Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Coming soon: January 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.”
Wintersong started off strong, a beautiful retelling of Der Erlkonig, a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that depicted a young child assailed by the Erlkonig — the Goblin King. It was haunting, beautiful, soulful and I fell in love with Der Erlkonig very quickly.
“The tall, pale, elegant stranger.
His features were covered by a hook, but beneath the cloak, his clothes were fine…
He seemed familiar, somehow.”
The story of The Goblin King and his fair maidens is one Elizabeth grew up with. As a child, she played in the Goblin Grove, entertaining the Goblin King — an imaginary friend, she had thought. Hoped. But as the legendary night where the King comes to the human world to take a new bride, Elizabeth’s sister, Kathe, disappears.
To save her, Elizabeth must sacrifice her music… and her soul.
So you can say it started off well — I flew through the first half faster than lightning, completely wrapped up in Jae-Jones’ imaginary world, completely in love with Der Erlkonig and his fantastical, strange underground kingdom. But once I hit 70%, I realized that nothing had happened. Wintersong‘s plot is a case of rinse and repeat: Elizabeth writes music, argues with the King, refuses to play said music, sleeps. As the story progresses, another element is added to the rinse and repeat cycle: Elizabeth and the King argue, have sex, she writes music and cries, then sleeps. Nothing happens. Nothing.
Oh, Wonderlings, how I pined for a swift turnaround! Alas, it was not to be and Wintersong’s five star rating tumbled to a two, along with my hopes and dreams. I tried to love it. I did. And I thoroughly enjoyed the parts that were haunting and original. I do believe that Wintersong could’ve been an easy-peasy 200 pages shorter, and us none the wiser.
Unfortunately, Wintersong tried a little bit too hard and it fell short.
How well did you do in the quiz? What’s some of your favorite fairytale retellings? Let me know in the comments below!