Wintersong

Wintersong

Book - 2017
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Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Griffin, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781250079213
1250079217
Characteristics: ix, 436 pages
Alternative Title: Winter song

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ArapahoeLauraRose Mar 21, 2019

This book was LOVELY! A beautiful exploration of the classic faery tale relationship between Death and the Maiden.

The protagonist, Elizabeth, is such a beautifully complex person. She struggles to balance her practical nature with her deep passions and desires. I love all of the varying themes (musical and otherwise) on love in this narrative: from Elizabeth's very different loves for each of her siblings, to her simultaneously complementary/contradictory romance with the Goblin King, to her soul-deep and ever-abiding love of music.

You don't have to have studied classical composers, or have seen David Bowie's portrayal of the Goblin King in the film "Labyrinth" to read this book. But a passing familiarity with the former topic and thorough knowledge of the latter certainly enhanced my enjoyment!

k
kmobuckeye
Feb 12, 2019

If you like "The Labyrinth" (David Bowie), you will love and sail through this book.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Feb 07, 2019

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, tells the story of a young girl named Liesl. Liesl’s family runs a small inn in a small village in Germany. The book details Liesl relationship with the mysterious Goblin King. It starts off by building up Liesl’s love, loyalty and jealousy towards her family. The book shows us the struggles of the women of Liesl’s time. Jae-Jones immerses us in Liesl’s world and the fantastical world of the goblin king. While the book itself can be slow paced at times, the detail given really helps the reader to understand Liesl. It also helps to set up a complex plot that adds to the drama of the story. Overall I would give this book three stars. I believe this is a wonderful book that everyone should give a chance.
@BookLover889 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

b
bookishmutant
Dec 27, 2018

I read the description for this book a little over a year ago, and I had a feeling that I was, at best, going to fall head over heels in love with it. But, well...it was...decent. Not quite falling-in-love material, but still an alright book overall.

The world building was probably my favorite aspect of the book. Even the seemingly mundane setting of Liesl’s live aboveground was magical, while the Underground was bursting at the seams with richly imagined creatures and places I’d want to stay for a while in myself. (I mean, if the Goblin King let me...heh heh...)

Now. Speaking of the Goblin King...
In concept, he seemed AWESOME. I imagined him as a sort of cross between David Bowie’s Goblin King and Prince Nuada from Hellboy II. Pretty impressive combination, I must say.

But...for the amount of times he was all “lORd oF mISchIeF” or any of that claptrap, HE ALWAYS LET LIESL WIN. EVERY. TIME. Kidnaps Käthe? "Eh, Liesl’s pretty, I’ll just keep you and let your sister go." Liesl wants to go back aboveground? "Sure, whatever, have it your way." GOD. I might have enjoyed the book a bit more if the Goblin King’s stakes were a little higher.

I liked Liesl at first. She was such a loving, caring sister, with a beautiful passion for music, and not unnaturally pretty like most YA heroines are these days. But the second she met the Goblin King, BAM. All trace of the girl that I thought I liked was gone, replaced by a mushy, hopelessly romantic shell. I get it, she’d been waiting her whole life to meet him, and her childhood had revolved around him, but it DID NOT! NEED! TO! CENTER! AROUND! THEIR! ROMANCE! IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TAKEN UP THAT BIG OF A CHUNK OF THE BOOK! Had it not revolved around Liesl and the Goblin King’s relationship, I might’ve given it at least a half a star more, or even a full one. I mean, I’m all for romance, but I’m not a fan of books that are marked as one genre but then take a turn to another one in the blink of an eye. Alas, “Wintersong” was pretty good, but not spectacular, or anything. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk, kids.

v
violet_dog_4762
Aug 03, 2018

I was hooked for the first half of the book. I didn't like the protagonist...she was very whiny and annoying. A lot of the book includes musical references. Luckily, I understood them as I have dabbled in music and piano, but I concur that several other people would be lost, annoyed, or bored. The storyline was dark and intriguing, I loved the Goblin King, and I loved this forbidden romance. Yet, later in the book, Liesl became too much for me too handle. She treated herself like a sex toy, and that all she was worth was in her beauty and sex. She became the Goblin King's toy, and that infuriated me as to why an originally strong female protagonist was being reduced to a diluted, weak character relying on a man. The writing is incredibly beautiful and poetic; the story and characters did not suffice for me in the second half of the book.

z
zpare
Jun 16, 2018

If you liked the movie "The Labyrinth" with David Bowie you'll love this book! A mix of fantasy and a bit of adventure, it's a great read for those who are slowly getting into the fantasy genre.

EvonneMarie Apr 27, 2018

So I was chosen/coerced into reading this book between our library staff to see how closely it followed the storyline of The Labyrinth. Some of the lore is similar, and I decided iI needed to do more research to see if it was just because it was the lore or if they had just twisted the storyline. There is not much info on The Goblin King available. So we're still undecided.
I loved the writing and the old german influence in this book. I thought it had some interesting plot twists. And the fact that it's a bit of a melancholy ending rather than a happy ending was unexpected.
I enjoyed the book, and would say if you like a good goblin fairy tale, then you'll enjoy it too.
I do think it's a bit steamy in a few places for young teens, but in the world today, many have been there, done that already so...

bibliosara Jan 02, 2018

Alright. It's been a few months since I read this, so I've had the chance to let my initial frustrations settle.
Jones is a talented writer, there is no question of that. Wintersong is, as other reviews have said, darkly poetic and seductive. It's hard to put the book down, and it's written in a unique style that captures your attention-and your imagination. The story is a unique spin on a goblin-king-esque fairy tale.
The character is intended, as far as I understand, to have bipolar disorder. She has a lot of self-esteem issues, and tendencies to try and control the world around her. Overall, she is really relateable for a lot of young/teenage girls.
That makes it all the more infuriating when the romance takes a turn for the worse. At first, the relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King is intriguing, stirring, passionate. But then things start changing. Liesl seems to become more manipulative and violent than the Goblin King, and quite honestly-although some might disagree- I believe it turns into a combustive and abusive relationship that helps neither. I was frustrated that Liesl never seemed to grown into herself. There is a lot of violence (inferred, direct, and some of it sexual in nature) for a YA book. This bothered me, because I hated the fact that this book is marketed to young women just forming their understanding of and beliefs about romantic relationships. The heroine's volatile actions are inexcusable, despite any mental health issues she may or may not have.
Jones had a great start, but I for one am not going to continue reading this series. Sexual violence is a real issue and is a topic with too many gray lines involved for young girls to be reading about in this context, without the proper education.

kelly_williams Jul 23, 2017

This book wasn't what I expected; and then it changed gears, and still wasn't what I expected; and then changed AGAIN and STILL left me surprised! I absolutely love it when books can surprise me- I dread being able to guess the ending. The Goblin King is such a great flawed hero, and the heroine is flawed herself, in unexpected ways. I can see why it's made the Banned Book List a few times. I'll read it again!

GCPL_Teen Jul 23, 2017

I wasn't the biggest fan of this book. Its gotten some amazing reviews elsewhere, and lots of readers have LOVED this title, but it wasn't really for me. For starters, it read and felt more like an adult book, than a young adult one.

The book follows Elizabeth, a girl with the dreams of being a composer, but who has to give up this dream to keep the world from dying. She does this by becoming the Goblin King's bride--but as she spends time with the Goblin King, she realizes the cost to save the world might be higher than she's willing to pay.

It's an interest book, with very descriptive writing. Its VERY VERY heavy on the romance. Almost to the point of gagging. It's also VERY heavy on content that revolves around sex. While nothing is outright inappropriate for a young adult, I would advise readers to at least be aware that this book does have sex in it.

I certainly wouldn't mark this title a must read, but I did finish it.

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zpare
Jun 16, 2018

zpare thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

EvonneMarie Apr 27, 2018

EvonneMarie thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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GCPL_Teen Jul 23, 2017

Sexual Content: There is no explicit sexual content, but this book certainly talks a LOT about sex, and has a fair amount of sex in it.

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