by Erin A Craig
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Source: PublisherIn 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.
In today's publishing world, it's hard to find books that are truly unique, even in fantasy. I was super intrigued that this one was inspired by the twelve dancing princesses and I couldn't wait to dive in.
Annaleigh has lived in her family's manor by the sea with her 11 sisters and their father for her entire life. Lately, though, her sisters have been mysteriously dying and Annaleigh knows it's not an accident or suicide. Someone is killing her sisters. Annaleigh sets out to find who did it, even if her father and sisters think she's crazy. When Annaleigh and her sisters find a way to attend the grandest balls and dance all night, Annaleigh isn't so sure the balls are as grand as they seem. Annaleigh has to find out what's really going on before all of her sisters are gone for good.
From the very beginning, I was sucked into the magical world of the island world of Salt. The sea was everywhere and you could really feel it in the air, no matter where Annaleigh went. I loved the strange magic that was just there and never really explained. New things would pop up and just made sense in this world. I really enjoyed Annaleigh's character and how she interacted with her sisters. Her sisters were such strong characters in this book (some definitely more memorable than others) and I really loved seeing them all together and where they fell in their family hierarchy.
There was definitely a mystery going on behind the deaths of Annaleigh's sisters and I'm still not sure how I feel about that ending. It was definitely shocking, but it was shocking because the answer was something we had no idea had existed (trying to be as vague as I can to avoid spoilers!). I really don't like books that lead you in a few different directions only to pull an answer that was literally impossible to guess. Other than that, I really enjoyed the mystery and the action that occurred, especially near the end.
If you love a book with a very strong magical atmosphere, you would love House of Salt and Sorrows. I haven't read anything like this book and really enjoyed the world and mystery the author created.