I loved the previous book, Wintersong, and while I was hoping for a sequel, I also thought the story could end there. But when SHADOWSONG was announced, I was hopping mad to get a copy, eager to revisit the Underground, and hoping for a happy ending for the Goblin King and Liesl.
As a whole, Wintersong came across as a tightly plotted story, while SHADOWSONG seems a bit scattered. There was none of the intensity of the previous book. Maybe it was because of the mystery initially presented–what’s with the dying people being found with silver frost on their lips? Who’s the green-eyed woman? What’s happening with Josef, and what seems to be up with Liesl, who seems to be distant in this book? And as I read on, the story starts to captivate me, maybe not as much as Wintersong, but enough to ensure that I would forge onward to the very last page.
The story is more about Liesl’s ongoing discovery about herself and her relationship with her brother Josef. It was heartbreaking to read how their once-closeness was shattered by the distance and the secrets they keep. Especially for Josef who thought he’d lost his sister. There was also a sense of mysticism about the importance of a name and calling a person home and the person who owned your heart. And a certain parallelism to the way it applied to two individuals.
As a romance junkie, I was terribly disappointed that there were only a very few scenes of Liesl and her austere young man. I understand why, of course, and what scenes there were showed their love mixed in with the helplessness at their situation.
For me, the plot moves slowly in the beginning, though things started to pick up maybe 60% into the story. It contains twists and revelations I didn’t see coming, though the ending was bittersweet and moved me to tears.
Overall, I don’t love SHADOWSONG as much as Wintersong, and I would’ve been happy for the story to end on the last page of Wintersong. Then again, there was further growth to Elisabeth in SHADOWSONG and there was a resolution to her relationship with her young man as well as restoring the balance to the world. Both have endings that are bittersweet and poignant, and left a lasting impression.
I do believe readers new to this tale should start with Wintersong. Then you can decide whether to continue with this book or let the story end there. Rating: 4.5 stars
Rating: 5 stars
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?