Der Erlkonig: The Goblin King and Lord of Mischief. As a child, Liesl played in the woods with him, and promised to marry him when they grew up. But watching over her beautiful sister, practicing music with her brother the prodigy, and the daily chores of running an inn with her mother has turned the Goblin King into a faintly remembered childhood game. When her grandmother warns that a new year is coming and the Goblin King will be seeking a bride, Liesl ignores the old ways and countermeasures, leaving her sister at risk. For what could a plain girl like Liesl offer that is more enduring than beauty? And so the trap is set “a life for a life,” and the goblins lure both women into a world where Liesl must choose: her sister and family, or Queen of the underground and life with the man who has lingered in the corner of her eyesight and sought after her for her entire life? The man who inspired her to compose more beautifully than anyone alive, who hungers for her, and who waited for the little girl to fulfill her promise. “When the Goblin King plays, he plays for keeps.” Wintersong is perfect for anyone who ever loved Beauty and the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, or Labyrinth.
Demon Lover by Juliet Dark (Carol Goodman) (Fairwick Chronicles #1) is about a woman named Callie who dreams every night about a hauntingly beautiful man, and one day accidentally finds a place in the woods near her home where the land of the fey and the human world connect, and where her demon lover lives, beckoning her to join him.
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is about a woman working in a tea shop who grows up loving a boy, but another deceptive, crafty woman and different careers path separate the two soul mates who still keep searching for one another.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier is about a woman who feels her soul draining from her through a loveless marriage, demanding, selfless children, and the vapidness of the aristocracy. One day a French sailor and thief appears in town and needs her help, and so begins a torrid love affair and the question of whether or not to give up her life for him.
The Changeling Sea and Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip both offer glimpses into worlds of magic and longing for those we cannot fully have and their secret pasts, as well as the price of love.
Liesl loved strawberries “because they tasted of more than sweetness; they tasted of stolen summer afternoons and laughter. They were always my favorite birthday gift.”
When asked who she was, Liesl stated she was “a girl who loves strawberries, chocolate torte, songs in a minor key…” and more, including both the Goblin King and her family.
To combine these two of her favorite flavors, I created a recipe for Chocolate Torte Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting
- granulated white sugar
- light brown sugar
- salted butter
- milk (whole or buttermilk)
- sour cream
- all-purpose flour
- cocoa powder
- baking powder
- baking soda
- vanilla extract
- large eggs
- LorAnn chocolate candy flavoring oil
- hot coffee, (chocolate flavored)
- seedless strawberry puree, (from about one cup of fresh strawberries)
- vegetable shortening
- LorAnn strawberry flavoring oil
- powdered sugar
- For full recipe and instructions, visit https://hobbylark.com/fandoms/Wintersong-Book-Discussion-and-Recipe.
- One of Liesl’s and Joseph’s favorite games was “The Ideal Imaginary World.” Was the goblin king a part of their game, and do you think that was by his design? What makes children and adults play such games of fantasy, and what is the problem with living in such worlds?
- For more discussion questions, visit https://hobbylark.com/fandoms/Wintersong-Book-Discussion-and-Recipe.