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Wintersong: A Novel Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This YA fantasy is a richly detailed journey through German folklore and 19th-century Europe. Often overshadowed by her musically talented brother and her beautiful sister, Liesl assists her parents in running the family's inn. When her sister, Käthe, is taken by goblins, Liesl makes a wager to secure her release and travels underground to the alluring Goblin King's world in an attempt to win freedom for both herself and Käthe. This fantasy debut is rife with intricate details and world-building, as well as the charged relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King. Fans of Gregory Maguire's Egg & Spoon or E.K. Johnston's A Thousand Nights will be drawn to the in-depth depictions of the goblins' realm. Others may find the story's length and its emphasis on description rather than action overwhelming. The slower pace allows for additional character development of Liesl, although Käthe and their younger brother, Josef, remain in the background. VERDICT An additional purchase for larger collections.—Jenni Frencham, Columbus Public Library, WI
“The legend of the cruel and pitiless Erl-king anchors a darkly lush and dangerous tale of a stifled young woman’s creative awakening. Beautiful writing evokes powerful emotions in this journey into the meaning of sacrifice and the power of love.”―Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of the Crossroads and Crown of Stars series
"Wintersong is a maze of beauty and darkness, of music and magic and glittering things, all tied together with exquisite writing. This is a world you will want to stay lost in."―Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites
"Spellbinding and sexy, Wintersong is a feast for all the senses. I didn't want this beautifully written book to end."―Renée Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn
"This was Labyrinth by way of Angela Carter, and I think my soul has been aching for a book like Wintersong for the last decade. Deliciously romantic, with a nuanced Goblin King and a strong heroine, this story was rife with fairy tales, music, and enchantment."―Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
"S. Jae-Jones has a great grasp of emotion in her writing, and plucks your heart-strings from the very first pages. This story will make you hurt in the most fantastic way. It is captivating. A very strong debut."―Charlie N. Holmberg, bestselling author of The Paper Magician
"This is an exquisitely and lyrically crafted tale of longing, sibling loyalty, and the importance of women in a time when women were so often overlooked. Eerie, unsettling, and above all, full of music." ―Booklist (starred review)
"Jae-Jones writes beautifully about the magic of love, the power of music, and the importance of free will." ―Publishers Weekly
"Structured as a sonata, the final movement culminates in a bittersweet sacrifice that will leave readers... savoring the delicious tragedy." ―Kirkus Reviews
"[R]ife with intricate details and world-building, as well as the charged relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King. Fans of Gregory Maguire's Egg & Spoon or E.K. Johnston's A Thousand Nights will be drawn to the in-depth depictions of the goblin's realm." ―School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Recommend to: YA paranormal/fantasy romance readers (who don't mind sex scenes). Fans of Labyrinth, or the Hades/Persephone myth. Anti-hero as love interest.
Favorite Quote: "Loveliness of the spirit is worth more than loveliness of the flesh." (294)
Favorite Word: Ouroboros: a circular symbol depicting a snake, or less commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity: I no longer marked the passage of time; yesterday was today was tomorrow, an ouroboros of hours that circled back on themselves. (pg. 317)
ARC Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
The Book Voyagers 2:48 PM
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Release date: February 7, 2017
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.
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Wintersong is a luscious tale of a king and a brave maiden. The story enchants you with its characters and the winter-y setting. But also pulls at your heartstrings with some really great writing. Wintersong deserves songs and poems in its name. It is a masterpiece and it's only the first sweet melody of this world I have come to love.
It's definitely one of my favorite fantasy books of this year. And I don't think I've read a lot on these first two months? Wintersong exceeded my expectations. When you find a book that has one of your favorite tropes while having a bit of royalty in it and some sweet romance but very very angsty as well, one really is happy. With its fascinating world-building and setting, Wintersong made me fall in love. To be honest, it wasn't so hard for me to fall head over hells for this book. The writing for one is gorgeous and lyrical and simply you will sigh because you are in love.
It talks about a Goblin King first of all. This is a legend/myth/bedtime story in this world where Elizabeth lives. The Gobliin King goes out in winter to pick a wife from the human world. Elizabeth has always been fascinated and enchanted by this figure and you get to know in the first part that once upon a time those two were friends when they were kids. Let me just tell you that the Goblin King has loved Elizabeth for so long, my heart gives out, my skin clears up, my crops are growing.
It's sort of a hate to love story but also a bit of enemies to lovers, I guess? I saw it that way anyways. It definitely has passion. This book is A+ level of steamy and sexy. It also has some really great things in it like: Liesl mentions her period at some part of the book, which is amazing because not a lot of YA books mention periods. I literally loved this book so much ~ I just bought my copy and I cannot wait for it to arrive and reread.
I have not watched Labyrinth tho. I don't know how close this book is based on it? Either way, this book has some epic stories and characters. It definitely has a love story that will make you bleed (probably? definitely?). I definitely got destroyed by S. Jae-Jones. I was listening to my SKAM playlist and lit every song fit and every song hurt me so much??? The conclusion: This book will hurt you. But it will be worth it. You want to know what happens believe me. You want to find out how the Goblin King and Liesl's story ends in that final chapter.
And then come running and tell me all about it so I can relive all of the emotions, please.
What I loved most about it is that kept to the original stories of the Goblin King told throughout Europe. Growing up in Germany I heard many stories of "Der Erlkonig" and to be weary of the end of the year. Some of the old folk still put salt on the windows and door ways for protection.
I originally bought this book because my teenage daughter told me that the description reminded her of "Labyrinth", which was one of my favorite movies growing up. (I also have read the book and yes, it is very very simple but hey, it's written after the movie.)
If you're wanting a book based on folk lore of the Goblin King mixed with a little romance then I am sure you will love this. I did. It had romance, fantasy, and the music it conjured was beautiful. I enjoyed it all. It may not be for everyone. You must take your time reading it because even skipping one word, you will miss something.
I feel that she will be writing a sequel. She left some unanswered questions. I won't ruin the story for you but I will say... it's all in a NAME...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I may ramble incoherently, as I often do about the books I love, but this stunning book is so rich, sexy,...Read more