book review, new adult, young adult

Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones (ARC Review)

Title: Shadowsong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, NA, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Wednesday Books (Macmillan)
Date published: February 6, 2018

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by Raincoast Books, in exchange for an honest review.

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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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?

– My Review –

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When I read Wintersong around this time last year, I remember being thoroughly enchanted by Jae-Jones’ writing style, as well as the settings and magic. I was especially taken with the Underground and the Goblin King. The romance between Liesl and the Goblin King was also … well, something. It was an epic romance, as well as a damaged romance. At the time, I thought that Wintersong would be a standalone, and I was a little saddened by how things were left off.

The story didn’t feel finished, and I’m glad that someone else was of the same mind, because we were not only given a sequel, but also an ending to the series. I was very happy when reading the announcement that Shadowsong would be happening, and I couldn’t resist the urge to request an ARC for review. I finished the book almost a week ago, but wasn’t able to write a review right away, because I had to really analyze my feelings about it, and figure out how to write this review without spoiling anything.

Based on what I remember of Wintersong (and the author talks about this in a note preceding the story portion of the book), Shadowsong is quite different from its prequel. I remember there being quite a bit of magic, musical terminology, and sexual content in Wintersong, which there was very little (to none) of in Shadowsong. The sequel focused more on the “Above Ground” rather than the Underground, and also focused more on family than the romantic plot between Liesl and the Goblin King. There was still romance, don’t get me wrong, but not the amount that I was expecting. What Shadowsong did have more of, when compared to its prequel, however, is that focus on family (as I’ve mentioned), as well as more character development! Since I am a very family-oriented person, and I have a younger sibling, I really connected with Liesl in that regard. I also found it interesting to see Liesl, her siblings, and other supporting characters develop. S. Jae-Jones’ writing was also just as beautiful in Shadowsong as in Wintersong, which made me very happy.

The story in Shadowsong wasn’t what I pictured it would be. But that is understandable, considering that I based my expectations on the first book, as well as what I wanted book two to be. This book was still an interesting and entertaining read, though, and I recommend it to those who have read Wintersong, and I also recommend the series in general to those who like historical fantasy fiction, as well as reading about folklore.

– About the Author –


S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of WINTERSONG (Thomas Dunne 2017). When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including TwitterTumblrFacebookInstagram, and her blog.

– Purchase Links –

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7 thoughts on “Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones (ARC Review)

    1. Thank you so much! I thought that it wasn’t the best review that I’ve ever written, so your words mean a lot 🙂

      I hope that you get to read the series soon! It’s very flowery and lyrical.

  1. I’m soooo glad you loved the first book and enjoyed its sequel. I have mostly read negative reviews for this book, so I was a bit hesitant but now I can definitely start. Though I’ll lower my expectations before going into book 2. Loved your review!

    1. Yeahhh I saw some of the negative reviews as well. But I liked them 🙂 I loved the language, and story, and thought they were both pretty and dark. Some people don’t like that though. Thanks so much for reading!

    1. Yeahhhh always so many coming out. It kind of really makes me appreciate duologies and standalone novels more. But at the same time, when I really like a story, I can never have enough!

      I hope that you enjoy this series when you pick it up! 🙂

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