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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones - 2.5 Stars

I have finally read Wintersong. I know, I know... it took me forever. I figured that with Shadowsong
out it was about time to get on with it. I am conflicted though... I wanted to love this book so much... but I couldn't. The plot is clever, but it didn't always deliver. So I am going with the 'middle of the road' score: 2.5. Neither good or bad... a book that exists to help one pass time.

The Blurb:
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.
 

Things I liked:
- The writing is beautiful. I love the poetic and lyrical feel to it. Not many authors have that gift.
- The world she created was phenomenal. Reminded me of Holly Black's books and her gift for creating disgusting and yet exquisite magical creatures that you can't help but love. I am always fascinated by darker versions of the magical world.
- The Goblin King. His character was easy to understand and eventually easy to love and easy to connect to. There is much about him I still would like to know but the little I do know I love. He lost through the years part of himself to the crown and Elizabeth's music brings his humanity back to the forefront of his mind. His love for her, or more precisely to her soul, was fierce and unshakable. 

Things I did not like:
- The pace. Seriously, the plot moves in slow motion. The whole story could have been told in a book half its size. Some chapters had enough going on to keep me awake, but for the most part it just bored me.
- The romance was off. It didn't even need to be there. The Goblin King did not love her, he loved her music. As musically 'declined' as I am I understood that and appreciated it. So the whole attempt to turn that love into a romantic love between two people fell flat and made little sense. While I appreciate the author tried to make their connection other than physical, she failed. And she failed big.  Elizabeth pretty much wanted to jump on him at all times while he kept saying no. She did not love the Goblin King but her idea of him. And he did not love her, he loved her music. I think he does come to love her, but it is all a tad weird. 
-  It could have been a nice thing that Elizabeth wasn't your usual gorgeous heroine (who thinks she is not gorgeous yet has every male at her feet). But the whole she is ugly thing was overdone. Every other page we got to read how plain she was. And worse than that, she starts to define her worth through him. *kill me now*
- To much music jargon. That is both a negative and a positive. It entirely depends if you are musically inclined or not. I am not, so it was a negative for me. Too much of the story I ended up not truly following.
- The language... There was far too many expressions not translated to English. I can handle that, I speak a few languages myself. But if I want to read a book in another language I go and get a book in another language. It got tired and annoying real fast.

Will I be reading Shadowsong?
No. I have read a few reviews and synopsis and came to the conclusion that chances are I will like Shadowsong even less. The character that saved Wintersong is The Goblin King, and I am told he appears very little in Shadowsong. The second book focuses of Elizabeth and her brother and their relationship is not a great one. I can't handle whiny characters and  that appears to be the case. Which wouldn't surprise me because I thought Elizabeth was pretty whiny on this book already. 

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