• Publication Date; 6th of February 2018 • St. Martin’s Press
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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?
I received an e-arc of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Shadowsong picks up six months after the utterly gut-wrenching ending of Wintersong (I sobbed). Shadowsong is a much darker book than Wintersong, and delves into Elisabeth’s (Liesl’s) mind, exploring her sanity, selfishness and the meaning of sacrifice. Where Wintersong was the story of Liesl and her beloved Goblin King, Shadowsong is the story of Liesl and her beloved brother, Josef.
Shadowsong is full of beauty, despair, hope and madness all intertwined. We meet familiar characters as well as some new ones -- their honourable intentions questionable. Liesl and Josef soon find themselves out of their depth and hiding from the Wild Hunt, intent on bringing the Old Laws back into order, the Laws which Liesl broke when her beloved Goblin King let her leave the Underground six months earlier.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Shadowsong; Wintersong had left me shattered, I couldn’t read for weeks, my heart ached and I was terrified to pick up this book. I had read the synopsis but JJ really took the book and story of Liesl to a completely different level. She delved into a world of mayhem, to a darker and deeper emotional level that really hits home with the reader. Liesl' mental health is a real point of focus throughout this novel. Shadowsong was about Liesl finding herself and embracing who she was before the Underground, who she was when she was there, and who she is now since her return.
I fell in love with JJ’s exquisite writing style in Wintersong and I have fallen even more in love with it in Shadowsong. The words flowed through the pages like a symphony, it is elegant and raw – I found myself reading faster during Liesl and Josef’s chaotic thoughts and scenes, especially when they played their music in anger and or to escape from reality. Then I found myself reading slower and absorbing the heartache, the loneliness and loss the characters felt.
As I said above, the words flowed through the pages; there was never a dull moment. I was entranced from start to finish and was desperate for more – just more.
I won’t speak too much about the ending of the novel otherwise it will give away spoilers. However, I will say that JJ’s ending to this incredible duology was more than I could have ever asked for. I cried tears of happiness, but I also cried tears of sadness. Liesl, Josef and her beloved Goblin King will stay with me for many years to come.
Shadowsong and Wintersong are two of my favourite books of all time – I will cherish them always. Thank you JJ for Liesl and her beloved Goblin King.
You can find my review to the first book Wintersong here; https://www.thebooktweeter.com/single-post/2017/03/15/Wintersong