Book Series Review : Wintersong Duology by S. Jae-Jones

I finally finished this series!

I have the first book in Indonesian and I keep waiting for Indonesian publisher to published the sequel but there are no recent news about this series༼ಢ_ಢ༽

Then I decided to purchase both in English and start reading them because I can’t wait to read how this’ll end!


1. Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Page : 436 pages
Published : 7th February 2017

— Blurb —

The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

— Mini Review —

“Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.”

Welllll, this is a re-read review actually.

I’ve read this way back before and I even write a review out of it! It’s still available in this website for you BUT my writing is a bit messy and sloppy back in the days. That’s my trigger warning by the way.

Okay.

So, this book.

I’m not the type to do a re-read, so I’m feeling a bit lazy to start AND giddily excited! Because I remember loving this book and dreading for it’s sequel release in Indonesia. 

There are so many things I love about this book! But most of all, I am so in love with the world-building! It’s so uniquely magical. The story is a retelling of Hades and Persephone, so you might’ve guess how the story goes.

One lives aboveground, lighted by sun and moon while one lives underground, with the soil and earth beneath.

The story might seems ordinary because there are many retellings based on Hades and Persephone already, but you need to trust me, when I say Wintersong might have the same premises as the rest, but the way it’s being delivered and developed is so good.

I finished the book in two days and I just love everything about this book. Although there are times I find it to be predictable, I still gladly and happily devoured the book.

“To love is to be selfless. ”


2. Shadowsong (Wintersong, #2) by S. Jae-Jones

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Page : 379 pages
Published : 6th February 2018

— Blurb —

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

— Mini Review —

“It isn’t life that keeps the world turning; it is love.”

I have super high hopes for this one because how good Wintersong is.

Let me begin with the world-building. The once magical realm of Goblin, gone. I don’t even think there are any world-building in this second book. The settings changed from the magical realm of Goblin kingdom into a fixed Vienna.

Also, I personally think, instead of Goblin, the story focused more on the main character struggles, of making her dreams come true to be a well-known composer. It’s still a book of dreams and hope, but a different kind of dreams and hope.

I also think the pacing is super slow. The kind of slow that consists of paragraphs, indicating the characters are thinking or doing something, while in fact, there’s nothing really significant in the action. Resulting in a slow progress of the characters doing nothing in particular that can develop or even move the story forward.

Luckily, there are Goblin King and Liesl, the romance icon in the book. But that too, compare to the first book, is too shallow to called it romance.

I love how this book bring in important topic of self-harm, addiction, reckless behaviour, suicidal ideation and racism. But personally, I do not think many of that topic are successfully blend into the story.

Like in the author’s note, there are indication that this second book is far more personal than the predecessor and the author transform the main character into a bipolar, which is again, an important topic, but I do not think it’s successfully made sense in the story. (and I think every characters suffer bipolar in this book)

“What are monsters but mortals corrupted?”


THE MUSIC

Because this series has a lot to deal with music.

I think those who understand and love music, will feel more for the book. It has a detailed music keys and detailed explanation about musical instrument. 

And the feelings the characters convey through music.

As someone who doesn’t understand music, I personally think there are so many detailed explanation about music in Wintersong. It’s annoying because I do not understand the beauty of the music but as a whole and in the end of the book, I find it beautiful.

If you love music, I think you’re going to like Shadowsong a little more than I do because it has MUCH MORE to do with music. But unlike Wintersong, I don’t think it successfully blend in with the story.


THE WORLD-BUILDING

Let me begin with Wintersong.

It’s the kind of world-building that hit you, a moment after you finished reading the book, wondering and replaying all the romantic moments in your head, sipping your tea, sit back and relax. 

That’s when the feelings will hit you.

A moment of truth to realized how beautiful the world building is.

It’s not only about Goblin, their dark premises or their magic. It’s all about how enchanting the writing is. Even as I’m writing this review, I couldn’t help but to flashback to the world of Goblin because aside from magical, they’re beautifully enchanting, set deep impression inside your mind for particular scenes that’ll lasted for weeks and satisfyingly unique.

However, I lost all of the beauty in Shadowsong  ༼ಢ_ಢ༽ There are not much to do about the Goblin and that include, the magical Goblin realm.


THE ROMANCE

Just the mention of Goblin King has made me giddy and excited already

I love how perfectly imperfect the pair of Goblin King and Liesl. In Wintersong, both their chemistry are strong, real and magical. Always magical. 

I’m not swoon over the couple, but I totally love and supported this lovebirds. 

If you’re reading this series for the romance, I think you might be pretty happy with Wintersong and ended up wanting for more in a good way. However, there are not much romance in Shadowsong. Personally, I even feel like Goblin King made the appearance in the book as a supportive character instead of the male lead ༼ಢ_ಢ༽


There are a LOT of things I remember in Wintersong but I can’t find any strong impression in Shadowsong. I even think that it’s better to made this book as a standalone rather than a duology (even though I might tear my walls off and crave for more in the end)

Wintersong is that good. But I’m not that hyped for Shadowsong.

Alas, I’m happy I’ve finished reading this series!

Author: Celine

 

 

2 thoughts on “Book Series Review : Wintersong Duology by S. Jae-Jones

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