BOOK REVIEW : Wintersong
By S. Jae Jones
BY SULPHIA IQBAL
To be honest, I got this ARC with some high expectations. I followed up on Wintersong’s release information and reviews on Goodreads constantly and was very excited when I got my hands on it. Wintersong, however, proves to be extremely slow and very little happens. Also, while it is officially classified as YA, the novel is rather mature. But ALAS, I got through.
Wintersong is a retelling of “Labyrinth”. For those of you who don’t know what “Labyrinth” is, it is a film that came out in 1986 about a girl who travels a maze in order to save her brother from the evil and sinister Goblin King.
( SIDENOTE: I would watch this movie, but I feel like they would make the Goblin King look like Werewolf Michael Jackson from his “Thriller” music video and I shudder at the thought ).
( UPDATE : this is the real Goblin King :
Whattup David Bowie. Seriously, though, it is not any better. I implore you to, however, erase that image from your head because OUR Goblin King is waaay different. In a good way : )
Wintersong does an amazing job with its characters. Liesl, our MC, is overlooked by her family when compared with her beautiful sister and incredible musician of a brother. And yet it is Liesl who proves to be most important in her family; Liesl is the one to encourage her brother in his art and keep her foolish sister in line. While there are times where Liesel did something stupid and I would just shake my head, I do not hate her whole character for it. She is NOT perfect because no one is perfect. If she had been beautiful and as musically talented as her siblings, she would not have been real, and I find characters like that to be frustrating and simply unreachable ( *COUGH COUGH NOAH IN THE MARA DYER TRILOGY* ).
I adore hate to love relationships because they almost always bring out the best in the characters and creates character growth that makes a book all the more interesting. Liesl becomes so much more confident and strong towards the end of the novel and most of that is thanks to her experiences in the Underworld with the Goblin King. The same can said about the Goblin King.
I simply love the Goblin King’s character. A “Goblin King” immediately gives readers a dark vibe, and that is certainly applicable to the whole tone of his character in this book. But the dark atmosphere the Goblin King and his Underworld bring to this book actually makes it charming in its own way. The Goblin King is sarcastic and haughty and mischievous and tries to be cruel, but it is clear even halfway through the book that he is just as beautiful and mysterious and thoughtful as he is wicked.
I mention before that this book probably should not be classified as YA. Towards the middle and end, the content becomes significantly more mature than most YA books I have read in the past. If you are anything like me, you like to read all types of YA, even if you are just in middle school. However, after reading this as an eighth grader ( Hey there eight-month procrastination ) I would say it was a little too mature for my innocence : ). I am just going to throw warning out there.
SO IF you’re a high schooler who loves themselves a dark, poetic story about a girl who will do anything to save her family, and a mysterious Goblin King who is not as wicked as he seems, FIND Wintersong. Unfortunately, this book is so captivating ( if we ignore its slow pace ) that you will read it in one sitting and waste a lot of precious time that could have been spent on your Notes Assignment for English, like me : ).
“There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort
of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”
― S. Jae-Jones, Wintersong
“What would you do, if you were a free man?”
“I would take my violin and play. I would walk the world and play, until someone called me by name and called me home.”
“She was the sun and he was the earth waking from a thaw.”
“I am not a saint; I am a sinner. I want to sin again and
again and again.”
A dark, poetic story about a talented yet overlooked girl and a wicked Goblin King who is that and so much more.
Check it out at the library and Goodreads :