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Wintersong Paperback – 7 Feb 2017

4.1 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (7 Feb. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785655442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785655449
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 4 x 13.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The legend of the cruel and pitiless Erl-king anchors a darkly lush and dangerous tale of a stifled young woman s creative awakening. Beautiful writing evokes powerful emotions in this journey into the meaning of sacrifice and the power of love. Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of the Crossroads and Crown of Stars series

"Wintersong is a maze of beauty and darkness, of music and magic and glittering things, all tied together with exquisite writing. This is a world you will want to stay lost in." Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites

"Spellbinding and sexy, Wintersong is a feast for all the senses. I didn't want this beautifully written book to end." Renee Ahdieh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn

"This was Labyrinth by way of Angela Carter, and I think my soul has been aching for a book like Wintersong for the last decade. Deliciously romantic, with a nuanced Goblin King and a strong heroine, this story was rife with fairy tales, music, and enchantment." Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"S. Jae-Jones has a great grasp of emotion in her writing, and plucks your heart-strings from the very first pages. This story will make you hurt in the most fantastic way. It is captivating. A very strong debut." Charlie N. Holmberg, bestselling author of The Paper Magician

"This is an exquisitely and lyrically crafted tale of longing, sibling loyalty, and the importance of women in a time when women were so often overlooked. Eerie, unsettling, and above all, full of music." - --Booklist (starred review)

If you ever thought a Goblin King could be sexy (and anyone who s seen Labyrinth would have to think that) then this for you. --Starburst Magazine

“I fell in love with S. Jae-Jone’s writing style from the first page.” Cosy Reader

“Beautiful and lyrical” Fall Out Book Nerd

“The Goblin King is enchanting, Liesl is music at its truest form and together they tell a story that will have you in tears at 4am in the morning.” The YA Nightstand

“I really enjoyed it” Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

“I simply loved this book.” Blue Book Balloon

“S Jae-Jones writes beautifully.” Owl on the Book Shelf

“This is a story that any Labyrinth fan who ever wondered “what if” needs in their life.” Over The Effing Rainbow

“I would highly recommend this novel for those who love the magical, fantastical and beautiful love interests.” The Reading Lodge

“The entire book is written so magically, its hard not to be swept away by it. “ Mike Reads

“The most incredibly beautiful writing style.” Dual Reads

“I did not want to put it down.” Abi’s Book Review

“I genuinely don’t think I can fault this book at all... a magically romantic 10/10” Daniel Riding

“The writing in this novel is beautiful.” STRUPAG

“A dark, mythical and magical story, filled with poetic writing, stunning scenes and an antagonist you just love to hate. “ Amy Jane Alice

“A dark, intoxicating tale for those in the mood for Gothic romance.” One More Review

“Wintersong’s simple, traditional structure supports sophisticated themes of choice, love and creativity and the way awkward teenagers can feel themselves to be so invisible that any attention, however dangerous, becomes welcome.” The Morning Star

“So incredibly beautiful and dark that you can’t help but be drawn into its seductive story.” Read Rant Review

About the Author

S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and erstwhile editrix. When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, cohosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dressup. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog. UK and Commonwealth

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
ARC copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I can't remember the last time I felt so intensely conflicted about a book. Set in 19th C Bavaria, Wintersong tells the story of the Vogel siblings from Liesl's POV. Girls are warned by their provincial elders not to want too much, to be modest and hard working, to be chase or else Der Erlkonig will fetch them away. But to Liesl, who is genuinely plain (not plain in a 'I don't realise how gorgeous I am' kinda way) as well as strange, intense and musically gifted, the story is seductive. She does not remember the strange companion of her childhood, anymore than she lets herself think about the music she composes or the future she wishes she had - usurped by her adored younger brother - but Liesl has met the Goblin King; once upon a time they were friends...

This is a folktale, a historical fantast and a lush, tempestuous romance all rolled into one. And as unbiased as I try to be in my reviews, I am very conscious of the fact that this was exactly the story I wanted to read at exactly the time I wanted it, told in pretty much exactly the way I wanted. So this is not an unemotional appraisal. Not that I can't see the flaws in the book. The structure does have a few wobbly moments and the narrative is occasionally over-written. It feels as if it could have done with another pass but the author ran out of time. That said the prose is gorgeous, the characters are complicated and engaging, and the plot is twisting and slyly gets under your skin. There were times when Liesl was actually thoroughly unlikeable but I couldn't help rooting for her and wanting to know what happened all the same. If you know anything at all about musical theory, that's how this book reads - like a sonata scored in musical notation.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I wanted to like this book, really, I did. But I just couldn't. There were so many trope faux pas, and not in a good way. Sometimes an author breaks a trope and its great, and refreshing, but not in this instance.

This book is quite hotly anticipated, but for me, it completely missed the boat.

To the authors credit I can see some beautiful writing in there, some of her descriptions are lovely and I think give her a bit more time and she will be a stunning author. But for me, this one didn't hit the mark. The book was set in and around the German/Bavarian area what felt like a few hundred years ago, which meant quite a lot of the language was 'old'. For me, it didn't work, it made the prose stilted and often I didn't understand what was going on because there weren't always translations of the phrases. But this is personal preference and not something that detracts from the overall book.


The characters for me were bizarre. I had quite a lot of trouble differentiating at the start, but eventually, when Lisel went underground I adapted as the cast shrank.

The main character was unfortunately quite irritating. She placed a LOT of promenance on the fact she was 'plain' and 'ugly'. One or two references would have been fine, but she went on, and on, and on, and on, and on to the point where I struggled to connect with her at all.

The method in which the Jae-Jones described her thoughts jarred me, the main character was all over the place. One minute she hated the Goblin King and his spikey teeth and skinny appearance, the very next sentence she wanted him. This switch happened a LOT. I didn't connect to that. It was too changeable without enough justification on the characters part. I didn't believe the romance at all.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First half was great, very mysterious, the involvement of music worked well, and it was just enjoyable. The second half, however, was just Liesel and the Goblin King composing all the time. Composing, falling out, playing music as an apology, and falling out again. This means that the last 250 pages could be axed completely. The only consolation is that the ending few pages were quite sweet. So 4 stars for the first half and 2 stars for the second half means 3 stars overall.
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Format: Paperback
I was sent Wintersong by the publisher for an honest review.

It’s taken me awhile to gather my thoughts about this novel. When I started reading Wintersong, I immediately felt it was a solid 4 stars because the writing was beautiful. I was hooked to the plot and I was particularly excited about the references and similarities to Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, one of my favourite poems. Wintersong doesn’t only bare similarities to Rossetti’s poem, it’s actually a retelling of Labyrinth. I haven’t watched the film, so I can’t comment on how the two compare.

Wintersong is a fantasy novel, the first few instances where goblins crept into the narrative were a little weird. It felt dream-like but I think that was the point because the narrative is written from the first-person perspective of the protagonist, Liesl. The idea is that Liesl feels like she’s dreaming, she feels like she’s almost in a trance-like state when she encounters the goblins. She questions whether what she saw was real or not. Wintersong itself was dream-like, Jae-Jones’ poetic style emphasised this, and the references and importance given to music in this novel make it come across as a musical piece in itself.

I loved the way the goblins and the Underground were incorporated into the story, they were fascinating to read about. There are echoes of Persephone and Hades in the story as it progresses and I thought the Goblin King bore a lot of similarities to Morozko.

Eighteen-year-old Liesl wasn’t a likeable character in my opinion. Which is fine, some of my favourite stories have had unlikeable main characters.
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