Author: S. Jae-Jones
Wintersong is a lyrical, beautiful re-telling of a fairy story. The old-as-time story of love conquering the wild unobtainable beast, the Goblin King in his Underworld. The Goblin King needs a wife from the land of humans above. He must marry a woman who willingly offers herself. There have been many. And, the tale is always the same. Living in the underworld takes its toll, and the women slowly die. All except one long ago. The one he let go.
Liesl is growing up. She loves music. Composing music is in her soul. But it is her younger brother who will receive the education at the hands of a master. He is a boy. And, she is a girl. Education and a life as a musician is not for her. She might marry and have children. But perhaps not. She is not beautiful like her sister. She is plain. And often forgotten, even by her own family. She feels the injustice, the jealousy, the anger at being blocked from following her heart.
She has forgotten that long-ago she met the Goblin King. Many years ago when she was a little girl they played, they talked, they were friends. And he asked her to marry him someday.
Now he's back. His magic changes the very world around her. She must face her own faults, her own emotions, her very soul in order to save the life of her sister, whom he has taken. But, is defeating the Goblin King really winning?
I read this book in one night, as it snowed outside. I couldn't put it down. The story is beautiful. Raw emotions. Wildness. Abandon. Love. Sorrow. Loss. Growing up hurts. Love hurts. But it is also gloriously beautiful.
I couldn't help but compare this story to one of my favorite films of the 80s: Labyrinth. In fact, the author even states she wrote this story as a more passionate re-telling of the Labyrinth tale. In my mind's eye the Goblin King looked like a young David Bowie. I couldn't help it. Talented, musical, free, wild, unusual. I was saddened at Bowie's death in 2016. He was such a gifted musician and performer. This tale brought him back to life for me, if only for a moment. Back as the Goblin King. But this time, the story isn't a children's tale. This story is much more than a child's story. Love. Passion. Real Decisions. The choices we all have to make when we cross from child to adult. The decisions that set our life-path and make us what we Become.
It's all in the Becoming. That point in life where you give your absolute all to something. The time when you gift your soul. The moment when you value someone or something more than yourself. It's painful, beautiful and truly freeing. That's what this story is about.
Wintersong is a truly beautiful book, inside and out. The cover art is the best I have seen in a long time.
Releasing February 7th from St. Martin's Press, Wintersong is S. Jae-Jones' debut novel. To find out more about the author and her book, check out her website at http://sjaejones.com/
I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.