WINTERSONG

WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones
YA Fantasy

This book is basically a mix of two retellings – Beauty and the Beast and the myth of Hades and Persephone. As such, it follows the trope of ‘girl sacrificing herself to be with a guy (in this case it’s the Goblin King) that’s cruel and doomed, and then falling in love with him because he’s secretly a gentle but tortured soul’.

Generally speaking, I like this trope. But the problem here was that I didn’t like either the Goblin King or Liesl, the heroine of the story. Neither of them seemed relatable or real enough to me; the Goblin King in particular felt more like fiction in some parts and this upended the ‘suspension of disbelief’ needed for me to be truly immersed in a story.

This very much felt like the ‘first book’ written by the author mainly because of the pace, and also in the sense that the story was written in a ‘wish-fulfillment’ sort of way, like the author was living out her fantasies on the page. Which is also fine, except for the fact that her fantasies didn’t appeal to me. They were too tortuous, too sad, sometimes too exaggerated, and there was too much of an element of (I’m going to say it) sexual dissatisfaction that was never explained enough or resolved completely.

I found the writing to be lyrical and melodic, but a bit redundant. There were some passages and descriptions which kept repeating themselves at different parts of the book and added nothing new to the story. The pace was unorthodox, almost like two mini-books or novellas thrown into one, which for some reason made it difficult for me to keep going and is what made me think of this as being the ‘first book’ from the author.

I recommend this book if you like stories of the Fae (in this book, they’re called Goblins) and are really into retellings involving a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ trope.

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