Review of Wintersong


S. Jae-Jones

St. Martin’s Press

February 7, 2017

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.


I’ve never been a huge fan of fantasy and some science fiction. I’m not going to shrug and tell you that I don’t know why. I do. Typically it’s as elementary as the names. Authors in fantasy frequently dig up (or make up) the longest, most unpronounceable names for their characters, which, after a few chapters gives me brain freeze. (It’s the same with math, which is neither here nor there.) The unfortunate consequence is that I tend to stay away from fantasy, and a novel like Wintersong is overlooked.

However, on this occasion, I read the blurb, with its recognizable names, and chose to read a fantasy novel. I’m glad I did.

Wintersong is a beautifully written, almost poetic, novel by S. Jae-Jones. It’s part of a duology, the second of which will come out on February 6, 2018 (Shadowsong).

The poetic writing harmonized extremely well with the realm of beautiful music, forest magic, and goblins.

Liesl, although an extremely talented, read genius, composer, is overlooked by her musical father due to her brother, Josef’s expertise with the violin, not to mention, of course, that Josef is a boy. After much emotional battering, Liesl lets her music die, folding herself into the background as the support for her family.

As the support for her family, it is only natural that when Liesl’s sister, Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl would offer herself in her sister’s place. It soon becomes apparent that this is not a hardship for in the land of the goblins, Liesl is free to be herself and fall in love.

While Wintersong is wonderful when expressing the beauty of music and love, Liesl’s angst can sometimes be grating, but then I typically would rather read minimal angst on most days. However, with a novel that had me continuously flipping pages, it’s obvious that I dealt with the angst in favor of a powerful, sensual love story. For at its essence, Wintersong is a love story, not just that of a woman and a man, but of family and music and the qualities that make us human.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From Amazon: Wintersong

rating: 4-and-a-half

4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies


4 thoughts on “Review of Wintersong

  1. LOVED this book. I haven’t read Shadowsong yet and I’ve seen so many bad reviews for it. 🙁 Still hopeful! Thanks so much for sharing your review. <3 😀

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