Source: I received a copy from the publisher.
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Wintersong is essentially a retelling of the film Labyrinth but it does deviate from the original plot. There are familiar characters and scenes, and the Goblin King is a major character, but I think it's probably best not to go into this with an expectation of it being the same as the film as it does take a turn to make it a more original story.
I really enjoyed the writing, especially in the first half. Liesl used to spend her childhood playing with the Goblin King but has forgotten him as she has gotten older. She has lost that carefree spirit she had as a child and spends her time looking after her family. The Goblin King soon returns, steals Liesl’s sister and makes it so that only Liesl remembers she exists. And so begins the journey into the mysterious and magical Underworld.
The pace in this first half where we are introduced to the family and enter the Underworld was so strong. I loved the magic of it all and the mysteriousness of the Goblin King. The writing is also gorgeous. I have seen the writing compared to The Star-Touched Queen a lot but I personally wasn't a fan of that book and found Wintersong much more readable.
The second half is weaker in my opinion. There is a lot more focus on the romance and I don't know what it was exactly but something felt a bit lacking there for me. It's kind of sexy and romantic but I think I maybe needed more chemistry. However, I do think the romance aspect improved by the end and I was feeling it more. I also would have liked more involvement with Liesl’s brother Josef as there is a lot going on there that has only just been touched on.
I really liked this book. The writing is so engaging but being unable to completely connect with the romance means I didn't love it as much as I thought I would.