Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Series: Wintersong #1
Publisher: Titan Books
Amazon: UK | US
Goodreads: Wintersong
Synopsis: 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.

Review: So I picked up this book after The Book Voyagers mentioned it in her twitter thread about female authors of colour! The beautiful cover, and the fact that it is based upon Labyrinth also drew me to this novel; I loved the film so I felt that a book based upon that premise would be something I'd enjoy, and unsurprisingly I loved it! 

Liesl's story is wonderfully written; it's  magical, mysterious, and pulled me in after just a few chapters. I honestly loved the focus on music, and how her passion and talent was such a huge part of Liesl; there was also the fact that she is never once described as beautiful, and even when she marries the Goblin King, she remains normal. Instead it is her talent that drew the Goblin King to her, the beautiful music that she was creating made her far more valuable than someone more beautiful. I honestly loved the way that this novel puts her talent before her beauty, it's really refreshing to see a book wholly focused on developing her music and not transforming her into someone  beautiful.  

I loved the enemies to lovers trope in this book as it honestly made much more fun to read! Liesl didn't fall instantly in love with the alluring Goblin King, and I loved the fact that she wasn't drawn in by his beauty and instead focused on saving her sister. This love hate relationship brought with it flirting, but also lots of little snipes and tension which made the romance more complex and fun to read. Their relationship together is also focused on developing their emotional connection, so the attention is taken away from the physical aspects, and instead placed on them dealing with the issues within their relationship. 

The only real issue I had with this book is that it felt a little long, a lot of the plot takes place in the final third and it did feel a little drawn out; it is a very detail orientated novel, and honestly as much as I loved the focus on music, a lot of the discussion of Liesl's music went over my head. It feels more like adult literature than your typical young adult novel, due to it's beautifully complex writing style which honestly lets me overlook everything else. 

I'm honestly so excited for the sequel, as I fell in love with Lisel's beautiful 18th century world. 

Recommend: Heck yes! If you're looking for a fantasy novel that's mysterious, and a little bit sexy then this is for you. 


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