27 February 2017

REVIEW: The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco


Pages: 400
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
ISBN: 1492635820
Received From:  Sourcebooks Fire 


Summary 

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!



Review

This is probably one of the trickiest reviews I have had to write in a while because I'm stick between my head and my heart when it comes to my opinion. The balance between the writing style and the story. There is a list as long as my arm of things I loved about The Bone Witch but that can be said for the things that frustrated me. So I've decided to set this review up a little differently to normal, it will have the same stuff as always, but I think the best way to get across how I felt reading The Bone Witch is with a good old pros and cons. 

However, first things first the story! The Bone Witch follows Tea as she discovers she has the power of necromancy which is the rarest of form of magic and it makes her potentially a very powerful Asha. Asha's are like witches, they have magic to them and through years of apprenticeships they learn to hone their crafts. Tea and her newly resurrected brother Fox are taken from their quite lives and moved to the Willows to start Teas training. She has power inside her the Asha have not seen in a long time but can she use it to protect the ones she cares about? 


The Characters

Pros - I loved Tea and Fox's relationship. The Dark Asha and her familiar... serious feels!! Tea on her own however took a little time to grew on me but it was the moment she wanted to help her male friend become and Asha that won me over. I'm a big fan of any female (fictional or not) that can't understand what is wrong with a boy wearing a dress! He looked fabulous and I really started to admire her from then on. The majority of the characters made me laugh, they were believable and that definitely helped enhance the story. 

Cons - I only really have one when it comes to the characters and that is Tea starts the book as a 12 year old and I really struggled with that. By the end she is still only 15 and as a slightly older reader - e.g. no longer a teenager - it was hard to connect with her at times. 

The Story

Pros - The fundamentals of the story were really interesting. A young girl desperately claws at the ground and lost in her grief does the unimaginable. She brings her dead brother back to life and in hand sets herself on a path no one could have imagined. The use of runes to cast spells gave me shadowhunter vibes that I LOVED but instead of using their skin the marks dance threw the air and on the ground in a unique and exciting manner. I also want to quickly mention the heartglasses, they are a beautiful idea where the author took the notion of wearing your heart on your sleeve and made it her own. I'm not sure how I would feel with my heart on display for the whole world to see but it made for a lovely addition to the story. It was able to keep my interested from start to finish and I DO want to know what happens next (no matter what I say next). 

Cons - The story is told from two different time frames, one where Tea is an Asha Apprentice and the other is when she is 17. Now to begin with I wasn't sure I liked the split time frame because we didn't know Tea well enough to really care about what she was doing 5 years from now. However, that passed by the second third of the book and I quite looked forward to seeing what was happening at the end of each chapter. BUT at the end of the book Tea is still only about 15 so there was no real conclusion to why she is the way she is now. I understand that it is being left open for book 2 but I think I would have preferred if time had caught up with itself and we were going into the second book with all the information. As it is, yes I want to read book 2 but I'm left slightly dishearten by the end of The Bone Witch. As if it was working up to something that never happened. 

The Writing

Pros - Whatever I say in the cons part below I want to point out that the actual writing style is effortless!! It is easy to read and the story flows without problem.
I once heard an Irish actor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers I think but don't hold me to that) say something along the lines of, Irish people will use 10 words when you only really need to use 3. Which is what came to mind when I was reading this book. But even with all the extra parts it didn't actually take away from the natural flow of the book. 

Cons - The book could easily have been 300 hundred pages rather than 400 if we had simply cut out all the unnecessary descriptions. I really do understand painting a picture but this was like painting the picture, the frame, the wall and the dog! Trust that the reader has enough imagination to read between the lines! It is a common issue I've had with books recently that the author feels the need to point out every little thing that is going on and it can be frustrating. Sometimes I can overlook it because the books not all that good BUT The Bone Witch is a good book!!! Its got everything it needs to be amazing which is why this particularly frustrated me. 

Overall I've giving this book 3 out of 5 because it has everything i'd expect and more. The issues I have with it are more irritations than flaws as they distract from the story but they don't make it bad. I'm a strong believer that a good story can out weight a lot of things and I did enjoy The Bone Witch. I just feel personally that it could have used a little more refinement but overall I would recommend it! 


24 February 2017

INTERVIEW: Kendare Blake

Q&A with Kendare Blake
Author of Three Dark Crowns


What was the inspiration behind Three Dark Crowns?

A bee swarm. I was at a book event in Oregon in 2013, just before Antigoddess came out and there was like, a ball of bees in a tree. Literally, a ball made of bees. Hundreds and thousands of them.  Lucky for us, there happened to be a beekeeper there, who assured us we were safe, and told me all about bees, that there was a queen in the center of the ball, and that was who they were trying to protect, and that the queen probably laid her queen eggs back at the old hive, and when the new queens hatched they would kill each other for the right to take over.

I thought that was delightfully brutal, and HAD to do it to people.

You have 3 very strong protagonists, what was the most challenging part to making them all individual?

Thankfully, they sort of took care of that themselves. I thought at the start that I would have a favorite. That one sister would become the lead protagonist over the other two. But it didn’t happen. They all have their strengths, and weaknesses. Their admirable qualities. Their…less than admirable qualities. And I found I couldn’t choose between them.

Readers though, seem more able to pick sides. But not the same side! I get messages about Team Mirabella and Team Katharine, and Team Arsinoe. Even Team Jules, who could really be considered a fourth protagonist.

What would you say Katharine, Mirabella and Arsinoe’s strongest and weakest qualities are?

Mirabella’s strongest quality is her love for her sisters. Of course it’s also her biggest problem, as it’s in direct conflict with her desire to fulfill her responsibilities to the island as its Chosen Queen.

Arsinoe’s strongest quality is her inner stubbornness. It goes hand in hand with her staunch loyalty to her friends and foster family. Her biggest weakness would be her somewhat fatalist attitude…that she was born to lose so the only thing to do is be pissed about it and cause a little trouble. But she’s working on that.

Katharine’s strongest quality would have been her desire to please. She very much wanted to make Natalia proud, and do what was expected of her. But after what happened to her over the course of the book…I think we’ll see a whole host of new strengths from Katharine.

How did you come up with the idea of Fennbirn?

The concept of Fennbirn borrows heavily from the legend of Avalon. The protective mists and the association with mystical women. The society of Fennbirn followed logically from the inspiration of the bee hive: in that it is matriarchal.

Speaking of Fennbirn, there is a strong emphasis on female empowerment throughout the book with the women on Fennbirn holding all the power. Why was that?

It lended itself rather naturally from the original inspiration of the bee hive. Ruled by a queen, filled with female workers. I was very excited to write about a matriarchy, a government and a society that had always been dictated by women, and contrast it with the patriarchal suitors from the mainland.

Who was your favorite character to write and why?

I love to write the animals. So Hank the rooster was fun, and Camden the cougar. The poisoners were probably my favorite society to write about. And Billy, the first mainland suitor, was surprisingly fun, too.

The UK publication of Three Dark Crowns saw a cover for each Queen, out of curiosity, which is your favourite cover?

I actually love Katharine’s. The snake. So cute. But I have loved all of the covers for Three Dark Crowns. The German cover is striking, and on a white background, and the Persian cover is very graphic novel-like. And of course I love the US cover as well.

If you had a gift would you have an elemental, poisoner or naturalist?

Naturalist. I want an animal familiar, and also, I really want to be able to ripen my avocados and stuff whenever I want.

If you could pick anyone, whom would you cast as the three queens in a movie adaptation?

Oh, that’s a hard question. I’m better at casting the supporting adults. Like, it would be cool to see Anna Torv from Fringe somewhere, Natalia maybe, or Madrigal.

For the queens though….Mirabella needs intense emotion and solid beauty, but with a sweetness to her. Katharine should be delicate, with innocence and an edge. Summer Glau, ten years ago maybe. Or a young Eva Green. And Arsinoe has to be tough and contrary, who keeps their vulnerability hidden. Dye Shailene Woodley’s hair, maybe.

Lastly, if you could describe Three Dark Crowns in one sentence what would it be?


Triplet sisters with powers; whoops only one can rule.




THREE DARK CROWNS
by Kendare Blake 



Pages: 405, paperback
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 22nd September 2016
ISBN: 1509804552
Received From:  Macmillan Children's Books via Netgalley


Summary 

Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death. 
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. 
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn't solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it's not just a game of win or lose . . . it's life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. 
The last queen standing gets the crown.










A MASSIVE thank you to Kendare for doing this! When I finished reading Three Dark Crowns I had so many questions about how the book came about and I'm sure I'm not the only one! I hope you enjoyed the Q&A as much as I did lovelies, as always leave your comments below. 


22 February 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #7



FROGKISSER
by Garth Nix


Pages: 384 Hardback
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
ISBN: 9781848126015

Summary 


'Wise and wondrous' - Holly Black

Garth Nix is on hilarious form as he spins his very own fairy tale, featuring Princess Anya, who, with her loyal dog, must embark on a terribly important (capital Q) Quest to acquire the ingredients for a reversal lip balm, the vital item needed to change a frog back to a prince . . . oh, and save her kingdom from her villainous step(step)father.

A brilliantly funny take on fairytales and quests for younger readers.
 

PUBLICATION DATE:
FEBRUARY 28TH 

This one is slightly different to my normal read but its GARTH NIX so exceptions shall be made. Also this is actually next on my TBR pile so I shall hopefully have a review for you lovely lot at some point in March so keep an eye out for that! 

What is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to! 


20 February 2017

REVIEW: Three Dark Crowns

THREE DARK CROWNS
by Kendare Blake 



Pages: 405, paperback
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 22nd September 2016
ISBN: 1509804552
Received From:  Macmillan Children's Books via Netgalley


Summary 

Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death. 
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. 
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn't solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it's not just a game of win or lose . . . it's life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. 
The last queen standing gets the crown.

Review

I am a huge Kendare Blake fan, as is most YA readers I believe with her stunningly creepy novel Anna Dressed in Blood on the top of a lot of peoples favourite books list. So, when I heard she was releasing a new series I was already jumping up and down with excitement. Three Dark Crowns is completely different to anything I have read from Kendare before but that is by no means a bad thing and it was all I hoped it to be and more. This is why. 

Three Dark Crown is the story of three young Queens who each have their own special ability. Mirabella can control the elements and lives in the Elemental city of Rolanth under the protection of the priestesses. Katherine was raised by the poisoners, the current rulers of Fennbirn, they thrive on poison and are the most deadly of these three gifts. Lastly there is Arsinoe, a naturalist who was raised to be the peoples queen and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty. However, these three queens are triplets and as their 16th birthday is upon them they have to start preparing for the battle ahead. The battle that will see one queen on the throne and her two sisters dead. Although, not is all as it seems and these three little queens are different to past generations, as you see, not all of them have the abilities they say they do. 

This is one of those reviews where I'm going to have to skip over a couple of things as I don't want to give any spoilers but holy moly this is a good book! The story line is so well crafted that I was sucked into Fennbirn within a couple of pages and I can not wait for book two... yes there will be a book two! I think everyone who reads this will connect more to one of the queens than the others, although as much as I have to say I'm a little in love with Katherine, Arsinoe was my queen and I can't help but have my fingers crossed for her. The reason I love Kendare Blake's books is that not one of her characters are flawless, which in turn makes them more real. All three queens have their moments where they could do with a slap but could you honestly imagine being raised knowing you are born to kill your sisters? Talk about being dealt a bad deck of cards!



Over the course of the book you get to know each queen and for lack of a better word their 'courts', although its a little less formal than that, as they get ready for the moment their lives have been leading up to. The festival that will mark the start of the Ascension Year (the year they have to kill each other). There are so many different characters to get your head around but each one is well crafted and original. The story arcs are solid and interesting and there wasn't a moment where I thought "what was the point in that". Every moment meant something and connected to something else and I would love to spend a day in Kendare's brain just to see where all the magic and mayhem is created. 

Overall I loved this book! It is exciting and easy to read. The characters are three-dimensional and easy to connect to. I would recommend this people who love fantasy, strong woman protagonists and old world magic. To me this felt like a nod to folk lore in a completely contemporary way and I couldn't put it down. 



Oh P.S. So many potential book boyfriends I'll let you take your pick... let me know in the comments who took your fancy? 


15 February 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #6



SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER
by Rachel Bateman


Pages: 320
Publisher: Running Press
ISBN: 0762462191

Summary 

Anna's always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm's summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm's list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm's dream summer would eventually lead to Anna's own self-discovery?

Quick side note, can we all just take a moment and appreciate this cover!!! 
Major feels



PUBLICATION DATE:
9th May 2017


What is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to! 






13 February 2017

REVIEW: Ariadnis

ARIADNIS
by Josh Martin


Pages: 356
Publisher: Hachette
Publication Date: 9th Feb 2017
ISBN: 9781784298210
Received From: Hachette


Summary 

Back then I thought that if it weren't for that cliff, our cities would be one and there would be no need for all this fierceness toward each other. But then I learned about pride and tradition and prophecy, and those things are harder than rock. 
Joomia and Aula are Chosen. They will never be normal. They can never be free. 
On the last island on Erthe, Chosen Ones are destined to enter Ariadnis on the day they turn eighteen. There, they must undertake a mysterious and deadly challenge. For Joomia and Aula, this means competing against each other, to end the war that has seethed between their cities for nine generations. 
As the day draws nearer, all thoughts are on the trial ahead. There's no space for friendship. No time for love. However much the girls might crave them. 
But how you prepare for a task you know nothing certain about? Nothing, except that you must win, at whatever cost, or lose everything.

Review

I got this book through unexpectedly and was so excited to read it! I had heard whispers about it on the bloggosphere and it completely lived up to the hype surrounding it. The story is original, the characters are unique and overall I really enjoyed reading it. Aridnis came out last week so if you muggles haven't read it yet I would recommend it hole heartedly! 

The book itself follows not one but two chosen ones over the cause of a year as they work towards their shared destiny. Generations of chosen ones have all worked towards this moment and Joomia and Aula now have to compete against each other to end a long war between their two cities. Joomia's city is built within the trees under the cliff in which all civilization lives with its people taking knowledge from nature, where as Aula's lives on raised levels atop of the cliff. Both believe their way of living is the way forward for what is left of the human race but it is up to our two protagonists to battle it out and win the knowledge that will make one city great. 

Okay, so lets start with the things that stopped it from being a 5 stars. Firstly it took a little while to get into, the beginning didn't instantly grab me and I think that is because I was struggling with all the different names for things. If I'm completely honest I'm probably still pronouncing half of them wrong when I talk about this book to people. It shouldn't be that big an issue but when you have to pause to spell out some of the names in your head a couple of times it does slow down the reading and in hand makes it hard to get into to start with. However, that is the only real flaw I found and if I did half rankings it would be 4.5 so don't let this put you off as it is a great book!

The story arc of Aridnis is like nothing I have ever read before. I've read so many different dystopian books, where something has happened and we have a new world order and seeing how the human race copes with the world the author dreams up. With Dystopian there is a habit of plots crossing over and it seeming very familiar but this book was not like that at all. The premise is original, the characters are diverse and magical and the promise of book two looks to be exactly the same.

Overall I really did like this book and after I got my head around the unusual names I wasn't able to put it down. I NEEDED to know what happens next and the characters found a place in my heart and I found myself on tender hooks waiting for the next plot twist.

10 February 2017

BOOK BLITZ: Romeo & What's Her Name

ROMEO AND WHAT'S HER NAME
by Shani Petroff

Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Summary 

Understudies never get to perform
. . . which is why being Juliet’s understudy in the school’s yearly “Evening with Shakespeare” is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it’s just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda, aka the “real” Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there’s no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.
Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?




EXCERPT


I stood there like a lump, waiting for my line. Finally, I turned toward Kayla and repeated, “I said, LOUDER-ETH.”
She fed me the line again. Supercrazy loud this time. “I would not for the world.”
It was so loud, the crowd heard it and started to laugh. Not the snickers from before, but those evil, full belly laughs people get when watching home videos of someone getting kicked in the groin. Wes was going to hate me for putting him through this. This torture needed to end.
“Methinks,” I said, “I could use-eth a book-eth.” Come on, Kayla. Take the hint. “You know-eth. A BOOK-ETH where-est I can recite-eth beauteous words to thee . . . thou . . . whatever. I NEED THE BOOK-ETH.”
As I was shouting that last book-eth, I got my wish. The script came sailing from off stage left and hit me in the back of the head. “Ow,” I unintentionally yelled, to the delight of the crowd. It weighed a ton.
“Sorry,” Kayla whispered. “My bad.”
I didn’t care. I’d get over the pain faster than the embarrassment I was suffering. I was just happy to have the script. At least I was until I realized Kayla hadn’t bookmarked the page I needed. It was the complete works of Shakespeare. There was no way I would find the right page. Not to mention that since the book was with me, Kayla couldn’t even feed me lines anymore. R&J wasn’t a tragedy. My life was.
I was so flunking English.
“Would thou like some help, my sweet Juliet?”
Did Wes just call me sweet? I swung around to face him, but I wasn’t paying attention to where I was stepping and my foot went right off the balcony. Wes lunged forward to catch me, but why would anything go right for me? So instead of Wes stopping me from hitting the floor, I took him down with me.
I was lying on top of Wes Rosenthal. Only, this was not like any of my daydreams. This was mortifying. I rolled off him and jumped up. “Are you okay?” I was visibly shaking.
Wes stood up, too. “Don’t worry-eth, Juliet,” he said without any anger in his voice. He even smiled at me. For a second I thought that meant he didn’t hate me for the craziness I was causing. But then I remembered he was acting. He actually took what he was doing seriously, and right now his part called for him to be in love with Juliet.
Wes said some line I assumed was to get us back on track. But I had no response. I couldn’t take it anymore. The laughter of the audience. The panic coursing through my body. The thought of making Wes suffer more. It needed to end.
So I did the only thing I could think of—something super Elizabethan. I put the back of my and to my forehead, pretended to swoon, and let my whole body fall back to the ground with a loud thump.
“I am so sorry-eth, Romeo.”
“It’s okay.” He sat down on the ground next to me and took my hand. I felt little sparks fly through me.
I shook my head. I couldn’t let him go through this anymore. “No, I know how-eth this play end-eth. I think I shall stab-eth myself now to save-eth us both.”
“Finally,” someone in the audience yelled out.
I picked up an imaginary dagger and began to plunge it into my heart.
“No,” Wes said, stopping me before I committed imaginary suicide. “Our story is not over yet. So let’s just say, ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night ‘til it be morrow.’”
I was pretty sure that was supposed to be my line. But I decided I probably shouldn’t point that out. Then he stood up and walked off the stage.
After a moment, someone finally took mercy on me and brought the stage lights down.
The scene was over. But I knew all too well that my embarrassment was just beginning.


Author Bio

 
Shani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. She's the author of the “Bedeviled” series, which includes Daddy’s Little Angel, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dress, Careful What You Wish For, and Love Struck, and is the co-author of the "Destined" series which includes Ash and Ultraviolet. She also writes for television news programs and several other venues. When she’s not locked in her apartment typing away, she spends a whole lot of time on books, boys, TV, daydreaming, and shopping online.



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8 February 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #5



HEARTLESS
by Marissa Meyer



Pages: 464
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 1509814132


Summary 


Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. 
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. 
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.



PUBLICATION DATE: 
9th of February 2017 
TOMORROW!!!


What is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to! 







6 February 2017

REVIEW: Wintersong

WINTERSONG
by S. Jae-Jones


Pages: 512
Publisher: TITAN Books
Publication Date: February 7th 2017
ISBN: 9781785655449
Received From:  TITAN Books


Summary 


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. 

Review

"It takes love, you see, to bring the world back to life"

I have always has a fascination with the Goblin King, ever since I watched Labyrinth as a child. The line, "Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave," being one of my favourite quotes of all time! SO when I got the opportunity to read Wintersong by Titan Books I jumped at the chance. If Bowies Goblin King enchanted me, S. Jae-Jones' broke my heart and had me praying for a happily ever after. 

"You might prefer the pretty lie to the ugly truth"

Wintersong follows nineteen year old Liesl as she crosses the veil between the living and the dead to save her sister Käthe from the Goblin King. However, once Underground Liesl is forced to chose between the life she knows or the beautifully terrifying possibility of a world unknown. Taking comfort in her music and the melodies she creates Liesl is drawn to the darker side of herself and encouraged by the Goblin King she begins to find her place in the world underneath. However,  there is a price to pay for being the Goblin Kings bride and it is more than Liesl ever imagined. This time her music might not be able to save her. 


The Goblin King is the Lord of mischief and he pulls the strings of this story into something dark and captivating. His trickery paints a tale so beautiful it is terrible, much like the character himself and each twist in the Labyrinth opens up another side to Liesl, the King and the world underground. He is the perfect companion to a character such as Liesl because he temps the selfish side of her and in hand teases the reader with the promise of something unexpected. However, as the book develops you began to see the man behind the crown. His selfless side is powered by Liesl's and you see that for one to be selfish the other had to be selfless, for one to be dark the other must be light and for one to be free the other must be caged. 

"Your music was the only thing that kept me sane, that kept me human instead of a monster."

Liesl is an interesting protagonist because there is so much depth to her. She is not simply the innkeepers daughter who devoted her life to her siblings best interests that we see at the beginning of the book but she has a core that plays music the world has never seen. She is both selfless and selfish and the contradicting sides of her personality cause her the most devastating of heart breaks. Wintersong to me was the story of Liesl, innkeepers daughter, girl, woman, Goblin Queen, composer and so much more. The Goblin King gave her the opportunity to truly be herself, to truly live without fear of judgement and through that she grew into a character than you couldn't help but connect with. When she laughed I laughed, when she cried I cried and when it came down to biggest decision of her life my heart broke for her. 

"I would rather light the flame, knowing it will go out, than sit forever in darkness"

Overall Wintersong was the perfect read for this time of year. It is haunting and the writing style is effortless. It is a story of family, love, devotion and you can't help but loose yourself in its pages. It is a story that no matter the outcome will unhinge you but you can't help love it anyway. The Goblin King is enchanting, Liesl is music at its truest form and together they tell a story that will have you in tears at 4am in the morning. 

"You are the monster I claim."