Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-JonesShadowsong by S. Jae-Jones
Series: Wintersong #2
Published by Wednesday Books on February 6, 2018
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?

I don’t even know how to start this review. My heart is broken – this book BROKE my heart. But not in a good way. It physically pains me to say that. I haven’t felt this crushed over a book since I read The Crown’s Fate last July – though One Dark Throne comes in at a close second. I mean.. Those of you who follow my blog know how much I LOVED Wintersong. Words can’t even describe my feelings for Wintersong – it was gorgeous and left me feeling breathless and dizzy. It spoke to me in ways no book ever has.

Shadowsong did none of that. It was.. confusing. I mean, like, Alyxandra Harvey-level confusing. For over half the book, I had no idea what was going on. I’ve seen other bloggers complain about the formatting of the US ARC (which is what I read), and that DEFINITELY contributed to the confusion. There were like… three (???) different stories happening and the breaks between sections/stories were super confusing. Maybe it’s less confusing in the finished copy? I can only hope…

I was completely detached from the characters in Shadowsong, which is weird and sucky because I LOVED them and felt for them in Wintersong, but in Shadowsong I just… didn’t. All the characters just fell flat in Shadowsong. The biggest disappointment was the Goblin King. I really didn’t care about the Goblin King’s past, and found those scenes so beyond boring, I almost started skimming them. And that makes me sad because I WANTED to care. But I just didn’t.

I can appreciate – and relate to (some of) the metaphors to mental illness (like Page 313). My detachment had nothing to do with that. It was just in general. I just didn’t care what happened to anyone. And I saw the ending coming a mile away – it was interesting, but completely predictable.

The writing was still elegant and lush, and the tone still had an old-time feel to it. And the book was intriguing enough at times that it kept me reading until the end. But overall, it just wasn’t what I expected or hoped for. I have a few other thoughts, but I don’t want to drag this review out anymore – it hurts too much. This book hasn’t changed my feelings about Wintersong, and I’ll still always love and support Wintersong and S. Jae-Jones. I think she’s an amazing writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next!


Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Blog Tour)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Blog Tour)Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Published by Thomas Dunne on February 7, 2017
Pages: 448
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

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.

Hey everyone! I’m BEYOND excited to be on the blog tour for Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne). If you follow my blog/social media, you know how much I LOVED this book and how obsessed I am with it! I’m so excited for book two, I don’t know how I’ll survive until next year!!!

Anyway, enough babbling! Time for my review! Enjoy!


This book was absolutely beautiful and completely intoxicating; it left me feeling breathless, like I was spinning and dizzy and knew I should stop, but couldn’t put it down. It spoke to me in ways a book never has – and I’ve been a reader all my life, so that’s a LOT of books that never spoke to me such as this one did. I was completely absorbed in the world, writing and characters.

Liesl is passionate, rash and impulsive, prone to fits of rage, to highs and lows. To self-sabotage and self-doubt. The author said something about Liesl in her newsletter and I can 100% see it. I won’t say what it is for fear of spoilers, but it explains so much and I think it fits perfectly. This thing, it’s a part of her and makes her who she is.

The Goblin King. The Lord of Mischief. The Ruler Underground. He was a complete mystery, yet he was fascinating. I wanted to know everything about him and, though I finished this book ages ago, I still do. I can’t get him out of my head. One second, he was the Goblin King – distant, cold, foreboding. And the next, he was the boy Liesl used to know – kind, caring, passionate. He was also stubborn and his moods mirrored Liesl’s, causing them to butt heads quite often. Yet even when they were butting heads, there was undeniable chemistry between them.

The writing in this book is so gorgeous and elegant. It has an old-time feel to it that I love. It was described as being based on the movie Labyrinth, but it also seems to hint at a certain Greek Myth. I don’t know for sure if I’m right or not on this, but if I am, then I’m even more in love with this book than I originally thought I was. You guys know I love Greek mythology more than anything! (I also won’t say which Greek Myth I think it is to avoid spoilers – you’ll have to read the book and see for yourself!)

I can understand why some people didn’t enjoy this book – Again, it was described as being a Labyrinth retelling and I think many people expected something closer to the movie. But in my opinion, this book is loosely based on the movie and if you think too much of the movie while reading this, you might feel a bit let down. I urge you to go into this book knowing it’s not exactly the movie. It has hints of the movie, but it is its own thing entirely, as well. If you do that, I think you’ll really, really enjoy it.

So.. *Takes shuddering breath.* I really can’t even think what else to say. This book really just blew me away, more than I ever imagined a book could. More than I thought this book could. I expected to love it, but I didn’t expect it to speak to my soul. I never thought any book would ever do that. This is one I will cherish for many years to come. One that I have a feeling I’ll want to re-read often. I (obviously) absolutely can’t wait for the second book. For more interactions between Liesl and the Goblin King. For more background and history regarding the Goblin King. For the reveal of his true name. And for so much more than that, which I can’t even put into words.

Obviously, I MORE than recommend this book. It’s the one I’ll be telling EVERYONE they should read. It’s by far one of the most amazing books I’ve read in a long time. It’s up there with Harry Potter and with Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series, of which I recently finished A Court of Mist and Fury – another book that I gushed about and highly recommend. These two were by far my favorite reads of 2016 (because even though Wintersong is a 2017 debut, I read it in 2016) and I will never stop recommending them, as you can see in my 2016 End of Year Book Survey, in which you can see how often I recommended these two books!

So… Go buy this book! Go read this book! Go LOVE this book! Seriously, I can’t recommend it enough!


About the Author:
S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in February 2017.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.

Website | Twitter

Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram


And now for the giveaway! Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of WINTERSONG (US Only)! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
2/13: The Irish Banana Review – Review
2/14: That Artsy Reader Girl – Mood Board
2/15: Pandora’s Books – Review
2/16: Swoony Boys Podcast – This Or That
2/17: Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review

Week 2:
2/20: Emily Reads Everything – Q&A
2/21: Quite the Novel Idea – Review
2/22: A Binding Attraction – Makeup Inspirations
2/23: Fiction Fare – Review
2/24: Icey Designs – Quote Candy