14 February 2018

Shadowsong // I’m Not Good At Explaining Why But I Loved It

Shadowsong
Published: 30th January 2018
Source: Netgalley/Purchased
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating:
The conclusion to the gorgeous and lush Wintersong duology.

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 Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.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 had been eagerly anticipating this book ever since I’d finished Wintersong. That first book had an ending which left me wanting more and needing resolution. I needed this book in my hands as soon as possible. I even preordered this book because I needed to know how it would all end. I was in no way prepared for the story given in this book and I enjoyed it but I have spent the past two days struggling to put into words why I loved it.

Just as a warning there will be spoilers in this post because it was hard enough writing a review, any review, so editing it down to not include spoilers would be too damn hard. I don’t hate myself that much.

The premise of this book is simple. It’s in the summary above, but Liesl has been out from the underground for a while and strange things are happening. Her brother is not ok and she is not ok and both aren’t willing to admit it. It’s a book about Liesl dealing with her grief at leaving the one she loves. Struggling with the madness which lies in her family and the concern of what that means for her. She struggles with trying not to delve into the madness she experiences composing in the underground by avoiding her music altogether.

It’s so hard to explain this book because the story itself is relatively simple. Not a lot happens. Like the first book, the pace is slow and is far more about character development than fast paced story action. As the author mentions at the start, Wintersong ‘was her bright mirror’ showing the brighter side of who she was whilst Shadowsong is the dark one showing ‘how all the monstrous parts of the Underground’ and how they were facets of herself. This really reflects within the books. Whilst there were manic aspects to Wintersong with Liesl suffering with her creativity getting to the extreme lengths composing music, it was always magical and charming and never as dark as Shadowsong gets. Shadowsong feels a lot more hopeless in how it’s written. Liesl seems to accept the inevitability of her life outside of the underground and denying the magic which she knows exists… maybe in concern that her experiences were a sign of madness.

I think my love for this book came from the character journey rather than a fast paced storyline (because fast paced this book is not). I loved the exploration of Lisel’s character and her discovering who she is and what it means to accept her whole self. It was about Josef realising who he was and what his differences meant. And it was about the Goblin King getting to lead his own life with those he loved and that it shouldn’t always be about sacrifice.

Look, this book wasn’t anything like I expected and whilst at first I struggled with the slow pace as Liesl seemed so accepting in her angry existence denying her love. I did adjust to the pacing of the book and love exploring the characters thoughts and slowly seeing the story unfold. It was such a satisfying ending to a magical ending. It had the exact same feel as the first book did but also a whole different vibe. I loved it and cannot fully explain why but it was an excellent read and if you’ve read the first you definitely need to check this out.

What was the last book you read which you loved and couldn’t explain why? And have you read this or Wintersong? What did you think?

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