This is another book I recently ordered through my Amazon recommended. It’s another novel that’s firmly in the Y/A Fantasy genre, perhaps this is me trying to escape reality and bury my head in some good old fiction? Either way, I really enjoyed it.
All her life, Liesl has been entranced by the stories of the Goblin King and his underground kingdom. These stories have inspired her musical compositions and kept her faith alive when all else has failed, when the drudgery of her day to day life has become overwhelming. Her grandmother has always warned her about the Goblin men and staying away from their tempting wares…but when her younger sister Kathe is taken by the Goblin King, she must try to save her. All the while battling her own desires and with time and the laws of the captivating and malicious Goblin world against her, will Liesl succeed? Or will she give in to temptation, and the charming whims of the Goblin King?
What I enjoyed:
- The mythology- From when I read the blurb on Amazon, I was hooked. I always enjoy a good fantasy novel with darker elements and Wintersong really delivered on this front. I especially loved the continued references to Christina Rosetti’s poem, ‘Goblin Market’, as that is one of my favourite pieces of literature and to see the same themes explored in the form of a novel was pretty interesting. The Goblin men are just as intriguing and malevolent as you would expect and really adds a discomfiting edge to the story.
- Style of writing – I seriously could not get over how beautiful and lush the description was, Jones has a poetic way of writing that kept me interested.
- Different to other Y/A – One of the major themes within the novel is beauty – but instead of focusing primarily on physical beauty, as so many books tend to do. The story focuses on beauty that transcends the physical, Liesl is not traditionally or outright beautiful. It’s never a ‘magical makeover fix’ which I appreciated, even the Goblin King admits it’s not her physicality which draws him to her, but rather her personality; her devotion to her music and creating her art. We see Liesls own insecurities being explored and her acceptance that she has more to offer than her beauty.
- Plenty of twists – The book offers a lot of unpredictable elements, some of the story was predictable, but a lot of the main portions were entertaining to read and I couldn’t wait to find out more. I don’t want to spoil anything but the way the goblin verse and Liesl’s own life ties together is one of the most intriguing elements of the book.
What could have been improved:
- Some slow pacing – While I appreciate a good slow burn as much as the next person, I found some of this book a bit too slow. Particularly in the second half after Liesl goes to the underground, I wish things happened a bit faster! I’ve read a few reviews and I can see other readers feel the same way.
- Conflicted on the ending – While I understand the choice to end it this way and sets up nicely for a sequel, it just felt a little anti climactic and a bit predictable to me. I will read the follow up though as I still enjoyed the story and want to see what happens next.
Overall, I can see myself re-reading this book again and getting re – invested in the story. Wintersong echoes a lot of my favourite books when I was younger – think The Forbidden Game by L.J Smith – but has more mature elements which I think will appeal to a variety of readers.
Until next time,