AUTHOR: S. Jae-Jones
SERIES: Wintersong (#1)
PUBLISHER: Titan Books Ltd
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
RATING: 5/5 Stars
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.
But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds―and the mysterious man who rules it―she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.
What I Liked:
- I really loved Jae-Jones' writing. Like, so much. It flowed nicely and mixed Liesl's ordinary life with her family beautifully with the wilderness and magic both above and underground. Fantasy is all about being visually appealing and it's often hard to get that right in a book. Kudos for the gorgeous visual descriptions!
- The characters were mostly fun too. I liked the Goblin King a lot. Swoon. Jae-Jones got the balance between his dark, cruel side and genuine, caring side just right (I'm a sucker for characters that dance between 'hero' and villain' with a slightly tragic backstory)! I found myself so intrigued as soon as Liesl met him and watching their love/hate relationship develop was a joy. Also, a big shoutout to my new favourite adorable side character Josef and his adorable lover Francois. I will go down with that ship forever!
What I Disliked:
- There were a couple of issues that I should probably mention. The first half was definitely better than the second, which was a little sad. This was mostly down to Liesl's personality change - which made me realise that I wasn't her hugest fan. She might have been a bit drab and judgemental in the first 50% but at least she was clever and cautious. In part two, she turns into a sulky, tempestuous, horny, overly-emotional, spoilt woman and it vexed me slightly. Especially as she's judged her sister so hard for those behaviours to begin with.
I'm not going to deny the couple of problematic areas there were: slut-shaming, 'musical' sex, and some weird pacing in the second half. But I literally could not put this book down because I fell so heavily in love with the world that Jae-Jones wrote and want more of it! I also cannot deny that five star feeling that the world gives me. Jae-Jones tagged a huge cliffhanger on the end too and I'll definitely be reading 'Shadowsong' with the hope that the characters will be a little better developed and I'll love it even more!