House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A.Craig Review

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Genres: Fantasy and Horror

Age: Young Adult (YA)
My rating: 4/5 stars

Trigger Warnings: Rape, sexual assault, assault, mild gore, mild violence

I’m usually not a fan of horror but this is mild enough for me to read. The violence and gore are pretty much minimal and not specifically graphic (except for one scene). This is a retelling of Grimm’s 12 Dancing Princesses, but darker. The pace flowed properly – not too fast or too slow – and the ending took on a thriller-esque feel as Craig used the unreliable narrator trope, forcing us to question whether everything really happened or not, but there are discrepancies that leave a small hole within her plot that’s too big to ignore, especially one towards the end. I can’t post it because it’s a spoiler but I don’t understand if the curse happened before the deal was struck (when Annaleigh’s older sisters’ died) or after? It throws off the whole mystery. In conclusion, the writing is excellent (even though the epilogue is kind of corny) and kept me engaged. I didn’t expect Craig to use the unreliable narrator trope but it made this retelling even better!


Synopsis from Goodreads: Four of Annaleigh Thaumas’s eleven sisters have returned to the Salt, the brackish water that surrounds their lonely island home, their lives cut short, each more tragically than the last. Whispers throughout the Highmoor estate say the girls have been cursed by the gods.

When Annaleigh finds out that her sisters have been sneaking out to attend glittering midnight balls and dance until dawn, she’s not sure whether to stop them–or join them. And when she begins to see a series of horrific, ghostly visions and more sisters die, she realizes she must solve the mystery–with the help of Cassius, a sea captain who knows much more about her than he should–and unravel the Thaumas curse before she descends into madness or . . . it claims her next. 

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