House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A Criag

Title: House of Salt and Sorrows

Author:  Erin A. Craig  

My Rating:  🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2

Type: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult fantasy, Magical World, Horror, Suspense, Mystery, Thrillers

Primary Characters: Annaleigh, Verity, Lenore, Ligeia & Rosalie, Honor, Mercy & Camille

 Narration: Single POV

This is my first Erin Criag’s Book. I picked this up based on several of my fellow bookstagramers recommendation.  I had never heard about a fairy tale “12 dancing princesses”. After reading few reviews, I was intrigued about both stories. I m really not sure if it’s a retell of 12 dancing princesses as I haven’t read that book yet. However, this book is quite great, roller coaster ride.

Annaleigh Thaumas lives at Highmoor, a remote manor on the sea with her father, stepmother and several sisters. Tragedy seems to be hitting this family hard. Once there were 12 sisters, now only 8 of them are alive. Villagers think they are cursed. After their mother’s death, the family went into mourning, then four of her sisters died one by one mysteriously or accidentally. Annaleigh begins to believe that her sister’s deaths are not accidents.

There stepmother thinks time of mourning is over and then comes clothes, gowns, shoes, balls and parties. Sisters will find a secret passage and then all their shoes end up tattered in no time.  Annaleigh starts suspecting about the parties they attend. She starts digging more about her sister’s death. Will she be able to uncover all those secrets before the visions of her own death become true?

With this beautiful intriguing plot, it was a very eerie and haunting book and at times even creepy and unsettling. Some things were left unexplained that I would have liked to know more about. There were also some things about the fantasy elements that were a little outlandish for me. Writing and narration is good. Pace of the book fluctuated. It started out slow, picked up well in middle with a 3X fast forwarded ending. Secondary characters were good especially some of her sisters. I disliked and was suspicious of Fisher from the beginning. Cassius was a cutie, but I wish he had a bigger role in the story.

The romance plotline seemed a bit like insta-love at times to me, but it was cute and didn’t dominate the whole book the way they do in other books. I enjoyed the world-building.

I really enjoyed the entire premise however ending was wired and mystifying. Overall, this book is a tasteful blend of fantasy and horror. This story had me guessing until the end. I suspected some of what came to be, but much of it took me by surprise. If you want to taste this unique blend, go ahead pick it and let me know your thoughts.

Source – My purchased copy

Buy link -

Blurb as per Goodreads

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. 

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