Friday, February 2, 2018

Me on Shadowsong

Title: Shadowsong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books (Macmillan imprint)

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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can't forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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 haunting, a slow-moving journey brought on by consequence and fate. It's an exploration of reality and madness, of desire and practicality. Of what will come from Liesl's return to the mortal world and what had been unleashed.

Liesl has returned to her family's home and inn after leaving the Underground, released from its bizarre hold of her. Released from the Goblin King. Now she has her chance to live her life again, to compose and create music with her brother Josef. But Josef is away performing and Liesl cannot let go of her time in the Underground. Cannot let go of the young man she found in the Goblin King, of their time together and the music he awoke in her. But her leaving has brought consequences. The barrier between the worlds is thinning, the hunt is on, and everything is at risk of coming to an end.

Reading this book, remembering the previous one, makes me wonder about the world itself. About impossibility in reality. About madness and identity, about who we are and who we hide. About the reflection in the mirror, who it is and who we are. About connections brought by blood and music and love. This book moves slowly, weighed down by Liesl's own warring inside her heart, but I don't think it could move any faster. Here is Liesl coming to terms with her relationship with her brother, with the darkness that's come between them. The secrets and the truths left unspoken. For those who enjoyed Wintersong, know that the story does continue here, still lyrical and fantastical, but as more of a slow and haunting search.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

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