This book was not what I expected. But I loved it anyway.
A bit of background: during year twelve, we studied some of the poetry of Christina Rossetti. She was a poet quite ahead of her time. She wrote about sisterhood and the importance of female relationships; the ways in which women tear each other down. She wrote about female desire, but she also cautioned against it.
Wintersong embraces it.
“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”
“Come buy,” call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
This book is nothing like Labyrinth. I’ll say that first-off. There are maybe a few nods to it, but it has a completely different atmosphere.
Unlike many people, I really enjoyed English at high school, and I loved Christina Rossetti in particular. Wintersong feels like her poetry – like a more modernised, magical, seductive version of her poetry.
The writing is incredible. It’s lyrical and it sings, and it’s almost unbelievable that this is a debut. Because it’s incredibly gorgeous.
It’s funny, because normally I’m not a big fan of slow-paced books, but this one seemed to work for me.
I can’t figure it out. I guess something just kept me interested. Maybe the Goblin King. Maybe Liesl. Maybe the fact that it’s kind of a fairy story, kind of a dream, kind of a poem.
I also loved how much music there was!
Basically this whole book was high school nostalgia for me, what with music and Christina Rossetti and Labyrinth influences. There’s a lot of music terminology and S. Jae-Jones definitely know what she’s talking about, because those were some of my favourite parts of the book.
Then there are the characters; characters that by turn I loved and hated.
Normally that would annoy me, but this story feels so much like a fairytale or a fable that it’s like I didn’t mind how flawed the characters were. It’s like this book exists outside of time. I’ve always been enamoured with fairytales, and to go back to English, this felt both post-modern and Romantic, which is a really interesting combination.
Plus, the design of the book itself is just really beautiful.
It’s not a book you can race through. It’s a book to savour. And sometimes, when everything in our lives is frenetic and busy, that’s a good thing.
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.
For fans of…
Are you all also obsessed with Labyrinth like I am (excellent movie would recommend)? Is there a text you studied (or are studying) in English that you actually really love?