Wintersong: A Novel by S. Jae-jonesWintersong: A Novel by S. Jae-jones

Wintersong: A Novel

byS. Jae-jones

Hardcover | February 7, 2017

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"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

Dark, romantic, and unforgettable, Wintersong is an enchanting coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and Beauty and the Beast.


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.

Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones's Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won't soon forget.

"This was Labyrinth by way of Angela Carter. 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 (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, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the...
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Title:Wintersong: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 8.53 × 5.79 × 1.49 inPublished:February 7, 2017Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250079217

ISBN - 13:9781250079213

Customer Reviews of Wintersong: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok this is such a great book! I loved the plot, storyline, and everything in between!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok this is such a great book! I loved the plot, storyline, and everything in between!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from couldn't put it down i loved the story! at the beginning, i thought liesl would be another typical cliche white protagonist in a ya fantasy, but jae-jones proves readers wrong with a strong female lead.. writing style is impeccable - very gripping, and full of vibrant details.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes Such an inspiring and interesting read, simply could not put it down! Great job!
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved ittttttttttttttttttt other than the beautiful cover, the book is also beautifully written!!!
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wintersong An interesting fantasy tale.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! They say to never judge a book by its cover, but I bought this book just for that! It was so beautiful, and the content was just as beautifully written. I'd never read a period novel before, so this opened up a new world to me. I can't wait for the second book!
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i really enjoyed this book i went into reading this book WITHOUT looking at the reviews and not expecting much, honestly, i just thought it would be a nice read and a change of tone from what i was reading. without the expectations, i really really enjoyed this book. it had nice writing, i really like the story between the goblin king and liesl, and the way the music was mentioned and the style of it really made me think of der erlkonig (original german story) that had music put onto it by franz schubert. usually, with books surrounding music, i am a little skeptical because as a big fan of classical music, i am really picky with how the author describes music and how the characters treat the music. i was very impressed with how jae-jones wrote it in this book. please give this story a chance despite the bad reviews because the story is really intriguing. plus, if you're a fan of fantasy and beauty-and-the-beast type stories, this is a must read if you're looking for more.
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from nope did not enjoy it, it got strange and confusing
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from NO this book could have been awesome but I wasn't. it was SO repetitive I almost have to shelf it on my DNF. There are about 5 names per character and the author made Elizabeth the dumbest chick ever!!! I didn't think she was brave just plan stupid as heck! and there was SO SO much Randomness!!! I can't even begin to explain... I DO NOT recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from It Got Weird... This book was really strange to me. At first I felt like I would be able to relate to Liesl quite a bit but then the whole story just spirals off into weird stuff about goblin kings, brides, and something about a sacrifice so the seasons can continue?? Idek, it just got super weird. When I decided to not finish reading this book, I didn't even know what was going on anymore and didn't have the desire to commit brain cells to the purpose of finding out.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This was NOT a Labyrinth Retelling This was marketed as a Labyrinth retelling but anyone going into this book expecting that will be disappointed. I did think we were getting that but I heard from a few other readers that it was not the case. The author is a huge Labyrinth fan and does throw in some shout-outs from the film and you can imagine her Goblin King just like the one we all grew up with and love but that is where the comparisons stop. So, is this book still worth a look? I personally think so. The first 100 pages were slow, and I rarely find books slow, but this one just didn't seem to move at all. Once you are through that though then it really starts picking up and we head to the Underground with the Goblin King (yet - it's still not a retelling lol). I enjoyed the banter between the lead protagonist and the Goblin King. I was shipping them very quickly and but I felt heartbreak was around every corner and I would likely need tissues before the end. A lot of the book centers around the main character's music - she plays the violin and we get pages and pages on end about this. Maybe if I played - this might have intrigued me more, but this kept taking me out of the story and rushing through it again. I gave the story four stars in the end because the second half saved it for me. I loved the main characters - the sides could have used to fleshing out and the story was something completely different to anything I've read recently and I appreciate that. The ending left me broken inside but there is a sequel so hope still springs eternal.
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read This book was alright it was good at first but took a long time to finish it. I wasn't to pleased with the ending felt like there was more to it.
Date published: 2017-05-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from nope the kind of book that starts slow and builds to disappointment
Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did not like The kind of story that starts up slow and builds to nothing, writing was ok. Read and did not enjoy.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it Very good writing and excellent story.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good! Great debut!! Awesome world building.
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good debut! It was a good story and interesting plot line...but I wasn't too fond of the ending.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excited! I'm really excited to read this book, I read the preview on iBooks to try it out, and I loved it so naturally bought the book right away!!
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful I absolutely adored this book. I fell in love with it from the first page. It's so beautiful. It has this haunting eerie melody aura to it that you don't want to stop. It just makes my heart ache for more. I wish there was more! I've seen a few reviews that compares this book to Labyrinth (which I haven't heard of, should I be ashamed?) For me, it reminded me a bit of the myths of Persephone.
Date published: 2017-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours. Dark. Haunting. Seductive. Poetic. Nostalgic. Soul shattering. Full Disclosure: After writing my review for this book, I have decided that I cannot actually give a review that will do this story justice. I have never read a story that has touched me so deeply or moved me as much as this one. I could spend hours writing words and finding quotes that describe what I am trying to say… but no amount of explaining will do any good because this is one that just needs to be felt. Please feel free to continue reading below for my review. I finished this book 4 days ago and I still don’t have any coherent thoughts as to what to say. I believe that books can be similar to humans in that with some humans you meet and you realize after a time that you met them for a reason or they are in your life to teach you a lesson. There are a few types of people you will meet in your life: the first are ones who come into your life for a specific reason… you may not know what that reason is at the moment, but you eventually figure it out. Then there are others who come into your life to teach you a lesson; whether it’s about anything specific, that is up to you. And then are another type of people all together… they come into your life un-expectantly and you have no expectations for a reason or for a lesson. It is almost like they are just meant to be in your life for the sole purpose of two souls being drawn together. I fully believe books are the same way. Some books you pick up and read and they speak so personally to you because of where you are in your life (or past life experiences), or some books open your eyes to make you see certain things that you didn’t before. But then there is the third kind, that seemingly have no reason and something just clicks. That was this story for me. I have never read such a resounding story in all my life… this book just clicked for me. I read this whole book, all 432 pages, in two days. I have never in my life read a book that fast. I think that alone speaks to how entranced I was in this story, the world, the characters, the music, everything, and how much I absolutely obsessed over this. From the very first to the very last page, my breath was taken away and left me gasping for air. It left me wondering where it has been my whole life and how I wish I could have read it so much sooner! It was nothing what I expected the story to be, but to me it was something so much more than just a story. This could have been the typical trope of insta-love that seems to be oh-so popular these days, THANK GOD IT WASN’T. Or it could have been the all too familiar story of boy meets girl or girl meets boy or whoever meets whoever. They fall in love with each other over similar life experiences. Some drama happens, they break up or are forced apart. Then after some time and/or reflection, they find their way back to each other and it’s happily ever after. Now obviously I am aware that’s not how every love story goes, but that seems to be the most familiar formula that is usually used. I will admit that some stories do this much better than others and there are other varying factors that play into some stories, but I feel like the same basic foundation is used over and over again. I have never come across a love story (novel, tv show, movie, whatever) that has resonated with me and seemed to take a piece of my soul with it the way this one did. And yes, you read that correctly, a LOVE story. It’s not just a love story though, I don’t even know if I can call it a love story, because in its essence, it is a story about love. It is about all things encompassing love and the emotions that go along with it–the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is a story about sacrifice and self-worth, and about seeing someone for who they truly are underneath their mask and accepting them for being imperfect. But most importantly, it is about finding yourself,accepting yourself for who you are, and being selfless. If this sounds like the same love story that’s been done thousands of times, that’s because it is. Except it’s in the WAY the author built this up that seemed to slowly creep into my mind and linger, and that is what made this story so unbelievably outstanding. I am going to make a music reference here, since music is a heavy theme throughout this book. It was very similar to when you hear music in the distance, but you can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from and it’s so faint that it could all possibly be in your head. As you continue listening, the music seems to get a bit more clear and you can start to piece together fragments of a song. And as you continue listening, the music gets clearer and louder, until you can hear the song in it’s entirety and it’s so loud it’s the only thing you can hear. A song can sometimes be stuck in your head for days and days... that was how this story went… Essentially this book can almost be broken down into two separate stories: the first about the Goblin King searching for a bride and bringing her to The Underground where Elisabeth (Liesl), our main character, has to venture to save her sister, but she ends up being forced to become the Goblin Queen. The second part is about Elisabeth staying in The Underground and actually falling in love with the Goblin King. Music was a main theme throughout this book as well… and the author did an amazing job of not only describing the music, but making me feel and hear the music. Since I will never be able to describe my feelings about this book, I will leave you with some of my favourite quotes: “She turned around. My sister’s lips glistened–red, stick, and sweet– her pout swollen as though she had just been thoroughly kissed. In her hands was a half-eaten peach, its juice dripping down her fingers like rivulets of blood.” “There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.” A little back story on this quote, it’s in reference to a pretty lie instead of the ugly truth: “What is the use of running, if we are on the wrong road?” “I am,” he whispers, “the monster I warned you against.” “You are,” I say hoarsely, “the monster I claim.” “He kissed me. His lips were gentle and in them I tasted a farewell. I kissed him back. Time did not stop for anyone, least of all me, but in that moment of our kiss, I found a little pocket of eternity.” The last 30 pages of this story broke my heart. I could slowly start to feel it sinking in that this was not going to have a happily ever after, at least not in the usual way. I guess this next quote could basically summarize the main theme of this story…without giving too much away. “But, happy as the foolish young man might have been, the beautiful maiden was not. The cage was killing her, killing her spirit. And gradually, little by little, all that the foolish young man cherished about the beautiful maiden began to disappear. There was nothing he could do but watch her fade into a ghost before his very eyes, nothing unless he ripped out his own heart. Keep her, make himself happy, and watch her die? Or set her free, break his heart, and watch her live?” I think the basis of this story begs the question: If you love someone, do you let them go if it will make them happy? So often I feel like we get into relationships (friendships or otherwise) and it’s all about ‘me me me’. What can this other person do to help me? How is this other person making me happy? How does this other person make me feel? Is this the right person for me? What am I getting out of this? Is this person treating me right? Does this person love me? So on and so forth. And what we usually don’t think about or ask is: what can I do for you? Now obviously, this comes with a grain of salt, because everyone is a bit selfish and sometimes you need to be selfish for your own sake. And of course you don’t just be with someone to help them, or make them happy, or treat them right, or love them, it all must be reciprocated with what works best for the both of you. I do believe that is why this story clicked so much with me, because every other story I have come across is always about ‘me me me’. To answer that question: yes, if you love someone you let them go if it will make them happy, if even their happiness doesn’t include you, because love –at the core of all it entails–is about being selfless. Every page afterwards was a slow burn for me… I could feel all the emotions the author was conveying and I could feel all my emotions welling up inside me getting ready to burst. “Choose to live, Elisabeth. There’s a fire within you; keep it alight. Feed that flame with music and seasons and chocolate torte and strawberries and your grandmother’s gugelhopf. Let it grow with your love for your family. Let it be a beacon to set your heart by, so that you may remain true to yourself. Do this, so that I may remember you like this: fierce and full of life.” If I am going to be completely honest, I had no clue how the end of this would play out, I had a suspicion, but I was completely wrong. The last chapter of this book was only 3.5 pages long, but in those 3.5 pages the author managed to rip my heart out, obliterate it on the pages in front of me, and leave me with a feeling of such longing that after I finished it, I cried by myself sitting on my sofa for about 20 minutes. Yes, true story, that actually happened.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating and beautiful Not really into this type of genre, but wow it was a beautiful read. The characters, the plotline, the dialogue. The writing was amazing and intriguing and complex. I loved the unique premise. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read So much great stuff in here. They really knew what they were doing when they put this together. So alive and passionate, you could tell they put their heart into it. We would definitely recommend it, we know how much it means to us.
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not Bad Wintersong was interesting enough and I didn't find the plot lacking, but it was hard to get into and I found the pacing inconsistent.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So rich with fairy tale references! Reminiscent of both Labyrinth and Rosetti's Goblin Market! I loved this instantly from the first page. It gives off this magical vibe, like you’ve been transported into this mystical realm. It’s doing similar things in terms of building atmosphere as the previous two, yet it’s so much richer, if that’s possible. I instantly know the fairy tales she’s referencing and it’s very clear she’s well-read in her subject.This particular retelling is about the Goblin King, so again, this is another surprising side to the fairytale canon you don’t see redone a lot. Although it’s a little more obscure in terms of well-known fairy tales, there are so many stories she’s clearly drawing from. Jae-Jones is serving David Bowie in Labyrinth and Rosetti’s “Goblin Market” rolled into one and it’s beautiful. Any novel putting Victorian literature on a teenage reader’s map is doing aspirational things.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting it was a mix of okay and interesting
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok Story is. It really original but this is an ok read
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Riveting Dark and haunting, this beautiful book utterly shattered my heart by the end of it. The plot was intriguing, and the myth, the lore, it all hooked me into the story. The second half, however, made them go on the backseat, the romance taking the lead. I don't really mind the romance (in fact, it was good), but I would have liked to seen the actual plot kick in earlier than it did. Nonetheless, I will happily wait for the second book. P.S. By 'happily' I mean despairingly :)
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark and Magical This novel is far from a Labyrinth type story. Though, the idea is very similar, Wintersong has its own unique story. Dark, mysterious, and beautifully written. Wintersong was captivating from start to finish.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from pretty beautiful cover but this book is so expensive
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is very good, and I can't put it down!
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I liked it! This was a good novel, it had me hooked from the first page but it got a bit slow. I would still recommend this novel to other people.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Labyrinth Incarnate If you grew up loving the movie Labyrinth, than you will love this novel! A beautiful sweeping fantasy that draws you into the realm of the Goblin King, with fast pacing and has you questioning your own morals. Perfection!
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Urgh! I really wanted to love it! I really did! I couldn't though. The start was to slow. It was filled with metaphors that, if you took the time to analyze them, ended up being pretty empty. And as I read it, I kept telling myself that I had heard this speech before. The characters seem to be repeating themselves constantly throughout the novel. The idea was good, and it appealed to me. Sadly, the final product didn't do it for me though. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Slow start but great book overall.
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enchanting and Dark After I finished this story I heard that it was inspired by the movie Labyrinth. It has been many years since I have seen that movie and it didn`t impact my enjoyment of this story at all. I flew through this book, it had me gripped from the beginning to the end. S. Jae-Jones writing is magical, the way she describes the Underground brings it to life. I feel like I just watched a movie, I could picture everything perfectly. Sometimes when stories have a lot of description it can be really overwhelming, but that wasn`t the case for this story. Liesl reminds me a bit of Sofi from Howls Moving Castle. Mainly because they both view themselves as plain and figure they will never amount to anything, but they go through a huge transformation and discover who they are. Liesl cares so much about her family and sacrifices a lot of herself for them. The main part of this story is Liesl taking the time to figure out who she is as her own person. I loved the relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King, though sometimes they did annoy me. There are a couple scenes between them that are pretty steamy and might not be fitting for a younger reader. There are so many things happening in this book and I don`t want to mention all of them, some should stay a surprise. I loved this book so much and I would highly recommend it. It was enchanting and dark, beautiful and ugly. It is a wonderfully written story and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did if you decide to read it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark. Sexy. Beautiful. Painful. What initially drew me towards this novel had to have been the fact that it is based on Labyrinth, a film that moved many, including myself. I was also interested in how the author, S. Jae-Jones, would execute it. The pace was quite slow at times and the second half of the novel felt as if the novel was being dragged on. But the tone and writing made up for the slow pace. I was so conflicted on my rating for this book since I absolutely loved the first half of the novel but felt bored with the second half. However, in the end, I did enjoy this dark and intriguing fairytale. If you love dark fairytales that are wonderfully twisted then I highly recommend you add Wintersong onto your TBR.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark. Sexy. Beautiful. Painful. What initially drew me towards this novel had to have been the fact that it is a retelling of Labyrinth, a film that moved many, including myself. I was also interested in how the author, S. Jae-Jones, would execute it. The pace was quite slow at times and the second half of the novel felt as if the novel was being dragged on. But the tone and writing made up for the slow pace. I was so conflicted on my rating for this book since I absolutely loved the first half of the novel but felt bored with the second half. However, in the end I did enjoy this dark and intriguing fairytale. If you love dark fairytales that are wonderfully twisted then I highly recommend you add Wintersong onto your TBR.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from For fans of the Labyrinth I had highly anticipated this novel, and I am sad to report that I was a little disappointed. I was expecting more of a fairy-tale re-telling filled with magic and adventure. While Wintersong contained some of these components (a red cloak and wolf are mentioned to bring forth Red Riding Hood elements, and Germanic folklore is also present), the second half shifted to mostly focus on intense romance and passion. I will say that this novel is perfect for romantics, music lovers and instrumentalists. I was happy to find that while I know nothing about music notes and composition, Jae-Jones explained each area in such detail that I was able to understand and follow the story, despite my limited knowledge. Our main character Liesl is a brave girl who loves her flawed family with all her heart. This book focuses on the importance of family, music, love and acceptance. Perfect for fans of Jim Henson's Labyrinth and The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi.
Date published: 2016-12-05

Editorial Reviews

"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."-Renée 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)"Jae-Jones writes beautifully about the magic of love, the power of music, and the importance of free will." -Publishers Weekly"Structured as a sonata, the final movement culminates in a bittersweet sacrifice that will leave readers... savoring the delicious tragedy." -Kirkus Reviews"[R]ife with intricate details and world-building, as well as the charged relationship between Liesl and the Goblin King. Fans of Gregory Maguire's Egg & Spoon or E.K. Johnston's A Thousand Nights will be drawn to the in-depth depictions of the goblin's realm." -School Library Journal