Shadowsong (Wintersong #2)
by S. Jae-Jones
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: February 6, 2018
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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?
S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the NYT bestselling author of Wintersong.
- Prize: 1 copy of Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones (US Only)
- Starts: 2/4
- Ends: 2/16
I struggled with the first book in the series because I did not form a connection to any of the characters. The main character was a quivering mass of contradictions and those surrounding her just felt flat. Unfortunately, those opinions haven’t changed for the second book but I feel like I appreciate the story more than I did the first time. I realize that I was a little harsh in my first rating.
The writing itself was very well done. It was poetic and impactful, drawing the reader in through written depictions of the music and the magical landscape. It is there that the author flourishes, despite what I still believe to be a lack of character development overall it is certainly improved from the first book.
The story’s focus in both books is on Liesl and I feel that we received an abundance of character development for her. As readers, we spend so much time inside her head that we intrinsically know manic mood swings and lack of self-worth. I believe that is what makes me feel that the other characters like her brother and sister are so woefully under developed. I want to know so much more about them and their motivations. I felt this was better addressed in Shadowsong and was so happy to see the characters given more depth. We even get to know Liesl’s “austere young man” more, which was something I specifically wanted from the first book.
Despite the fact that this is a retelling of the Goblin King and a fantasy novel, there is an element of mental health in it which is nice because you don’t normally see that in fantasy. It is also own voices as the author has struggles with some of the same things that Liesl has.
Overall, after taking a step back from the story I found myself less critical of it. It is not the richly populated character piece that I would have prefered, but I ended up enjoying the author’s writing immensely. I still believe that this series is suited more to older teen and adult readers as a result of the poetic nature of the author’s writing.
Have you read Shadowsong yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!