Format: E-Book, 400 pages
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Fairy Tales & Folklore
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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?
Shadowsong is the second installment in author S. Jae-Jones's Wintersong duology. Shadowsong picks up 6 months after the ending of Wintersong. My recommendation? Read the books back to back. That way you can keep your memory sharp at what happened in the previous book, and where things are at the moment Shadowsong opens. Once upon a time, there was a little girl who played music for a boy in the woods. Girl just happened to be an innkeeper's daughter who had the brilliance of a composer like Mozart and was raised listening to stories about Der Erlkönig.
The boy became the Lord of Mischief aka the Goblin King. For years, the boy waited patiently for the girl to make a choice and become his bride. When she finally did wander into the Underground the Goblin King let his Queen leave and return home to her family. By doing so, he cheated the old laws of their sacrifice and now everyone is paying the price until the sacrifice is made. The most scary part is that the Wild Hunt is on the loose bringing death with them and Liesl is the prize.
This is a strange, and dark story that actually takes place mostly above ground in places like Bavaria and Austria. Elisabeth Vogler isn't the character we met in the previous installment. She doesn't know who she is any longer. She's working for her families inn, she hasn't written anything of any consequences since her return from the Underground, her mind is running in several different directions at once, and she is puzzled as to why her brother Josef hasn't been in contact. Then several things happen. First, she receives a curious letter from Joseph telling her to come to Austria, and later, she receives an unbelievable offer that a patron has agreed to help her move to Austria to be with her brother and his love Francois.
For those who understand Bipolar, you know that person exhibits characteristics that tend to be extreme hot and extreme cold with emotions. The author pretty much admits that she has written Liesl with that in mind. But, let's not forget about Josef. Josef gets more than his fair share of the storyline while the Goblin King sits in the background having to deal with his own issues. In this world, you can't escape the madness if you are Der Erlkönig's own. In this world, you have to give up something in order to gain something in return. What will Elisabeth have to give up when all is said and done? In the end, will Elisabeth be able to walk away and have a happy ending, or will the Wild Hunt make her one of their own?
"I lived in the in-between spaces. Between the pretty lie and the ugly truth."
"The mad, the fearful, the faithful, those who dwell with one foot in the underground and one foot in the world above."
"You can be running toward something or running from something, but you cannot do both at once."