I’m going to be completely honest before I start talking about S. Jae Jones’ Wintersong: I’m an ’80s girl, I saw Labyrinth, and I thought it was… okay. I liked it, don’t throw things at me! But it never became religion for me, the way it has for so many (cough, cough, Frenchie and Julie, cough cough). I read the description for Wintersong, though, and decided that maybe I’d bond with a book about the Goblin King more. I mean, really: “The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…” This. This speaks to me.
Wintersong is gorgeous. A tale with music woven into its veins, sensuality pulsing underneath the surface. Set during the time when Mozart, when myth and magic was whispered about by the elders and scoffed at by the younger generation, it’s the story of Liesl, a young woman who’s given up pursuing her own dreams to live through her protege brother and her prettier, if flightier, sister. Liesel is enraptured by stories of der erlkonig – the Goblin King – during her young life, even remembering him as a childhood friend that she would play with in the woods. But the King wasn’t merely a bedtime story; he’s very real, and when he kidnaps Liesel’s sister, it’s up to Liesl to venture into his world to get her home. She brokers a deal with him to secure her sister’s return: to be the Goblin King’s bride.
Liesl and der elrlkonig have everything they could want, but freedom. She uses the time underground to discover herself; to claim her own talents as a musician and composer, urged on by the Goblin King. She finds herself falling in love with him, but even more, wanting him – and he’s holding back, for his own reasons. The slow burn between the two is incredible. Throw in the passion of their shared music, the tormented love affair, and the fact that you just know your life is about to be ruined in the greatest of ways while you’re reading, and this is a book that refuses to be put down.
On top of all the goodness contained between the covers (heh…), this is an author debut. Can you believe? YES. It’s S. Jae Jones’ first book, and this is what she starts off with. Can you imagine what other stories are waiting? Be there at the beginning: read and fall in love with Wintersong. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to give Labyrinth another watch…
Wintersong‘s received a starred review from Booklist magazine, and is on sale now!