Today I’m highlighting two of my favorite books I’ve read this year. They were short reviews, so I’m combining them.
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
This was a great way to start my year! Wintersong was an intriguing story about love and coming to terms with your own demons. It was difficult to put down and even when I wasn’t reading it I found myself thinking about it all the time. I really related to Elisabeth, more than I have to most heroines I’ve read. Her flaws and follies made her feel real, and I’m glad there’s a second book where we get to spend more time with her.
Author: S. Jae-Jones
The conclusion to the Wintersong duology.
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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?
Another good read! As soon as I finished Wintersong, I immediately dove into Shadowsong. It was slower than its predecessor but still a beautifully written book about love and self-reflection. Watching Elisabeth come to terms with the consequences of what she’s done and grow as a person to accept herself really stuck with me. Like with Wintersong I carried the feelings of this book with me even when I wasn’t reading, and that alone speaks volumes of the author’s ability to make the reader feel. Although we spent less time in the Underground in this one than in Wintersong, it felt like a dream, like the reader was floating along.
I can’t wait to read more by S. Jae-Jones!