Author: Erin A. Craig
Publication Date: Expected August 6, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
SYNOPSIS: In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy to read and review. This opportunity has not impacted my review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When I finally picked up House of Salt and Sorrows I had all but forgotten what this story was about so I was more than delighted when it exceeded my expectations of it! If you love a creepy haunting story of a fairytale retelling I would highly recommend grabbing this book when it publishes on August 6th!
I must say, this story is much darker than I thought it was going to be. The night I picked it up I actually ha to put it back down because it was dark out and I am such a scaredy cat. This book actually gave me the C H I L L S. I suddenly thought I was going to start seeing these terrifying ghosts around every corner. With that being said you can imagine how well these ghosts were described, because I certainly still remember how creepy they are portrayed. House of Salt and Sorrows is a fairytale retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. While the fairytale itself if fairly tame, this retelling puts a new spin on it and takes it to a dark place I wasn’t entirely expecting. It is done very beautifully though and I think this story really worked.
The first half or so of the book was fairly slow for me though. It was still wildly entertaining with descriptions of gorgeous balls and parties and pretty dresses and lots of dancing. So I can’t really put my finger on it but I guess I wanted more.. scary stuff during this point of the book. It was still there, I just feel like it could have been expanded on and this story would have been even scarier than it was. The second half definitely had more action and a lot of questions from earlier in the story were answered (although I still have a few that I don’t believe where answered). The major issue I had with the second half is that the ending felt incredibly rushed, like a lot of things were being squeezed into to short of pages for the sake of keeping the book shorter. I would have rather had an additional 25 pages to expand on things a little bit.
Speaking of the ending, it kind of felt like a cop-out to me. I figured out the twist pretty early on in the book, which is fine because it didn’t ruin the story for me. But when the climax of the book was finally upon me, I just didn’t feel the tension and nervousness that I love. Probably because it felt so rushed. There was a lot more to the ending that I felt we deserved, and unless there is a sequel there are a few things left open.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book though is the SLOOOOOW burn romance. And man was it slow, but I loved it all the more for it. We ended up in a small love triangle for a little while but I think it was done tactfully. The other thing I really enjoyed about House of Salt and Sorrows was the mythology! There was a lot of history about the gods they believe in and the rituals they perform to please them. I thought this added a lot of depth to the story but again it left a few things unanswered for me that I want clarity on.
If you like creepy tales of ghosts and haunted little girls, slow burn romance, fairytale retellings, and mythology then I would say look no further because this is a great book that encompasses all it!