I really liked this. The writing is beautiful, and vivid without being overwhelming. The atmosphere is dark and captivating and I loved it. And it is so strange. I love strange things, and I like when books make me uncomfortable because often that means I’m thinking.
A lot of readers have had issues with the enormous amount of references to music, specifically classical music. I really enjoyed it, but I am a classical violinist and I compose music for the piano, so it’s very possible that’s why I connected well with all the references to music.
However. All the music did get a little old. Maybe I’m not as attached to music as the author, who plays many instruments, but I never think of it in the overwhelmingly poetic way the characters in Wintersong did. And that’s what it was after a while. Beautiful, but overwhelming.
I thought the characters were developing nicely; they were captivating and real and I would have loved to see how they turned out. I did notice an odd shift in Liesl’s personality toward the beginning of the second half. Also, the romance was very…abrupt? Maybe I missed something? It didn’t seem instalovey exactly, but I’ll call it that for lack of a better word. Who knows. Maybe I missed something, or interpreted something differently, or maybe I just didn’t read long enough to see how everything would work out.
And THAT is the most frustrating thing! I was loving Wintersong up until about sixty percent and then I had to quit because of the content. I know others feel differently, but I didn’t feel comfortable with it. Which is too bad, because this beautiful, strange book was well on its way to be a favorite.
Synopsis – Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
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.
3 Stars. No language, but there is a ton of sexual content that isn’t technically explicit but is definitely not “fade to black.”