DNF Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, wintersongsearching for his bride…

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds―and the mysterious man who rules it―she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget.

I dnf’d this at 34%. Funny actually. I was reading a lot of it in one sitting in the start and it was actually quite easy to read. Bit of flowery language, but okay. The further I got, the more unbearable the story got for me though…

I picked it up, because it sounded like Labyrinth, my favourite Fantasy movie with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. It is based on the story and you can see lots of parallels, the biggest being the Goblin King himself, who is described as sly and cunning, as well as fair and cruel. He does look like Jareth as well. Not sure if he’s rocking the same awesome outfit though. He better.


Anyways.. the main topic in this book is music. There’s lots of talk about different instruments, different musical pieces and the making of them. Many technical terms are getting thrown around and I was a bit lost (and didn’t care). I know how to read notes. I can play the flute & piano 😀 But I don’t know anything about diminished seventh(?), fifth, fourth, sonata, quadrille etc. And I don’t want to learn either, thank you. The main character is a talented musical composer but for some reason thinks she is the least important of her siblings and needs to suffer all the time. I don’t know why she thinks she has to do it, but she does. There’s also lots of emphasis on how plain looking, but clever she is. Her younger sister Kaethe is the beauty, but she’s also shallow and dumb as f*ck.

really meme

So don’t expect anything new or different.

What annoyed me as well, was the use of the German Language in it. There’s a couple of random words that are used all the time. It takes place in Bavaria and all the main characters of course have German names. Say hi to Kaethe, Liesl and Sepperl. The author couldn’t have picked more common German names. I have to admit that it was irritating for me sometimes. Especially when a German sentence was used and it had 2 grammar mistakes in it. That seemed amateur-ish. This is probably not a big deal – I assume most people who read it don’t know German. But it just stood out for me. I can look over spelling mistakes if there are not too many. But I can expect a published author to have a better editor or do some research on German grammar.

There’s lots of repetition of phrases and words as well and once Liesl enters the Underground to rescue her enchanted sister Kaethe, who gets sexually assaulted by several goblins and likes it (but she is enchanted!), I quickly knew, that this wasn’t for me.

Even the Goblin King started acting all funny. After he was introduced as this powerful, cruel, emotionless and inhuman creature who likes playing with the lives of humans, he starts being all blushy-blushy when Liesl walks into his room while he was still in bed.

Oh boy, no, let me forget this whole experience pretty quickly.



  1. My thoughts exactly! Except for the German grammar part. I don’t know German so mistakes in the grammar went past me. I really liked the flowery writing though and was interested in the first part of the story, but once she got underground and the Goblin King started acting weird and all, I didn’t like it anymore. I got frustrated with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t too mad at the writing. Apart from the repetition of phrases & words, I enjoyed it. And I can take flowery style of writing if it’s not too much. It was a good mix. But yeah, the story itself.. just no.


  2. I didn’t DNF this, but I came close. What sucked was that the first part of the book was so good. I really thought I had a winner, and then around the halfway point things just took a sharp dive towards mediocrity and annoying cliches. Such a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad I stopped when I did then! I just wonder.. did the story include a labyrinth as well? When I stopped reading, it was just after their weird party and Liesl hadn’t left the Goblin King’s place yet


  3. In Deutschland wird das Buch ja gerade ziemlich gehypt, es scheint so ungefähr jeder in die Kamera zu halten und es toll zu finden. Aber allein anhand der Rezis habe ich schon das Gegenteil vermutet und werde mich fernhalten. Das mit dem “leiden” scheint mittlerweile Standart zu werden, also etwas Besonderes sein, ohne es zu wissen und dann zu leiden, leiden, leiden. Ob die Figuren manchmal selbst wissen weshalb? Keine Ahnung. Nun ja, immerhin weiß ich jetzt noch deutlicher: Finger weg. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, das wusste ich gar nicht! Bisschen traurig, dass das viele so toll finden. Bei gehypten Buechern bin ich auch immer eher vorsichtig, zu viele schlechte Erfahrungen gemacht. Gut, dass du dich fernhaeltst – ich glaub das wuerde dir nicht wirklich gefallen. Gibt so viel bessere Lektuere 😀


  4. Shame this got so unbearable :/ I also thought it sounded like Labyrinth- but then it’s pretty hard to live upto that movie 😉 That was great to get your insight on the German- I always find it good to get people’s insight on that sort of thing. This really doesn’t sound very good- no surprise you DNF’d!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yikes, I think I might have been annoyed by the learning of all those music stuff too. And the German language mistakes?… Argh.. It’s already tricky to see foreign language put within English narrative. To make mistakes too?! Maybe they want us to DNF it. Great honest review though. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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