By S. Jae-Jones
Summary: 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.
Source: I received a digital ARC from NetGalley
I absolutely loved Wintersong. It was a beautiful story with such darkness and mystery. It was a dark fantasy romance and for once, it didn’t contain a vampire or a werewolf or the fae.. instead, it was a retelling of Labyrinth, complete with goblins! The heroine wasn’t beautiful and naive, but was instead more cunning and talented. She did not melt at the attention of men or even the Goblin King, desperate for attention, even thought she sometimes wanted to. I loved Liesl and her story.
Wintersong was gorgeous and lyrical, full of suspense and romance. I hate to give too much of the plot away, but it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed it and devoured it quickly. I love dark romances and I thought the book delivered exactly what I wanted with a ton of twists and turns.
I will say that I have not seen Labyrinth, so I have nothing to compare it to. I don’t know how much was changed or what the differences are. That also means I had no expectations, so I was able to fully immerse myself in the book. If you have really high expectations as a result of loving the movie, since it appears to have quite the cult following, I can’t comment on whether it’s a decent retelling. Otherwise, I highly recommend the book.
Wintersong is a magical YA fantasy that delivered a unique retelling I didn’t know I wanted.