Genres: Dark Fantasy, Retelling,
I have received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Shadowsong is the second book of the Wintersong duology, and its tone is much darker than the first one. Here, after Elisabeth has escaped the Underground, we see how it goes six months later, as she has no news of her brother in Vienna and her grandmother goes madder and madder by the day. The death of her father is a big blow to the family, and leaves nothing but debt and pain to the family. Elisabeth cannot forget the Goblin King, her immortal lover, and there are signs everywhere that the barriers between the Underground and the world above are becoming thinner, which she hopes she can fix.
This gorgeous book is full of such beauty, from its writing to the emotions that it brings to surface. I loved and hated the ever-present theme of madness in it, because I myself have suffered from depression and anxiety, and doubting reality and your sanity is a constant thing in a mentally ill person’s mind… so I was at times upset at the constant use of the word “mad” for the mentally ill, and at the same time I understood it perfectly (especially in the context of the book) and wasn’t upset at all. I believe it was more the feeling of madness that they feel, and that was quite fine. I have asked myself if I am mad many times, too…
The atmosphere is dark, lyrical and wild, lots of times using contradicting words to describe a feeling, and it felt perfectly understandable how the same thing could evoke such contradictory feelings… I have to say I was so entranced by this book that I even dreamed of the white-and-black ball one time. It was just to easy to lose yourself in this world.
I also love that this book has such an authentic German feeling to it, and was surprised to see the author wasn’t half-German or so. It gives the story a more Grimm brothers feel to it.
This is among the best books I’ve read so far, and I love it as much as I loved the first one. I’ve actually bought both as softcover (the hardcover ones would have taken too long), so I will be able to read the finished copies when I re-read them!