Monday, February 6, 2017

Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Series: Wintersong, book #1
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.


I'm going to keep this review short and sweet because (Sorry, I tried.) I feel like if you already love the movie Labyrinth, you'll really enjoy this book, which is semi-based on it. Maybe. Probably. I did. But I've seen others struggle with it. Mostly because of length and how long it takes for the plot to really get going. And it does. But...it's also totally worth it?

I really wish I'd written this review immediately after I finished reading the book back in October. I had such eloquent and though-provoking things to say about it then. They would undoubtedly be no less true now, but I can't remember them. Probably should have re-read the book first. But time is of the essence and I have oh-so-little of it as it is. I will definitely re-read this story in the future, especially if it becomes available on audio -- oh, please, please let that become a thing because I can only imagine how enticing the Goblin King would sound -- and as the release of the second book nears.

I still remember my older sister coming home from the video store with a copy of Labyrinth on VHS when I was just a youngling. And I remember the intense and immediate love I felt for Sarah and her plight...and Jareth, the Goblin King. I was raised a David Bowie fan from the cradle, and so seeing him in this role was tantamount to all of my wildest dreams coming true. And then to find out recently that an author was furthering my dreams by writing a story set in that world? Be. Still. My. Heart.

It was difficult, at first, not to picture Jareth as Jones' Goblin King. But she does a great job of reminding the reader what he looks like, how different he is from that other character, and how very nameless he is, and it works well to help you separate the two entities. Yes, the same magnetism exists between Liesl and the Goblin King, but in this story, he's actually able to reach the heroine in a way that Jareth never was able to.

I went into this story expecting it to be heavy on the romance. But it doesn't really start out that way. In fact, it takes a very long while to reach that point. Instead, I felt that the story was more heavily influenced by music and sacrifice...and how inexorable sacrifice seems when love is involved.

I've discussed this book at great lengths with friends, and whatever issues they've had, I've been able to overcome them. I don't know if it's my loyalty to the original story or just that I absolutely loved the writing and atmosphere of this book -- probably a little from Column A and a little from Column B, if I had to guess -- but I found this novel exquisitely lovely. So much so that I was inspired to create a t-shirt based on it, when given the opportunity.

 Instagram

GIF it to me straight:



About the author:

S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is a voracious and indiscriminate reader, an avid traveller, and something of an adrenaline junkie.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for 10 years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be find rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.

Find JJ:

Website | BlogTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr


So, in my review, I alluded to a t-shirt design inspired by Labyrinth. And you got a peek of it in my Instagram pic above. The wonderful people at UberPrints offered to collaborate with me on a custom t-shirt of my own design, and this was the result:


I absolutely love my Labyrinth-inspired tee! It's so soft and comfy and the design came out exactly as I pictured it! And the best part was how easy it was to navigate their site to design it myself. I definitely anticipate using their service again. I've already got so many ideas for more bookish tees!

Check out UberPrints and design something awesome for yourself: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook. They have a wide array of shirt styles, sizes, and colors, so you're sure to find something to fit your needs!

Happy reading...and designing! :D

4 comments:

  1. I also absolutely adored this book, though the ending kind of crushed me, so I'm SO happy there was a sequel announced :) Fantastic review!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aww yayyy! So glad to hear that you loved it! I'm really excited about this one because I'm a big Labyrinth fan, and also that cover <3 <3 lol! I've seen a lot of up and down reviews for this one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had no idea it was a Labryinth retelling, that is so awesome! I am hearing such good things about it!

    ReplyDelete
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