Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones
My Rating: 5 Stars!
Cover Rating: 6 out of 10 Stars I really do like this cover I just have a few design things about it that don’t quite settle right with me. I really like the colors and how they fit really well with the cover of the first book.
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Publish Date: Febuary 6th, 2018
Number of Pages: 379 pages
Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review
The conclusion to the gorgeous and lush Wintersong duology, Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones.
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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?
“A maze of beauty and darkness, of music and magic and glittering things, all tied together with exquisite writing. This is a world you will want to stay lost in.”—Marie Lu, #1 New York Timesbestselling author
Opening Sentence: “Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.”
This slower darker counterpart to Wintersong broke my heart. I ached for Liesl and how lost she ended up being. The poetic and musical soul that is the beating heart of this novel had been broken and trying to get back to herself was a journey I that filled me with emotion.
What I Loved:
Liesl is a character with bipolar disorder in a time where people didn’t know what that was. When I read the authors note before beginning to read and was told that Liesl had Bipolar disorder everything made so much more sense. The way Liesl threw herself into her music in the first book, the self-destruction, the apathy, and the anger. Seeing someone going through the full weight of a mental disorder with no one to understand what they are going through being labeled as mad and having no available medication or therapy or anything to help stable themselves and feeling lost because you don’t even know that your thoughts and moods are not something that come from you being an awful person, but have something very real affecting your brain was both unsettling and heartbreaking.
Music as a muse. For Liesl, music is everything. I love that music is what inspires her and even if she isn’t a performer she gets lost in composition. Her fear and loss makes her loose her music in this book and some of the most achingly beautiful scenes are her trying to make music during a time of pain.
Under-lands leaking into the over-world. The unique magic of this book is much more subtle then the last. Yet the remembrances and subtle additions reminds the reader that that world is still out there. It made the “normal” world feel a bit more otherworldly in a really nice way.
Real relationships. The family relationships were grinding and changing in an authentic way. Liesl’s state of mind changing the way she related with her brother and sister and caused tension. A lot of times authors are too afraid to create that disconnect in a family and when it happens it’s disjointed, but in Shadowsong it is done really well. It’s ego against ego and pain from people’s individual wants and needs in such a fantastic way.
The Slow Burn. The pacing takes the story and lets it settle in your mind. It builds up the emotion and makes you care more then you ever did before. I could feel how much heart the author put into creating this story and I appreciated how everything came together.
I have so much respect for what this story tried and did accomplish. I appreciate a fantasy that reads with the aura of authenticity. The poetic touch to the words and the energy this book holds affected me. I just desperately wish there was more to read of this story. However I am satisfied with the ending. It’s a beautifully written story.
About the Author:
My name is S. Jae-Jones, called JJ. I’m an artist, adrenaline junkie, and author of the New York Times bestselling Wintersong. The sequel, Shadowsong, is available now!
I am a voracious and indiscriminate reader, a cuddler of baby harp seals, avid traveller, and not-so-secret goth.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!
-Till next time!