Length: 448 pages
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.
WINTERSONG was one of my most anticipated books of 2017; from the gorgeous cover to the intriguing synopsis, this book had surely caught my eye. I was pretty impressed with this debut novel, and I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll be a sequel or companion novel or something.
WINTERSONG follows Liesl, who offers her life to the Goblin King in the Underworld in exchange for her sister’s life and the prosperity of the world above. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the dramatics that accompanied it. While some aspects of the plot seemed convoluted and glazed over, I was still enamored with the conflict that arose.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Liesl, to be honest. (highlight for spoiler) In one scene, things are heating up between Liesl and the Goblin King, and even though the Goblin King says to stop, Liesl doesn’t. It’s m when he says stop a second time and “please” that she finally lets down. She wasn’t my favorite, that’s for sure. However, I did appreciate her commitment and love for her siblings and her passion for music, which really fueled the tension and romance between her and the Goblin King. That being said, I did quite love the Goblin King; I dug his passion for music and his honesty (in weird way). Also, the steamy scenes between the two were super sensual; the author has a knack of writing really amazing sex scenes, y’all.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the atmospheric writing style. The descriptions and fluid language really made the novel flow and just gave WINTERSONG the kick that it needed to make the plot and the romance move. A reservation I have, however, is that there were so many times when it felt like nothing was happening and times when it felt like too much was happening at the same time. I don’t know if that was just me, but it was just sometimes difficult to fully understand what was going on.
Overall, I did enjoy this debut novel; the writing style was gorgeous and the romance was sizzling. WINTERSONG ends in a relatively light cliffhanger; I’m desperately hoping that there’s going to be another book because, well, there’s no way it can end like that. If you’re into novels with a steamy romance and an atmospheric setting, be sure to check this one out!
Thank you to Thomas Dunne for providing me with an early copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and I was not compensated for this review.