This is a love story, first and foremost, of varying types with a dark atmosphere and a very non PG vein. It is not one of those prenatural boy meets lonely outcast of a woman who proceed to fall in love against all odds and live happily ever after. What it IS is a beautifully written Adult Dark Fairytale wherein topics such as Love (of family as well as the romantic sort), Sacrifice, Devotion, Faith and true Happiness are explored. There are definite uncomfortable moments like when Elisabeth is constantly described as being homely, only possessing beauty through her tenacity and musical prowess. I thought it was nice though..to have Beauty defined as something more than the Adonis-like allure. I think it's a depiction too often lacking in most literature nowadays. Anyhow, back to the glowing review, Wintersong is a seriously character driven fantasy where the world building and character development are supurb. There are times of sluggish pacing... Especially where feelings and enviroments are likened to musical attributes (such as tempo and key). These were confusing to me BUT it works overall and it is SOOO worth it. I cried...yes I'll admit it, I might have even wept like an orphan on mother's day... ALRIGHT?!? I felt wrung out and anxious like exposed nerves being tap danced on. No... Everything was most desidedly NOT alright. My heartstrings were being played like the virtuoso sonatas eluded to in the book. If you feel like you are slogging through the plot I highly recommend sticking with it if for nothing else than for the ending!