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(Wintersong #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  19,859 Ratings  ·  4,254 Reviews
The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride....

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They've enraptured her mind and spirit and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesel can't help but feel that her musical dreams a
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Tigress (Warrior Elf) I'll admit, I was skeptical about it at first, since it's a romance with a teenage girl and the Goblin King, and his realm is called the Underground…moreI'll admit, I was skeptical about it at first, since it's a romance with a teenage girl and the Goblin King, and his realm is called the Underground (which automatically makes me start humming the song by David Bowie). Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies, and I didn't want to see it get ripped off. I haven't finished the book yet, but it's definitely different from Labyrinth. The setting is completely different, but it's not just Labyrinth in a different setting. For one thing, the heroine is a musician, and music plays a big part in the story. For another, it's partially based on the poem Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (and includes quotes from a lot of her poetry), and the Goblin King is sometimes referred to as Der Erlkönig, or the Erlking, a figure from Germanic mythology. It's also incorporated some other creatures from mythology, like kobolds, Hödekin, lorelei (mermaids), etc. It's also a bit of Beauty & the Beast, and Hades & Persephone. Also, Labyrinth itself was based on existing mythology, and the book Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak. Wintersong still has a bit of a Labyrinth-esque feel to it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd say if you like Labyrinth, Wintersong is worth reading. (And I didn't mean for this to be so long, sorry!)(less)
S. I wrote WINTERSONG for my 16-year-old self, so if you are an uncertain, passionate, slightly awkward teen girl who loves fairy stories and finds…moreI wrote WINTERSONG for my 16-year-old self, so if you are an uncertain, passionate, slightly awkward teen girl who loves fairy stories and finds beauty in darkness, this book is for you.

That said, while WINTERSONG is now designated as YA, it does contain mature content and would probably be more appropriate for older teens and adults. :)(less)
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra ClareKing's Cage by Victoria AveyardCarve the Mark by Veronica RothCaraval by Stephanie GarberFlame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
YA Novels of 2017
1,082 books — 7,395 voters
Caraval by Stephanie GarberThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasWintersong by S. Jae-JonesGilded Cage by Vic JamesBlood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
YA Debuts 2017
207 books — 1,543 voters

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Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“You are the monster I claim.”

Dark and poetic.
Frightening. Seductive. Beautiful.
I claim this beautiful tale, I claim the sorrow, the dreams, the wildness, the magic, the darkness and the pain that consumed me.
I loved it.

“Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood.”

But the girl grew up, and forgot about the boy. She continued her life as if he never existed, she kept her family together, composed her music in the dark and wished, for attention, for de
Marie Lu
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WINTERSONG is 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. I had the honor of hearing about this wonderful story in its earliest stages, and I'm so thrilled and excited that S. Jae-Jones' work will soon be out for you all to obsess over. Don't you dare skip this.
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
I was absolutely hooked from the intro. One of the best openings to a story, in my opinion.


The plot is basically Hades/Persephone meets Caraval. It is not only magical, but mysterious and riveting - exploring so many heart felt topics such as the bond between siblings, sacrifice, and self-acceptance.

Leisl the older "ugly" sister, the overlooked talent, and the backbone of her family. I connected with her and her insecurities/struggles, especially in the beginning. I think you'll either l
Em (RunawayWithDreamthieves)

this book was.... [crowd leans in] meh [crowd immediately starts booing]


in millions of years, archaeologists will dig up my crystallized body that has been perfectly preserved by the bog of disappointment that I drowned in after reading this book and put me in a museum with a placard ‘wintersong did this.’

look, I've already mentally five starred this book because 99% of my friends loved it and honestly what the fuck is a certified emotion and it's the biggest mood right now. I genuinely
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such gorgeous writing.

Too often authors have incredible ideas of stories to write. So we’re excited about them and want only to find a time-machine to transport us into the future with the intention to read said stories.

And then we do, after months of waiting (still waiting on that time-machine, by the way) and we’re disappointed because, although the author had a great idea, the execution was so-so or completely mediocre.

Am I right? Which is why I am so extremely happy and proud to be able to
Chelsea Humphrey
Let’s jump right in. This is going to be a difficult one to review because I felt like I loved it as much as I didn’t. I settled on a 3 star review after wrestling with it overnight; I felt it a good compromise overall as it still reflects that I’m glad I read it while also addressing the issues I couldn’t overlook. I’m going to break this up into two sections of likes and dislikes, then you can decide for yourself if it’s the sort of read you’re looking for. Also, if you’ve read the book alread ...more
You know what, waving a red flag in front of a bull, getting slammed to the wall by the bull and dying would hurt less than reading the words in this book. Writers like S Jae-Jones need to be illegal because thEY ARE SO EVIL AKDHSF.

Wintersong is a painfully beautifully written book about nineteen year old Elisabeth (Liesl) who has always been a responsible and caring older to sister to her siblings Joseph and Kathe, sacrificing her future and dreams for her brother Joseph. She's always lived in
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To see this review and others please visit

The moment I saw Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones I had to buy it. The cover, the title, the blurb-pretty much everything about the book baited me. First, I must say that I'm a Labyrinth freak and I've been highly anticipating reading this. I was under the impression that this was a true Labyrinth retelling, but there's more going on here.

I was so taken-back in just the first 70 pages of the book. The authors writing style is so app
Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)
❝'I am the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground,' he said, mismatched eyes glinting. 'I am wildness and madness made flesh. You’re just a girl'—he smiled, and the tips of his teeth were sharp—'and I am the wolf in the woods.'❞

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing me with an ARC!

Wintersong was a work of art. S Jae-Jones's writing was breathtakingly poetic and I found myself whisked away by the first page. The storyline was seductive, passionate, and heartbreakingly beautiful. In a
Aug 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood. She was small and dark, he was tall and fair, and the two of them made a fancy pair as they danced together, dancing to the music the little girl heard in her head.

I take back what I said about thinking every other 1-star read by me is the most boring book ever, because this was, by far, the most boring book I have ever read. The fact that I actually finished it is so surprising to me because I thought about DNF
Renee Ahdieh
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Spellbinding and sexy, WINTERSONG is a feast for all the senses. I didn't want this beautifully written book to end."
Yusra  ✨
every time Liesl said “wantonness” i thought of wontons and let me tell you, that was the best part of my reading experience.

you know those books that literally reach out with their painfully beautiful covers and grab onto you?? saying “buy me! i’m pretty”?? well that’s what this book did for me, and tbh I don’t even care… I’m returning it.

from the very first chapter i was like oh no. this is not heading in a good direction. the family dynamic was so annoying and stupid. Liesl did nothing bu
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

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You could say that I'm a hardcore Labyrinth fan girl. I love the movie, Labyrinth, and have seen it many times, glitter-dappled set and cheesy puppets aside; it's an interesting story that's clearly inspired by Celtic faerie lore, and (you could argue) the allegorical tale of a girl's coming-of-age through the use of symbolism. In fact, many of the reasons I love the movie are less because of what's in the story and more of what's explicitl
Cait • A Page with a View
Ok so first things first: I didn't realize this was a retelling of Labyrinth when I read it and kept thinking that the story reminded me so much of Labyrinth meets Prince Hat Under the Ground, The Goblin Market, and Little Red Riding Hood. So... obviously that worked!

"Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood"

The story takes place somewhere around Austria & Germany in the time of Mozart. Liesl played with the Goblin King in the woods as a child, but eve
Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀
This book had the greatest beginning of all time: I am CHALLENGING everyone who reads this review to find a better than this!!
“Winter turned to spring, spring to summer, summer into autumn, autumn back into winter, but each turning of the year grew harder and harder as the little girl grew up while the Goblin King remained the same. She washed the dishes, cleaned the floors, brushed her sister’s hair, soothed her brother’s fears, hid her father’s purse, counted the coins, and no longer went i
Pouting Always
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Liesl has always been a responsible older sister, looking after her younger sister Kathe and sacrificing her own dreams for her brother Josef. Lisel will never be beautiful like Kathe is and her music will forever live in the shadow of Josef's virtuoso abilities. Though she longs to give into her own desires, she forces herself to be self sacrificing. Then strange things begin to happen and Kathe disappears and no one but Liesl remembers she even exists. Though her grandma always told them stori ...more
Tanya Tate
Feb 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Edit 2: As of March 19,2018 ,this review has 100 likes on it! That's the most likes have on any of my reviews. Who knew a book i didn't like would get so many likes? lol I'm also putting the link of my review from my blog on here as well.

Edit: I got a fourth point that makes it problematic for me.

Spoilers and Rant mode time

You can also read it on my blog!

DNF@72% 1 Star

I tried so hard to finish this but I couldn't.

I thought after I got halfway through it would get better which it did but then
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me.

Almost half the book in the beginning was wonderful. I just knew I was going to love this story. But after that it just fell flat for me, which makes me angry but what can you do?

I love the name of the book, I love the book cover and I love the idea. I wish I could tell you exactly what it was that went wrong for me but I can't.

I'm happy to know that more than half my friends on goodreads enjoyed the book, some didn't, but I was hoping after their rave r
Roshani Chokshi
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was Labyrinth by way of Angela Carter, and I think my soul has been aching for a book like WINTERSONG for the last decade. Deliciously romantic with a nuanced Goblin King figure (fancast: Tom Hiddleston) and a strong heroine, this story was rife with fairytales and music and enchantment. It's also more than a little sexy. No complaints here.
Shreya (☆High Lady of The Night Court☆)
A dark and musical love story filled with wishes...

The second I read the first page I knew there was no backing out of this story. I knew I would start and finish it with no interruption.

The moment you start this book, I still can't comprehend how, the story pulls you in like wines wrapping themselves around you and pulling you in. The entire book has this air of mystery surrounding it even if we know what's happening so it constantly keeps you wanting to read more. After I got past the first
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dude. Duuuuuuuude. This. Book. Messed me uuuup.

It was slow to start for me. I thought I wasn’t going to like it very much but then sweet Elisabeth went underground AND HUNG OUT WITH THE GOBLIN KING. I was hooked from the moment she went underground. So hooked that I just read over half of this book in one day. I just couldn’t put it down!!

I loved Elisabeth as a main character. Her whole life she has been told she’s not good enough, not pretty enough, just not enough. She found herself in the un
2 stars.

(edit: this book popped back up on my feed today, and considering how livid even thinking about it makes me, I'm bumping my rating down another half star. I really am still being generous here.)

Mmmmmmmmmm I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this book.


I was so sure I was going to love this. The blurb made it sound so mysterious and creepy and intriguing: a young musician gets caught up with evil goblins who steal her sister, and she has to find a way into a dark underworld to sav
Joshee Kun (조수아)
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Joshee Kun by: Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Down here, I have found myself. Down here, I have a space to be. It is a gift I never looked for, and I cherish it. —Elizabeth


Even though I didn't know anything about Labyrinth, I was very excited to read Wintersong in light of its gorgeous cover. This book is going to be a stunning addition to my collection. #CoverLove

Content-wise, Wintersong managed to keep my attention. I was especially intrigued by the role of classical music in the story. Elizabeth and the Goblin King (my favorite character
Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
Set in a fantasy realm? Check.
Ever-so-enigmatic male lead? Check.
Teenage girl bethroted to said enigma? Check.
The two hopelessly fall in love? Check.
An obstacle that they will almost CERTAINLY overcome? Check. where have I read that one before?

Simona Bartolotta
"What's the use of running, if we are on the wrong road?"

First notes. They are enchanting. Haunting. Alluring- no, no, what are you saying? It's something else. They are the enchantment. They are the ghost and the obsession. They are the allure.
The difference is slight, almost indiscernible -one could say it exist only if you will it into existence- but it's there. And since it's there, since these notes don't make you feel, but are the feel, the space between them is filled with promise. The st
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I've somehow stumbled across my own book on Goodreads! Well, obviously FIVE STARS because mine.*

*not an unbiased or objective review

1. Want more information and a behind-the-scenes peak at Wintersong? Would you like to be one of the first people to see the cover before it's revealed? Sign up for my newsletter!
2. Wintersong now has a new release date.
3. Whoa, you Goodreads elves are quick! Take a look at a larger version of my shiny new cover, plus some words from me about the design process
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with Maymin

Wintersong is a beautiful book. Beautiful, dark, mysterious, and captivating. It is a book that deals with a wide range of themes: Love, pain, selflessness, selfishness, sacrifice, family, music, strength, insecurity, and confidence.

Wintersong is apparently a retelling of the movie Labyrinth. I have never watched Labyrinth, so I had no idea what to expect. However, I was told it resembled the book Caraval, a 2017 favorite of mine. The first half definitely resembled it an
may ❀

This is a story about a brave maiden. This is a story of a tragedy. This is a story about the power of love. This is a story about the compassion and love and sacrifice between siblings. This is a story about selfishness and selflessness. This is the story of the greatest sacrifice. This is a story about life.

“Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.”

This book is magical. The writing is exquisite. The world is so encompassing and real. The characters are flawed and selfish and selfless an
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-releases
3.5 stars. Not sure if I want to round up, or down.

Is it bad that I'm kind of disappointed? That ending was awful. (Cruel, not poorly written.)

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lo
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it


I've decided on 4.5 stars for this one. I feel that it's waay too good for 4 stars, but still had some very minor little quirks that make me want to bring it down a notch.
This book was utterly fantastic.
Hauntingly beautiful, lyrical, dark and powerful.

I am going to refrain from getting into too many of the details, as I am saving that for my upcoming video review. However, just know that this one was very special. It wa
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S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the NYT bestselling author of Wintersong.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on

Other books in the series

Wintersong (2 books)
  • Shadowsong (Wintersong, #2)
“Life,” he said softly, “is more than flesh. Your body is a candle, your soul the flame. The longer I burn the candle...” He did not finish.
“A candle unused is nothing but wax and wick,” I said.“I would rather light the flame, knowing it will go out than sit forever in darkness.”
“What’s the use of running, if we are on the wrong road.” 84 likes
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