewitched and kidnapped by him. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones follows Liesl as she descends into the Goblin King’s realm, trying to use her musical abilities to save her sister. But playing in opposition to the Goblin King is not as easy as it appears.
So a while ago I talked about fantasies played out in fiction, and oh boy does this hit on every single fantasy element that I want in a story. Girl captured by fairies (or, in this case, goblins)? Check. Sexy fairy (goblin) king? Check. Complicated and tricksy games with fairies (goblins)? Check. From page one I was way, way into this story.
I’ve seen this book described various places as a retelling of Labyrinth, but, honestly, beyond a few rather superficial details, I don’t really see it. Let’s face it: the idea of someone being kidnapped by fairies (goblins) and some other hapless human trying to save that person is not unique to Labyrinth or Wintersong.
Wintersong, I think, is more complex than Labyrinth and does many more interesting things. There are definitely efforts made on the part of the author to make the relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King believable. There’s work put into both of their backstories to make everything fit together. And for the most part it works, which makes me so happy! Fairy romance stories are hard to pull off. I dabble in the genre and I read it voraciously and so I’m ready to pick out a lot of the flaws, but this book managed to do everything well, for the most part.
The end also really, really made the rest of the book good and worthwhile. As I got closer and closer to the end I got more and more worried about how everything would wrap up, but S. Jae-Jones pulled it off.
I occasionally found both Liesl and the Goblin King hard to understand. The Goblin King, I think, is purposely enigmatic and changing, but there were times when I think I was supposed to understand the reason behind his actions and I could only sort of guess at it. Then he had a monologue that explained everything, which helped, but seemed a bit forced.
Liesl also was sometimes hard to understand, though for the most part she makes sense and is consistent. Sometimes, though, she seemed to have very sudden changes of heart. Possibly due to fairy (goblin) magic?
I loved this book! It hit upon tons of the things that I want in YA fiction, and unlike the A Court of Thorns and Roses books, it didn’t have a lot of the weird romance issues that usually come up in paranormal romance books. Were there some? Yes, but like I said, almost everything was justified and not so weird. Honestly, this book was great, and one of the most enjoyable things I’ve read in a long while.
“There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”
I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley for this review.