“We are born of the Salt, we live by the Salt, and to the Salt we return.”
Rating: 4/5 stars
Thank you Delacorte Press for sending me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I would enjoy this, give me a dark fantasy retelling of just about anything and I’ll find something to love. This had all the right amounts of magic, mystery, romance, sibling love, dancing, ghosts, dreamy boys, and death…because we can’t forget that, now can we?
“Sisters and friends till the end.”
Annaleigh used to have twelve sisters, until four of their lives were cut short within the last five years. Stuck in cycle of mourning, the book picks up right at the funeral of the fourth sister, Eulalie. Annaleigh knows that something is not right, and that Eulalie did not kill herself as the others say. She’s determined to get to the bottom of her sister’s death her while other sisters are begging to break the mourning cycle that the family has been stuck in for the last five years. Reluctantly their father agrees and when the girls realize that the people of the town are hesitant to approach them after so many have died, the girls then find a secret door that takes them anywhere they want to go. They then begin slipping away every night to dance until dawn and sleep the day away until the next nights ball. Only it seems that they’re bringing home a curse with them as more sisters and other people close to the family begin to die.
House of Salt and Sorrows will keep you on your toes from the first page until the very last, it will make you question what’s real and what isn’t, and you’ll definitely cringe a few times. I was rooting for hard for Annaleigh to get to the bottom of what happened to not only Eulalie, but her other sisters and those that were close to her family and were killed throughout the story as well. This is the perfect summer mystery read about the sea to read while your at the beach!
Two reasons on why this didn’t get a five star rating from me, first, I found this to be rather predictable. One of my first “suspects” on my list of possible murderers was in fact the culprit, and even though this book did keep me guessing until the very end I can’t say I was shocked by the ending. Second, was I was expecting this to be creepier. Don’t get me wrong there were parts that would definitely creep me out if they happened to me in real life, but I was expecting a tad bit more. Also, not that this took away from the book for me but I am a big ol’ softy when it comes to animals, and there is an especially gruesome scene with a sea turtle so just be aware of that if it may be potentially triggering for you.
All in all, for a debut author this was done really well. Erin Craig creates a beautiful world built by the sea that you can easily get lost in but isn’t overly descriptive at the same time, which I LOVED. It’s super atmospheric and she creates a group of sisters who are easy to love and keep you biting yourself as to who will suffer an unfavorable fate next. Not only is this a book that you’re able to devour in basically one sitting, but it’s also a book that will keep you wanting more within this world and I can’t wait to see what other books we’ll get to read from the author in the future!
Until next time,