Author: S. Jae - Jones
Series: Wintersong #1
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 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. A 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: I loved the idea of this book more than the book itself. Wintersong was marketed as a retelling of The Labyrinth, and it falls far short of that. The only similarity between Wintersong and The Labyrinth that I could find is that there are goblins and a Goblin King and a girl who is trying to rescue someone from them.
The characterization is well done. The characters are fully fleshed out, and the world building is very well done. However the story itself is terribly boring and predictable. Here’s the story in a nutshell: boy and girl were childhood playmates. Boy turns out to be Goblin King. He kidnaps her sister. Girl exchanges herself for her sister. Girl and Goblin King resist their feelings for each other. Then they have sex. Girl is suddenly more than she was before. He falls in love with her and lets her go. Seriously? Surely we can come up with better stories? Aside from how boring I thought it was I think what bothers me the most is the use of sex as the catalyst to Liesl’s sudden “awakening”. This is a book meant for young adults and we are telling them that having sex with your kidnapper will change your life? Sex is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not life changing; and having sex with someone who is holding you captive is just disturbing. I recommend skipping this one and reading something else instead.
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Skip this one and check these out instead:
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas