Review | House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

“We are born of the Salt, we live by the Salt, and to the Salt we return.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: special slippers, lockets, bathtubs, nightmares, terrible deaths, midnight balls, masks, satin dresses, secret passages.

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.

I can understand why people have so many mixed reviews when it comes to this book. Personally, my experience was overall positive.

I really liked how creepy this book is. This book has a very mysterious and dark atmosphere/setting, which is something I really like in fantasy books. There are so many gore elements and horror elements that make this book come alive! And don’t even get me started on that turtle scene… that was so graphic!

The characters were just okay. I didn’t connect with the main character like I thought I would, but she was okay. You can say there’s a small dose of romance in this, but there’s nothing too fancy about it (I honestly didn’t pay any attention to it). What I did like was the family dynamics in this! I really liked reading about all the sisters and their relationships with each other.

I also liked how this book was inspired by a classic: “The 12 Dancing Princesses”! I have heard about this story before, but I never knew what it was about so I did some research to get to know the story before reading this book. At least I got to learn something new!

I can agree that the overall plot wasn’t the best and I found the end confusing and nonsensical. This retelling has a very interesting approach to the original story, and I appreciate what the author tried to do but I think the link between the stories felt a little off. I think the “new” plot had a few flaws that ended up influencing the entire retelling in a negative way. I admit there were a few times where I couldn’t understand exactly what was going on or even how to visualize the scenes, and this caused some confusion during my reading experience. And the icing on the cake: the ending was a little weak and I was a little disappointed with the way the story was concluded.

In the end, I enjoyed this story for what it was and I ended up liking it even if it was far from perfect!

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