by: S. Jae-Jones
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?
After the end of Wintersong, I was craving for a continuation of the story and hoped there would be another book. Then came Shadowsong, and now I’ve finally read it, and it gave me the closure I needed after the first book. With that said, it certainly wasn’t as enchanting for me.
The story opens with Liesl and her family struggling to make ends meet. She misses her brother Josef and wonders if he’s still alive. All she can do is write him letters, which get no response. With papa dead, they have bills they can’t afford. Liesl holds on to what she can: love, music, and memories. When a mysterious plague comes and the world is crumbling beneath her, Liesl must return to the Underground and discover the laws that cannot be broken.
The writing was absolutely beautiful and lyrical just as I expected. The descriptions made it atmospheric and pulled me in, making me want to stay in this world. I loved the music references, time period, the mix of retellings, and learning more about the Goblin King.
“Your music is a bridge. Play it, and we shall always be together. Play it, and I shall always remember. You. Life. What it means to love. For your music was the first and only thing in this world that kept me human, the first and last thing I give back to you.”
Liesl feels this strong connection with the Goblin King throughout the story, but it didn’t develop like I wanted it to and sort of fell flat honestly. Unfortunately, the build seemed to take forever, and then it was short-lived. Also, the story slowed down way too much causing me to lose patience at times, and that’s because for large parts of the story there simply wasn’t anything going on. Even with the beautiful, lyrical writing, it began to feel drawn-out. Liesl also has a strained relationship with her brother due to mental illness, but this was a little confusing without much explanation. Reading the author’s note helps with that. In the end. it’s truly the descriptive writing and world that kept my interest and made me want to continue to the end of this story.
I chose to read the physical book along with parts of the audio. The narrator is excellent. While this book was very different for me than the first, it was still an enjoyable read. The closure was nice with a satisfying end—even though it was semi-predictable. I’ll check out any continuation to this series and other books by this author in the future.
Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads:
- Publisher : Wednesday Books (February 6, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250129133
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250129130
- Reading age : 12 – 18 years
- Grade level : 7 – 9
This book is a selection (#12) for my 2021 Retelling Reading Challenge. You can see my progress by clicking the image below.
Thanks for reading my review! Let me know if you’ve read this book or Wintersong.