• ★★★★-4.5

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Spoiler-Free)

4.5 stars because there were definitely a couple things that I didn't love about this book, but MAN does the love outweigh the critques on this one.

“What’s the use of running, if we are on the wrong road.” - S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong)

“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.” - S. Jae-Jones

“What is eternal life but a prolonged death.” - S. Jae-Jones

To start with the things I love about the entirety of this book. (There are a lot ) - The setting. This book is so atmospheric in the variety of settings it holds within. From the beauty of The Goblin Grove to the dark, shifty tunnels of the Underground (which really gave me Caraval vibes might I add). - Elisabeth "Liesl" is a great main character and I found her so relatable, and I was so invested in her emotions throughout the majority of the story. (There were minor bits in the second half that I wasn't but I'll get to that later)

- The Goblin King lowkey reminded me of the Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy so that was great because the Darkling is the best.

- The writing was gorgeous. It practically melts in your brain as you read. (I don't really know if this makes sense but that's the only way I can describe how I feel about it lol) The minor problems I had with this book: - The first half and the second half were so different. Like there was a palpable mood change in one specific chapter where I felt like maybe this could have been separated into two books. What I thought I'd be waiting for until the end of the book, I found right before the halfway point, and that's where things took a turn. The first half feels like an epic chase (again a bit of Caraval vibes here), where the reader doesn't know what is real and what isn't. I loved this, and the way that the scenes rolled out in front of me seemed like they were out of a movie and it was awesome. The second half, while still amazing, I think would have been enjoyed more if I hadn't been expecting to feel the same vibes as I did in the first half. Had it been separated into two books, maybe I wouldn't have felt like it was lacking something as I began. What the reader quickly realizes is that the second half is all about Elisabeth's emotions. And while it was still fascinating it did feel a bit more tedious than what was the wild goose chase of the first half. Also, if the reader does not relate to Elisabeth, then I could definitely see how going on a deep dive through her emotions could be frustrating. However, for me, that wasn't a problem because I related to her the majority of the time. Conclusion This book was dazzling, atmospheric, and the great YA fantasy that I've been struggling to find after the last good one I found, Daughter of Smoke & Bone. So, if you are looking for a good YA fantasy out of the plethora of clichés, consider giving this one a try. P.S. I need the sequel like now, okay bye

Song I was reminded of while reading: Down

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