Author: S. Jae-Jones
Themes: Romance, Fantasy, Adventure
I stumbled upon this little gem in Waterstones not long ago, and instantly knew I needed to read it! When any book is likened to the film ‘The Labyrinth’, it must be amazing. I think the reason I’ve always loved that film is because of the fairytale aspect, and ‘Wintersong’ encompasses that theme so well. It’s like ‘The Labyrinth’ for adults, and it is amazing!
Set in 19th century Bavaria, Liesl has grown up to be mature beyond her years. As the eldest of her three siblings, she is the one that has protected her brother and sister from their fathers drinking problem, and is disregarded by both her parents for her better looking sister and her musically talented brother. She does, however, catch the attention of one stranger; the Goblin King.
When her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl must journey into his underground world to save her, reliving the fantasies she’d had as a child, fantasies almost forgotten about. But the longer she remains in this fairytale world, the more she is torn between her mundane human life and the magical place where she feels she belongs.
I feel as though this is the book I have been waiting for, for a long time. By the second chapter I was already trying to find out if there would be a second (there will be!) In many ways, it is marketed as though it is a young adult novel, and I was worried that it would be a let down to me, now that I have outgrown that audience. However, there are scenes here and there that make it appealing to adults and YA’s alike. S Jae-Jones has done a fabulous job of creating Liesl and the Goblin King. He is a mysterious figure throughout the novel, however there are hints here and there that tease as to his background and true personality.
There is also a good mixture of love, mystery and adventure throughout. Fairytale books have been reworked for the YA audience, I’m thinking particularly of the novels by Sarah Pinborough, but they didn’t really interest me anywhere near as much as ‘Winterising’. I feel as though this could be a standalone novel, and because of that is has a solid framework, with a good beginning, middle, and end. It didn’t feel rushed or unfinished in anyway, which I have found other YA novels do. Becase of that it has become a firm favourite of mine.
I am truly so excited for the second novel in this series, ‘Shadowsong’ which is due to be released on 8th January 2018! I’ll probably have the reread ‘Wintersong’ whilst I wait…