AUTHOR: S Jae-Jones
RELEASE DATE: February 7th, 2017
GENRE(S): Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings, Romance
STAR RATING: 5 ∗∗∗∗∗
“MOVIE” RATING: PG-13
Wintersong was probably my most anticipated read this year. I have been waiting my entire life for something resembling my beloved Labyrinth and that it would emerge from some wonderful author’s thoughts! To be completely honest, this was my most emotionally attached book I’ve read so far this year and probably longer. My heart wanted to literally cling to this book from the moment I saw that my dream would becoming a reality published in February 2017. I did everything in my power to get my hands on an ARC. And I did it!
Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down. I didn’t eat and rarely slept the whole time I was reading and it was completely invigorating to do that again after practicing what I call “proper reading etiquette”.
My thoughts are as follows:
This beautiful book was slow to start but because I was so excited by the idea of such literature as this, I remained vigilant and yearned for a proper viewing of the goblin king and his ever present “staff”. The only reason I mention that it was slow (because most books tend to be), is simply because this is not exactly a Labyrinth retelling. It has many of the same ideas and plot as Labyrinth but the overall story is much different. Which, I actually loved and that made me keep reading.
Liesl is many of us growing up. I connected with her on the spot. She’s the oldest child of three. Her amazing musical talent for composing lies in the shadows of her younger brother, Josef, who plays the violin and her younger sister, Kathe, who is more beautiful than any other villagers in their village. They frequently call her the “sunshine girl” because of this. Although Liesl is tired of working and slaving away for the family’s inn and for everyone else, she is weary of the limelight and isn’t sure that’s what she truly wants.
If you are at all musically inclined, you’d appreciate the terms and theory that crops up frequently throughout the novel. However, for those who aren’t, the author doesn’t not go into details over your head and tries to mention only the basics while still retaining the beauty and legitimacy of the music. It should also be mentioned that the story of the Goblin King, or der erlkonig, is German so there are a few phrases that are used as well in the book.
I don’t want to mention any spoilers, but I did want to point out that there is some romance included and that was probably one of my most favorite parts. I wanted to see that other side of Labyrinth when he offered her hand to rule with him in the Underground and in Wintersong, I was able to!
When I finished this novel, I had laughed, cried, and yearned for the story to never end. I know we all say that when we finish a good book, but this was felt more intently than any other book I’ve read this year. As I read the final lines, my soul and heart were crushed. My mood reflected this and I couldn’t think about much else since then. This book has taken me body and soul and I enjoyed it so much and appreciate so much what this story accomplishes. Liesl grows an incredible amount and you actively see her change from such a quiet, secret girl into a blossoming, talented woman. I connected with her on so many levels; mainly her tentativeness and secretive dreams and longing. We all could learn something from her journey.
Overall, I read the book in under 3 days and will mourn it for longer.
ABOUT S. Jae-Jones:
S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in February 2017.
Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.