The moment I saw Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones I had to buy it. The cover, the title, the blurb-pretty much everything about the book baited me. First, I must say that I’m a Labyrinth freak and I’ve been highly anticipating reading this. I was under the impression that this was a true Labyrinth retelling, but there’s more going on here.
I was so taken-back in just the first 70 pages of the book. The authors writing style is so appealing. It’s exquisite, dark, and romantic. There were also music elements consistent throughout the entire story which I loved. I truly savored this book and the writing is what I appreciated the most.
“Those icy eyes glittered, and I was afraid. I trembled, but not with cold. I ached, but not with pain. My feet began to move of their own accord, and I followed the Goblin King out of the light and into the darkness.”
I absolutely loved the way the author added a few poems by Christina Rossetti.
A linnet in a gilded cage, –
A linnet on a bough, –
In frosty winter one might doubt
Which bird is luckier now.
But let the trees burst out in leaf,
And nests be on the bough,
Which linnet is the luckier bird,
Oh who could doubt it now?
There were numerous parts of the story that reminded me of Labyrinth, but some parts led into German folklore like the “Der Erlkönig” which was unexpected considering the “darkness” of the legend involving children. What reminded me of Labyrinth was the way Liesl envies her sister for her beauty and the love from Hans she wishes she had. It’s similar to how Sarah gets sick of Toby in the movie, yet wants him back once he’s been taken, and embarks through the Labyrinth to find him. Also, the description of the Goblin King, the sacrifice, the woods, and the underground, the poison peach, the goblin ball, and even the goblin realm. Liesl the main character has to save herself and her sister from the Goblin King which is similar to how Sarah has to rescue Toby as well, and she is expected to allow the Goblin King to rule her. The Goblin King’s ability to change memory and time was similar as we remember the trickery Sarah deals with in the movie. We can’t forget the music, sure the music is nothing like the music from Labyrinth, but the movie contained a lot of music, an entire soundtrack by David Bowie and Trevor Jones which included songs the Goblin King sang as he communicated with Sarah throughout the movie, similar to how he communicates with Liesl in the book. This story has romance and different characters, but regardless, there’s still a lot of Labyrinth here, with character changes and added twists.
I enjoyed all the characters, mainly Liesl and the Goblin King. In the first part of the story I had a love hate relationship with the Goblin King’s character because of his unattractive psyche.
However, there were many attracting aspects to the Goblin King later in the story as his character develops. You begin to realize that there’s much more to admire about him and their relationship grows stronger.
There is so much to love even if the story didn’t conclude how I wanted it to and I can’t rate this book any less than five stars. I’m going to admit, I’m really hoping for a second book!
Blurb: Dark, romantic, and unforgettable, Wintersong is an enchanting coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and The Beauty and the Beast.
The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.
But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.
About the author:
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.