I think one of my most anticipated reads for this year was Shadowsong. I loved Wintersong so much and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and how the story ended. Well I have finally finished the duology and I thought I would share my thoughts.
I started off by rereading Wintersong and found that I fell even more in love with Liesl and The Goblin King, you can see my full review of Wintersong here. After Wintersong broke my heart all over again it was then onward to Shadowsong….
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Author: S Jae-Jones
Blurb: 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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?
Categories: YA, NA, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Rating: 4.5/5 (rounded up to 5 on GR etc)
Publication Date: 6th February 2018
Review: I want to start by discussing the author’s note at the beginning of the book, because I think it’s vitally important. In it S Jae-Jones warns both of themes that may cause issues for some people and discusses where you can get help if you need it. The book does deal with some mental health issues, such as depression, suicidal thoughts and bipolar disorder. In fact, as someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety I found that at lot of Liesl’s thought patterns were familiar. I would suggest reading that note before starting the book and making sure you are definitely in the right place to read it. I think it’s incredible that we are finally talking about these things in books and in fantasy, the more we talk about these things hopefully the more understanding we can create and the more awareness we can raise.
As I have discussed in other reviews, it is so amazing to see yourself in a book, it is even more incredible to see the parts of yourself you want to hide in a book, I loved Liesl in Wintersong and I loved Liesl even more in Shadowsong, I saw parts of myself reflected in her in both books and for me that is a wonderful thing and really adds to the reading experience.
You might notice that I have given Shadowsong 4.5 rather than the full 5 stars, and you might wonder why, and I am going to tell you, it’s because I wanted more of the The Goblin King and I missed him so. That is the only reason and I feel like I am being super picky about it! I loved the pacing, the darkness, the story and the characters. Shadowsong is truly an amazing book but I guess after the intensity of Liesl and The Goblin King I was left a little sadden to find less of The Goblin King in the second book.
Though I do want to mention the artwork at the front of the books which S Jae-Jones created herself – in Wintersong we get Liesl and in Shadowsong we finally get to see The Goblin King. I love both of these portraits and I loved getting a glimpse into the authors mind, highlighting how these two characters appear to her.
I don’t want to give any spoilers as Shadowsong hasn’t been out too long, so I am going to discuss my feelings about the book. I found that Shadowsong had the same intensity as Wintersong, but it was different, darker. I found myself reading the book in small snippets, partly because I wanted to savour the writing and the story, but also because I found that the darkness did escape the pages. That’s not to say that I regret reading it, more to say that it was a heavy and sometimes difficult read.
The writing is as gorgeous as it was in Shadowsong, and S Jae-Jones manages to create the most incredible atmosphere in the book. The feelings evoked are profound and intense. I found both Wintersong and Shadowsong to be very fairy tale-esque, and I found myself completely immersed in the story. You can see the landscapes, hear the music and feel the anguish so vividly.
I am trying really hard not to compare Shadowsong to Wintersong, as they are both very different books, even though they make up a duology. They are almost opposites to each other, day and night, in a way. And without one the other loses something, without one you can’t truly appreciate the other.
Shadowsong has a slower pace but I feel like that is completely intentional. Wintersong is a flurry of emotions and it’s pace reflects this. Shadowsong is deeper, darker and definitely resonates with the agony of regret and despair. Each of the books is just as rich and vivid as the other, but they are telling very different stories.
I would definitely recommend the series to fans of fantasy. I think the series is a vital read for those want to understand mental health issues such as bipolar disorder and depression etc. I honestly felt so comforted by the fact that I could see pieces of myself in the story, pieces I don’t usually share with others. I think Liesl is one of the first characters I have really felt a connection with on that level and it was honestly an incredible feeling.
If you like the sound of Shadowsong, you can find it at Amazon* and various other booksellers. And why not pin my review for later?