House of Salt and Sorrows
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.

House of Salt and Sorrows Details

TitleHouse of Salt and Sorrows
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 6th, 2019
PublisherDelacorte
ISBN-139781984831927
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Retellings

House of Salt and Sorrows Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARS"As they whispered their strained condolences, I noticed the guests were careful to not get too close. Was it in deference to our station, or were they worried something might rub off? I wanted to chalk it up to the lowbrow superstition, but as a distant aunt approached me, a thin smile on her thin lips, the same question lingered in her eyes, just below the surface, impossible to miss: Which one of us would be next?"Oh yes, I love a good book that is unafraid to pull a few punches. Her 3.5 STARS"As they whispered their strained condolences, I noticed the guests were careful to not get too close. Was it in deference to our station, or were they worried something might rub off? I wanted to chalk it up to the lowbrow superstition, but as a distant aunt approached me, a thin smile on her thin lips, the same question lingered in her eyes, just below the surface, impossible to miss: Which one of us would be next?"Oh yes, I love a good book that is unafraid to pull a few punches. Here's the thing; initially, I was drawn to this book for three reasons: it's a fairytale retelling, it has a gorgeous cover, and it's got the whole romantic horror aspect down pat. Is this a sub-genre? YA romance horror? If not, it certainly should be. Overall, this one delivered, and I'm intrigued to see more from Erin A. Craig in the future. Like I stated above, this is a YA retelling of a somewhat obscure fairytale by the Brother's Grimm called The Twelve Dancing Princesses. In the original version, things are much more tame and boring, so naturally I prefer the author's reimagined tale to the original. Instead of princesses being caught sneaking out and then given in marriage to the man who was able to solve the mystery of the worn out shoes, we have sisters who are dying in disturbing, and somewhat unbelievable ways, which explains why our protagonist is so determined to figure out just what in the beard of Moses is going on. Part fantasy, part murder mystery, this is an ambitious book, especially for a debut author, and I think she pulled the entire thing off rather well. The most controversial topic surrounding this book, at least that I've seen, is the amount of disturbing content included in this novel, so let's start there. Personally, I loved it, but if you are sensitive to disturbing violence, gore, blood, and discussions of suicide, this may not be the book for you. Many scenes are quite descriptive, and there are tons of difficult, yet necessary themes discussed here that may be more appropriate for the upper end of the YA spectrum. There is a definite gothic fantasy feel to the story, which gives it an appropriate darkness, but this is contrasted with an equal dose of romance-complete with a HEA!I think my main concern is that this is the slowest of slow burns until about 2/3 through the novel. I appreciated all of the atmospheric setup, but it also felt as if there wasn't a bit of action until the explosion of a climax. However, the twist was excellent, and the entire reimagining was creative and unique, which makes me glad I spent the time plowing through the slower moments. A solid, beautifully written debut, and I hope to see more from the author in the near future. Also? I hope we get more retellings from Craig, because she clearly has a knack for dark fantasy. *I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed..3.5 starsAnnaleigh, (who BTW, doesn't love this name?) lives at Highmoor, a Manor by the sea with her father, his new wife and her eleven sisters. Tragedy seems to be hitting this family hard, perhaps it is cursed? The villagers think so. This used to be a big happy family. But after their Mother died, the family went into mourning, then four of her sisters died one by one. Annaleigh begins to believe that her sister's deaths are not accidents. A In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed..3.5 starsAnnaleigh, (who BTW, doesn't love this name?) lives at Highmoor, a Manor by the sea with her father, his new wife and her eleven sisters. Tragedy seems to be hitting this family hard, perhaps it is cursed? The villagers think so. This used to be a big happy family. But after their Mother died, the family went into mourning, then four of her sisters died one by one. Annaleigh begins to believe that her sister's deaths are not accidents. After the latest death, her Stepmother convinces her father that they should stop mourning and dress in beautiful clothing again, have balls and embrace life. Everyone but Annaleigh is on board, but she finally agrees to make her father happy. The new clothing and fairy shoes are not the only new things...the girls also become aware of a secret passage. A passage, or crevice if you will, that will take them to another place, a place of balls and dances, new encounters and new adventures. But tragedy strikes again when another sister goes missing....Put me in the camp of enjoying re-telling of fairy tales. In this case, this book is an atmospheric retelling of the Brother Grimm's "The Twelves Dancing Princesses" also known as "The Worn-out Dancing shoes and "The Shoes that were danced to Pieces." Sometimes re-telling’s can be campy but this one was not. I loved the atmosphere. The Manor overlooking the sea, the water, the sea creatures, the sisters, the balls, etc. This one felt atmospheric, Gothic and enchanting all at the same time. Is the family cursed? Why are the women of this family dying? The book does get darker at the end, but I enjoyed how the book built up to the ending. This book also had me questioning what was real and what wasn't as Annaleigh begins to question what is happening to her family. This is a great rainy day/escape book. It's full of atmosphere, magic, a little romance, mystery, and ghosts. Parts felt a little predictable, i.e. the love triangle, but this is YA so that often goes with the genre. I found this to be a very visual book as in, I could easily visualize what was happening as the Author did a great job with her descriptions.The Author is off to a very solid start with this debut novel. I received a copy of this book from Random House Children's and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    January 1, 1970
    I am • spooked, • in love, • and broken.The House of Salt and Sorrows is an enchanting and haunting retelling of the Brother Grimm’s fairy tale “Die Zwölf Tanzenden Prinzessinnen“ ,“ The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (or sometimes referred to as "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes" or "The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces"). Erin A. Craig’s spin on the tale delivers a magically engrossing tale including gods, a suspicious stepmother, magic doorways, haunting visions, terrifying suspense, and sweet romance I am • spooked, • in love, • and broken.The House of Salt and Sorrows is an enchanting and haunting retelling of the Brother Grimm’s fairy tale “Die Zwölf Tanzenden Prinzessinnen“ ,“ The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (or sometimes referred to as "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes" or "The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces"). Erin A. Craig’s spin on the tale delivers a magically engrossing tale including gods, a suspicious stepmother, magic doorways, haunting visions, terrifying suspense, and sweet romance. A pot of gold for lovers of YA books and fairy tale retellings. THIS MADE MY ‘BEST OF 2019’ BOOKLIST in the YA genre!“I dwelt alone, in a world of moan, and my soul was a stagnant tide Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride”Highmore is the manor perched high above the sea on an island that houses a duke and his 12 daughters. The place has seen its share of grief in the last months as mysterious deaths are taking one daughter after another. A forsaken, haunted place is what the people on the mainland call the island, and a dark and hopeless mood has spread among the family. After another funeral underway, Annaleigh and her sisters protest the short mourning period their new stepmother imposes. After only a day, she has invited a dress- and shoemaker to cheer the girls up. Amazed and happy, the girls are having a wonderful time getting spoiled, but Annaleigh stays suspicious. She is haunted by the unexplained deaths of her sisters and shocked at the awful graphic drawings of death one of her little sisters makes.The girls are full of cheer and via a secret crevice near the burial chamber down by the sea they slip through and start attending the most spectacular dance balls they have ever imagined. Reluctantly, Annaleigh lets her guard down and finds herself whisked away dancing the nights away. When an old friend and a new love interest are invited to the manor, Annaleigh’s haunted dreams become darker and stronger. And then, another sister goes missing!As the duke is wondering how his daughters keep going through their new shoes over and over, Annaleigh finds herself in a mystery she has to solve but does not know whom to trust. All the right people are at the wrong place at the wrong time and evil slowly spreads the halls of the manor. Will Annaleigh solve the murders before the visions of her own death become true? A sweet dark tale, not to be missed!***This novel had me by the neck! Not the first 1/3 of the book, but all after. This is Erin A. Craigs debut novel, and I am at awe at her ability to create stunningly haunting scenes. I actually went back and reread many of them, because I was thinking, ‘how did she do that’? Without fanfare, Annaleigh’s haunted moments were chilling and full of suspense. Un-put-down-able!As for the first part of the novel, the dress-up, and the balls, they were glamorous, sparkly and enchanting – fairytale like. A sweet combo in a YA book, for the young at heart. That part didn’t grab me like the rest of the novel, but I am not the age of the intended audience.I really enjoyed the entire premise and fairy tale retellings are a thing. Complete with a stepmother, a mystery and some romance, a perfect book to escape in. It’s been a very long time since I have heard the Grimm’s tale of “Die Zwölf Tanzenden Prinzessinnen“, but I definitely want to reread and compare. Check out a short synopsis of the original on my blog. If you like retellings, this is a must and I hope you will love it as I did. I received a digital copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you. My blog and more reviews:https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/blog...
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  • Sheharzad ⚘
    January 1, 1970
    The Twelve Dancing Princesses is one of my FAVOURITE fairytales and I simply ADORED Crimson Peak. This book puts them together with a dash of mystery + death and hello hi I'm not okay?? Like at all??? Publication is planned for fall 2019. W H A T
  • chan ☆
    January 1, 1970
    barbie walked so this book could run
  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    The writing was well done and the author put a unique twist on this tale! Now, I didn’t get creeped out like other reviewers have said. I feel like I’m immune to any of that stuff since I’ve seen so many horror movies but there was a lot of cool vibes. My thing was, I just couldn’t connect with the MC or the story itself. However, I feel like a lot of other people out there will!
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    I feel as a woman who lives on a remote island, 30-miles out to sea, I am obligated to read this book.ARC received and I couldn't be happier!Plus, as I have confessed many times, retellings are my jam. I am trash for retellings.
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    Well, look what appeared in my mailbox today! I’m always interested in fairy tale retellings, and this one takes on “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.”
  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    January 1, 1970
    Ohhhh wow I love the writing omg. If you're looking for a fantasy thriller/horror, this is for you. However, I'm going to have to sit it aside for a little bit because I don't do well on horror-esque scenes; I am a supreme wimp (and aware of it) and I got too many creeps for my taste! Perhaps I'll return to it when I'm feeling more brave!
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  • Amy Imogene Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars!Extremely atmospheric, haunting, and filled with historically tinged Gothic horror, this was something unique. The dark fairy tale retelling trend is looking up for the rest of 2019!World: ★★★★ 1/2Plot Execution: ★★★ 1/2Character Development: ★★★Gothic Ocean Vibes: ★★★★★Well hello, Gothic ocean-inspired fairy tale retelling! House of Salt and Sorrows was something I never knew I wanted until I read it. It's a full cast list of sisters and other residents of Highmoor Estate, located on 4.5 stars!Extremely atmospheric, haunting, and filled with historically tinged Gothic horror, this was something unique. The dark fairy tale retelling trend is looking up for the rest of 2019!World: ★★★★ 1/2Plot Execution: ★★★ 1/2Character Development: ★★★Gothic Ocean Vibes: ★★★★★Well hello, Gothic ocean-inspired fairy tale retelling! House of Salt and Sorrows was something I never knew I wanted until I read it. It's a full cast list of sisters and other residents of Highmoor Estate, located on one of several islands that are home to the People of the Salt, and what occurs as one by one the sisters succumb to mysterious deaths. Something spooky and magical is afoot. Annaleigh Thaumas is the second oldest of the surviving sisters. Annaleigh doesn't believe that all of her sisters dying accidentally. With a distinctively historical flair, Annaleigh embarks on a whodunit narrative to find out who killed the last one her sisters, Eulalie, and find out if the rumors about her family are true—that the Thaumas family is cursed. I loved Annaleigh. She was full of character, inquisitive but not aggressive, and felt grounded in her historical time period. Unlike other YA heroines who feel like modern characters plunked into historical settings, Annaleigh was very much grounded in her time. This meant that while she was independent and surrounded by semi-progressive characters, she still had to deal with the gender roles imposed on women during the (what appears to be) ambiguously Victorian/Edwardian inspired time period of House of Salt and Sorrows. In the midst of Annaleigh's quest to find her sisters' murderer, another plot is bubbling. The group of remaining sisters and Annaleigh find a "portal" of sorts on the grounds of their estate that leads them to anywhere they mentally desire. As they have been sequestered for years in mourning with no balls or entertainment, they wish for a place to dance. The sisters find ball after ball through the portal, dancing their nights away with strangers in glittering settings....but is there something sinister under the surface?As the nights continue and the girls burn through their dancing shoes as well as their energy, Annaleigh begins to suspect that there is something wrong with the portal, Highmoor, and the people around her. In a more typical YA move, we are also introduced to a Mysterious Boy and an Old Boy Friend Who is Now Attractive—I'll admit, it does follow the path of a love triangle. I don't want to give too much about these characters away, but while I initially was bored and underwhelmed by their introduction to the plot, this love triangle quickly gained several layers and actually became incredibly spooky and surprisingly terrifying. Speaking of terrifying—this book gets DARK. I loved it, but the last 25% was definitely much more graphic, spooky, and psychologically terrifying than the rest of the book combined. So if you're reading House of Salt and Sorrows for the spooky element, hold out until the end. It's awesome.Unfortunately, I didn't love certain elements.Annaleigh's father is portrayed as a loving, progressive, and interesting character at the beginning...and then seemingly overnight, his characterization morphs into another layer that did not feel authentic, and by the end felt like a plot device. Similarly, Annaleigh's older sister, Camille, seemed to waver between one persona and another without much justification. And while I loved Annaleigh, I did find her unbelievably trusting a few too many times. However, griping aside, I loved this dark story. House of Salt and Sorrows is equal parts murder mystery, ghost story, sweet dream/beautiful nightmare, and an extremely dark rendition of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale. It's a lot for one concept, but with surprising skill the author managed to weave together these intense plot devices in an authentic and engaging way. Recommended for those who love Gothic murder mysteries, lyrical fantasies with a twist, and anyone who loves sea-inspired YA.Thank you so much to Random House Children's via NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Talk to me on Instagram!
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  • ✨Brithanie Faith✨
    January 1, 1970
    4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review! House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig follows our main character Annaleigh whom, after being disturbed by a series of ghostly visions begins to suspect that the deaths of her sisters weren't accidents after all as she unravels the mysterious curse that's been haunting her and her family. Where do I even begin? This might just be my favorite read of the month (so far). I've never read a retelling o 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review! House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig follows our main character Annaleigh whom, after being disturbed by a series of ghostly visions begins to suspect that the deaths of her sisters weren't accidents after all as she unravels the mysterious curse that's been haunting her and her family. Where do I even begin? This might just be my favorite read of the month (so far). I've never read a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses before, but this one was incredibly well done- and I would definitely recommend it if you're a fan of retellings and looking for something whimsical with that added twist! The expected publication for this novel is the 6th of August, 2019. I feel incredibly privileged having been given the opportunity to read this one, and I cannot wait to see more of this authors work in the future!
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  • Patty (IheartYA)
    January 1, 1970
    This story is the reason books are written. House of Salt and Sorrows is a wildly original, intricately woven, and absorbing tale of mystery, family secrets, love, monsters, Gods, and magic. I rarely give out 5 stars but this book earned it easily along with a spot on my "favorites and recommends" list. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, character development, history, world building and pacing. I love when a story is so well written that it effortlessly plays out like a movie in my mind, w This story is the reason books are written. House of Salt and Sorrows is a wildly original, intricately woven, and absorbing tale of mystery, family secrets, love, monsters, Gods, and magic. I rarely give out 5 stars but this book earned it easily along with a spot on my "favorites and recommends" list. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, character development, history, world building and pacing. I love when a story is so well written that it effortlessly plays out like a movie in my mind, without hesitation to details. I read it slowly, wanting to soak in and devour all the details as if they were rare warm rays of February sunlight, and not wanting it to end. I had to sit back in silence, contemplating for a few minutes, not even able to write my review right away. Stunning, spellbinding. Wholly satisfying. If not my favorite book of 2019, it's destined to be in the top 5. This one will stick with me for a long time to come. I will be on the lookout for more work from this author. Thank you so much to Netgalley for providing me with a copy.#netgalley #houseofsaltandsorrows #erinacraig
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....House of Salt and Sorrows is a book that I actually wasn't really excited about when I started it because I forgot what it was supposed to be about by the time I picked it up. When I requested a review copy I was excited to read it because I had heard that it was a re-telling of the 12 Dancing Princesses which is one of my favorite fairy tales. This book was extremely eerie and creepy, but also incredibly beautiful and mag You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....House of Salt and Sorrows is a book that I actually wasn't really excited about when I started it because I forgot what it was supposed to be about by the time I picked it up. When I requested a review copy I was excited to read it because I had heard that it was a re-telling of the 12 Dancing Princesses which is one of my favorite fairy tales. This book was extremely eerie and creepy, but also incredibly beautiful and magical at the same time. It is a wonderful retelling and really does the dark fairy tale justice.The first half of this book was absolutely incredible. There were these horrifically creepy scenes that felt straight out of a horror movie and then there were chapters where the girls were excited about dresses and balls. It was a crazy mix of contrasts and it was all pulled together beautifully somehow. I found myself quickly emotionally attached to the characters and absolutely outraged on the behalf of Annaleigh and her sisters at the way their step-mother was acting. I really loved all of Annaleigh's sisters, but Camille and Verity were my favorites. I loved the eerie atmosphere and the writing. I loved the magical balls and the relationships and dedication to family. This book seemed to be looking like it was a five star read.Then it suddenly seemed like I was reading a different book. The climax and the ending of this book sucked. The reasoning behind everything ruined the magic and what was supposed to be the height of the book felt drawn out and boring. I felt like as soon as the girls started going to the magical balls the pace slowed way down. The novel focused on the goings on at home rather than beautiful magical balls that were so much more entertaining. The climax was written poorly in my opinion because it held no intensity for me. The last half of the book was slow and ruined the magic of a wonderfully exciting tale. I felt like the author created this wonderful story and then didn't know how to end it so she threw the ending together at the last minute. Either that or the ending needed another round of content editing.Overall I am still impressed. I absolutely loved most of this book and was amazed at how beautifully magical scenes and creepy horror like scenes were all melded into one story. I was very disappointed in the story, but would definitely still recommend this book to horror fans, dark fairy tale fans and even fans of books about magical balls. House of Salt and Sorrows was way better than I had ever expected it to be and I can't wait for other people to read it and for it to make it's dark splash in the sea of readers.
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  • Hannah Greendale
    January 1, 1970
    Craig's debut frames the Grimms' tale of twelve dancing princesses as a Gothic murder mystery. Laced gowns and mourning garb, fairy shoes and midnight balls, reanimated corpses and whispers in the dark, crashing seas and the taste of salt in the air. There's a lot to love here, but the plot suffers from slow pacing and a lack of suspense that doesn't build until the final chapters. Nestled on a bed of navy velvet were my shoes. I'd selected a jade leather, and the cobbler had added glittering s Craig's debut frames the Grimms' tale of twelve dancing princesses as a Gothic murder mystery. Laced gowns and mourning garb, fairy shoes and midnight balls, reanimated corpses and whispers in the dark, crashing seas and the taste of salt in the air. There's a lot to love here, but the plot suffers from slow pacing and a lack of suspense that doesn't build until the final chapters. Nestled on a bed of navy velvet were my shoes. I'd selected a jade leather, and the cobbler had added glittering seafoam and silver bits, concentrated heavily at the toes, then fading as they swept across the slipper. They would match my gown perfectly.* -*Note: Quote taken from an Advanced Reader's Copy.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    I received a Complimentary copy of this eBook ARC from the author, publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.The Thaumus family is cursed. When some of the sisters died, Annaleigh thinks they are murdered. No one believes her as her Stepmother and her other sisters decide to get their lives get back to normal. Can she save them from the darkness that is coming for them? Read on and find out for yourself.This was a pretty good, creepy, and sad story that is a retelling of the twelv I received a Complimentary copy of this eBook ARC from the author, publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.The Thaumus family is cursed. When some of the sisters died, Annaleigh thinks they are murdered. No one believes her as her Stepmother and her other sisters decide to get their lives get back to normal. Can she save them from the darkness that is coming for them? Read on and find out for yourself.This was a pretty good, creepy, and sad story that is a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses fairytale. If you enjoy ghost stories, horror, and fairy tale retellings, be sure to check this book out when it is officially released at bookstores and wherever eBooks are sold on August 6, 2019.
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    DNF page 210It started out really strong then flattened out into a tedious pace. Magic. Ghosts. Gods. Nope.This is definitely NOT for me. I hear there's going to be a sequel so I really see no reason to carry on.
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars!Take a classic fairy tale put it in a bottle, shake it all up and add a dash of darkness that makes it all seem new and fresh. Pour it out into a make believe world and you have one heck of a story that will leave you mesmerized and wanting more.A story so lush in detail, mystery, the paranormal, and imagination, that it truly feels like a unique original story that isn't only enchanting but completely addicting. With hints of the classic that feel like a long lost friend, House of Sal 4.5 Stars!Take a classic fairy tale put it in a bottle, shake it all up and add a dash of darkness that makes it all seem new and fresh. Pour it out into a make believe world and you have one heck of a story that will leave you mesmerized and wanting more.A story so lush in detail, mystery, the paranormal, and imagination, that it truly feels like a unique original story that isn't only enchanting but completely addicting. With hints of the classic that feel like a long lost friend, House of Salt and Sorrows will completely take you away to not only another world but into a whole other state of mind. Curses, deceit, enchantments, love, horror, ghosts, demons, and gods, it truly has a little bit of it all and I just couldn't get enough. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    This review can also be found on my blog!4.5/5CW: death of a parent, death of a sibling, grief drugging, some gore, general horror themesI will be 100% honest with you. I didn’t expect to love this book.Seriously. I requested it because the cover caught my eye and the synopsis sounded pretty good. That’s what happened. It’s a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which isn’t the most horrifying fairytale out there.But Craig took that starting point and elevated it to something that blew me This review can also be found on my blog!4.5/5CW: death of a parent, death of a sibling, grief drugging, some gore, general horror themesI will be 100% honest with you. I didn’t expect to love this book.Seriously. I requested it because the cover caught my eye and the synopsis sounded pretty good. That’s what happened. It’s a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which isn’t the most horrifying fairytale out there.But Craig took that starting point and elevated it to something that blew me away.One thing I noticed when I started this book, there was no character list and no reviews pointed out all the characters. I actually had to start it over, get a piece of paper out, and draw myself out a genogram to see what the hell was going on and who all these people were.Annaleigh is our main character. She’s the sixth daughter out of twelve. And bad things are happening at her home. Her mother died after giving birth to her last daughter, Verity (who is also one of the Graces, but give me a moment to get there). Her father remarried, Morella, who has now announced that she’s pregnant.But it doesn’t stop there. The book opens with the funeral of one of Annaleigh’s older sisters, Eulalie. This isn’t her first sister who died either. So far, her older sisters Ava, Octavia, and Elizabeth have also died, along with Eulalie and their mother. The siblings that are left are: Camille (older than Annaleigh); Annaleigh; the triplets Rosalie, Lenore, and Ligeoa; and the Graces (called that because they’re close in age and don’t really remember their mother) Honor, Mercy, and Verity.Whew.See why I needed a family tree and I had to start it over? There are tons of names and connections and I really had to concentrate.A major theme of this book is grief. Having just lost my sister about two months ago when I dove into this book, it was palpable. I could understand and distinctly feel the sorrow that Annaleigh experienced. Her grief was on a different level with her mother and four sisters dying in mysterious ways, plus starting to believe that someone is out there killing them.In this world, her father is a duke and rules this certain island. The island is a bit different. The oldest child, no matter what gender they are, inherits the dukedom. The island is a major setting for this story because it all revolves around the sea and their religion heavily comes from that, too.I loved the setting. I loved the world. It was so much fun to immerse myself into it and watch as the story slowly expanded it. The plot itself wasn’t too predictable, which was shocking. As I said, Craig took a very plain story and elevated it. She brought in mystery and horror and some romance and religion and ugh. It was so good.As I said, there is romance. I was kinda meh about it — I didn’t think it was needed, but at least I liked Cassius, the love interest. For a bit, I thought it would be a love triangle between Cassius, the mysterious arrival, and Fisher, a childhood friend. I’m glad that it didn’t develop into that. I would have been very disappointed.More about the plot, though. It starts off dark and it progressively gets darker. Hell, I thought it was getting Grimm Brothers dark and maybe even darker than that. The ending had my eyes wide and I could picture it in my head. It was very gruesome. Sure, the ending is happy, but God did it get really dark right before that.All in all, this book was amazing. I didn’t know what to expect from it and I set my bar very low for that reason, but it took me by surprise. Erin Craig is an author I’m going to keep my eye on. I can see her taking YA by storm.
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  • Alaina
    January 1, 1970
    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.House of Salt and Sorrows was so freaking good! I honestly couldn't put it down once I started it. This book had so many freaking twists and turns in it that I didn't see coming. Now if it was because of the wine or how freaking tired I was - I have no idea or witnesses to prove this. Either way, I enjoyed the heck out of this book.In it, you will meet Annaleigh. Now she believes some of her family members were murdered. Ho I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.House of Salt and Sorrows was so freaking good! I honestly couldn't put it down once I started it. This book had so many freaking twists and turns in it that I didn't see coming. Now if it was because of the wine or how freaking tired I was - I have no idea or witnesses to prove this. Either way, I enjoyed the heck out of this book.In it, you will meet Annaleigh. Now she believes some of her family members were murdered. However, no one believes her because of her evil stepmonster.. I mean mother. Enter her savior, I mean man crush.. I mean Cassius. Oh lord, was he swoon-freaking-worthy guys! The romance between them was completely ship-worthy!! I absolutely loved them and now I'm already missing this book that I can't wait to dive back into it.Besides the romance and mysterious deaths in this book, it's super creepy. But it's like a good creepy because you are constantly at the edge of your seat.. Or on the tips of your toes. Mostly because you have no freaking idea what the hell this book is going to throw you. It's probably why I loved it so much.Overall, I'm already planning on re-reading this book.
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  • ;3
    January 1, 1970
    that cover is so sexy it's going to be a literal crime if the actual stuff inside is ugly
  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was a total mind f**k. Fantasy/horror/thriller/murder mystery...it was glorious. I'm usually not into murder mysteries or thrillers, but the fantasy aspect made it AMAZING. The story follows Annaleigh, one of (originally) twelve sisters. The family is in perpetual mourning as sister after sister dies, leading the town to believe the family is cursed. The summary of the book talks about pretty dresses and danci ARC received by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was a total mind f**k. Fantasy/horror/thriller/murder mystery...it was glorious. I'm usually not into murder mysteries or thrillers, but the fantasy aspect made it AMAZING. The story follows Annaleigh, one of (originally) twelve sisters. The family is in perpetual mourning as sister after sister dies, leading the town to believe the family is cursed. The summary of the book talks about pretty dresses and dancing at balls, but it is not as frilly as just that. The reason behind all of the frillyness is actually quite dark and twisted.I enjoyed every minute of reading House of Salt and Sorrows, and I found it particularly enjoyable on dark and stormy nights. It was incredibly suspenseful and I was pleasantly surprised that my eyes were glued to the page. Not because I just enjoy binge reading things, but because I had to know what happened next. And not just at the end. But from moment to moment. This book is filled with so many twists and turns and had such an EXCELLENT way of portraying distortions in reality that I found myself pausing and being like, "WTF? Is this happening? Did that really happen? It seems like it happened? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!"Over and over and over again I thought I knew who the killer must be. As I got further into the book, I genuinely had NO clue who could be behind everything. This is in part due to Craig's amazing characterization, giving us well-rounded, flawed characters with so much depth that you feel like you know them. This book is thrilling and captivating! If you are looking for something spooky but still need your fantasy fix, then you will love this!
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  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    Whoa that was good. Full RTC.
  • Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up for GoodreadsWell hello there Erin A. Craig! What an impressive debut splash you're about to make in the YA/Dark Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling scene!Let it be known that this book definitely meets the criteria for a YA book crossover into adult enjoyment so don't let the genre branding fool you. The book cover is so lush and decadent that upon holding it in my hands, I desperately wanted the prose to match--and it's my pleasure to say that it does!! Erin Craig writes like a se 3.5 stars rounded up for GoodreadsWell hello there Erin A. Craig! What an impressive debut splash you're about to make in the YA/Dark Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling scene!Let it be known that this book definitely meets the criteria for a YA book crossover into adult enjoyment so don't let the genre branding fool you. The book cover is so lush and decadent that upon holding it in my hands, I desperately wanted the prose to match--and it's my pleasure to say that it does!! Erin Craig writes like a seasoned veteran who has been writing dark fairytales her whole life. I'm so impressed and it was an absolute joy to take a break from my usual, steady diet of horror and venture into all this world building and fantasy.THE HOUSE OF SALT & SORROWS is a retelling or reimagining of the classic tale of the TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES. In this dark fairytale, twelve princesses who are sisters, are bewitched or under some sort of spell. Every night they disappear to some strange land where all they do is dance with princes all night long. In the morning, their dancing slippers are worn through. The King is beside himself trying to solve the mystery and eventually some prince or something follows the girls and solves the case!I don't remember much after that.This story is a very similar set up but with a much darker twist. The princesses are dying by accidental causes or self inflicted or as one sister, the protagonist Annaleigh suspects, murder.The whole village believes the sisters are cursed.My reading experience for at least 200ish pages was in dark fantasy heaven. I had missed reading about sibling rivalry, young romance, ancient curses, ball gowns and castles. So I was just in the best possible frame of mind.I will say that I had trouble keeping all the living sisters separate in my mind--the minor characters just slipped through the cracks and I lost track of who was who.I feel like a good literary device that would have worked well here is to have allowed each living sister to have her own chapter so that she could have her own inner voice--that way, during dialog scenes, the reader would be able to have a real sense of the differences between the girls and their ages. The younger sisters felt just as mature as the older sisters and vice versa so it was tough to get a handle on all their ages and unique personalities. Right around the halfway mark, I lost investment in the protagonist. She started off being feisty and intelligent and on this quest to solve her sister's murder but then along the way, she slipped off into la-la-land and romance and dancing and kissing and she became someone I didn't really care about. Which was a bit of a bummer.I was fine with her first love interest but then with the introduction of Cassius, I became a little frustrated. I liked the last 100 pages or so--there were some pretty dark, borderline YA horror moments that I liked very much. The ending was a tad rushed but I enjoyed it.I think this is a solid debut book and I will show up for more from Erin A. Craig for sure. She has a natural storytelling voice that was engaging and compelling.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    What's with the weird title trend?I.E. A (noun) of (noun) and (noun).| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy this book
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite things in a book is the setting, where the atmosphere has a personality all its own. In HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS, Highmoor manor breathed and the sea called. Craig's descriptions were beautiful and eerie and set such a mood! Simply gorgeous writing. There were threads of darkness and light throughout the story, tragic deaths brushing against the finery of life. The mystery surrounding the untimely deaths of Annaleigh's older sisters pulled me into the story and the creepiness One of my favorite things in a book is the setting, where the atmosphere has a personality all its own. In HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS, Highmoor manor breathed and the sea called. Craig's descriptions were beautiful and eerie and set such a mood! Simply gorgeous writing. There were threads of darkness and light throughout the story, tragic deaths brushing against the finery of life. The mystery surrounding the untimely deaths of Annaleigh's older sisters pulled me into the story and the creepiness (such as her younger sister Verity's strange drawings and talk of ghosts!) gave me chills. Loved this book!
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  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    DID SOMEONE SAY "TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES?"
  • Amber (The Book Bratz)
    January 1, 1970
    The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Hi all, so I am going to be sleeping with my light on for the foreseeable future because the Thaumas sisters story and because all the scary descriptions. In her debut novel Erin did not fail to deliver. A bone chilling retelling of the The Twelve Dancing Princesses featuring twelve sisters and the curse that is going to tear them a part. House of Salt and Sorrows is both thrilling and horrifying with a romance that will make you swoon and a The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Hi all, so I am going to be sleeping with my light on for the foreseeable future because the Thaumas sisters story and because all the scary descriptions. In her debut novel Erin did not fail to deliver. A bone chilling retelling of the The Twelve Dancing Princesses featuring twelve sisters and the curse that is going to tear them a part. House of Salt and Sorrows is both thrilling and horrifying with a romance that will make you swoon and a curse that will make you crazy. Erin A. Craig's debut novel is not to be missed in 2019! The Thaumas twelve is now down to eight. Four of the Thaumas sisters have already met tragic and untimely deaths and Annaleigh will do anything to keep her remaining sisters alive. The novel opens with Eulalie's body being returned to the salt and then the memorial back at Highmoor, the Thaumas family estate. Something about Eulalie's death doesn't sit right with Annaleigh, and soon she is looking for answers to her sister's death. But on the same day of Eulalie's memorial the Thaumas sister's stepmother, Morella announces that she is expecting. With Highmoor coming out of mourning with the thought of new beginnings and the Thaumas sisters discovering a door that will take them anywhere they please and with the stress of finding husbands attend ball after ball, dancing the nights away. As time passes and Annaleigh begins to uncover the secrets of her sisters deaths and learns that not everyone is who they say they are, but will she be able to save her remaining sisters in time?I really liked Annaleigh's character. She was relatable and imperfect. She seems to have the weight of the world, the supposed Thaumas curse, on her shoulders, regardless to the fact that she is in second in line to inherit Highmoor after Camille, the newest heir to Highmoor after Eulalie's passing. I really enjoyed seeing how Annaleigh stepped up to the plate in times where Camille couldn't or wouldn't, especially in things that involved Morella. Where Camille rather escape through the door at night to dance at the balls, Annaleigh continued to mourn and befriend Morella. Their father remarried a woman so young that she is sometimes mistaken as their sister, but her pregnancy is taking a toll on her and with the Churning coming up (A big seasonal celebration) Annaleigh and her sisters step in the help. It isn't until The Churning (About 50% in) where things start too move quickly. Where the first half of House of Salt and Sorrows is interesting and did keep me interested it wasn't until the second half did everything you learned in the first half of the book basically get thrown out the door and leave you saying: "What the hell just happened!?" I really enjoyed the romance between Annaleigh and Cassius. I think it worked perfectly in the setting that the Thaumas sisters are struggling to find husbands and Annaleigh bumps into Cassius on her search for answers about the supposed curse.Overall I really can't say much more about House of Salt and Sorrows with out spoiling it. But it is super spooky and had plenty of "I'm sleeping with the light on" moments. Erin A. Craig is a master storyteller and I can't wait to see what terrifyingly amazing things she is going to come up with next. I hope one day she comes back to visit the Thaumas sisters because I really loved their story!
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  • Ashlee » Library In The Country
    January 1, 1970
    I GOT AN ARC! Inspired by Twelve Dancing Princesses with some serious Crimson Peak and Agatha Christie vibes!? YASSSS.
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This book is like a sugar flower: it looks gorgeous and delicate (and the writing certainly was) but there’s no substance underneath. The novel opens with the narrator, nineteen-year old Annaleigh Thaumas, at the funeral of yet another one of her sisters. Since she was a young child, death has been her constant companion: first her mother died in childbirth, and now – one by one – all her sisters are dying. Of the twelve original sis ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! This book is like a sugar flower: it looks gorgeous and delicate (and the writing certainly was) but there’s no substance underneath. The novel opens with the narrator, nineteen-year old Annaleigh Thaumas, at the funeral of yet another one of her sisters. Since she was a young child, death has been her constant companion: first her mother died in childbirth, and now – one by one – all her sisters are dying. Of the twelve original sisters, only eight are left.✴️ Ava died of the plague, aged eighteen✴️ Octavia fell off a library ladder and broke her neck✴️ Elizabeth was found dead in a bathtub – whether suicide or accident, none can tell✴️ Eulalie, the latest death, fell from the highest cliffs, smashing onto the rocks below✴️ Camille, the eldest survivor, is now the heir✴️ Annaleigh, the narrator✴️ The triplets – Lenore, Rosalie, and Ligeia – are sixteen and more like one person than three individual ones✴️ Lastly are the three youngest sisters, the Graces: Mercy, Honor, and VerityRumours are beginning to go around that the Thamus girls, daughters of Ortun, 12th Duke of the Salann Islands, are cursed. Annaleigh doesn’t believe in the curse, but she’s certainly beginning to become suspicious. The first three deaths can be explained away. But Eulalie would never have gone onto the cliffs at night, and a fisherman tells her that he saw a dark figure fleeing from the cliffs just after Eulalie fell.The problem is that nobody will listen to her suspicions. Their stepmother Morella is pregnant, finally, with a boy, and – in a shocking departure from custom – their father has decreed that he’s had enough of mourning. Instead, he wants his girls to finally start enjoying themselves again, and he begins with the purchase of new dancing shoes for all of them. When the girls discover a magical doorway that takes them into magical Pelage, full of balls and handsome suitors, they finally get the chance to use their shoes; nobody in their own lands will dance with them, for fear of the curse. Only Annaleigh’s childhood friend Fisher is still happy to be around the girls. There’s also Cassius, however. A stranger and a newcomer to the Salann Islands, she feels immediately drawn to him. Although there’s something mysterious about him – he seems to know far more about her family than he should – their connection is instant.While the dancing begins to take over the sisters’ lives, Annaleigh receives terrible visions, and she knows the Thamus sisters are still in danger. She’s the only one who seems to have her eyes open enough to do anything about it.Okay, that’s basically all the plot summary, you’re getting, because frankly this book tried to be too many things at once. As a mystery, it was a dismal failure. Annaleigh is an incredibly passive heroine. She’s initially portrayed as at least somewhat investigative, with a suspicious personality: after all, she’s the only sister with any concerns about Eulalie’s death. At the beginning, she even makes some slight attempts to identify the killer.That lasts for approximately ten seconds.Very quickly, Annaleigh seems to abandon any thought of working out what’s actually wrong with her life. She’d rather spend her time dancing, hanging out with Fisher and Cassius, or tending to Morella. I just couldn’t believe that a girl as suspicious as her would happily go through an unknown, magical doorway into an unknown, magical worlds. She didn’t even ask where she was, or how she’d gotten there, or ANYTHING! I couldn’t square that with the image of her as a detective. Even when she realised there was an actual killer on the loose, SHE STILL DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! She didn’t question anyone, didn’t take any steps to protect herself or her sister, did stupid things like follow evil strangers down dark alleys by herself at night-time… can you say TSTL? She seemed insanely reluctant to solve the mystery of these deaths. Considering the deaths are a huge part of the story, I found this inexplicable and it massively put me off her. She’s certainly described as ‘soft-hearted’, but it went beyond that: she was just plain weak. The romance was basically insta-lust. Enough said. Also, there was a massive deus ex machina regarding it at the end. The only place the book shone was the horror aspect. I enjoyed reading those scenes the best, because Craig was awesome at slowly building the suspense until the moment you come face-to-face with whatever horrifying thing is waiting around the corner. Those chapters had me on the edge of my seat, hence the two stars.The rest of the time was nothing but randomness. It was a random hodgepodge of plot lines, through which Annaleigh drifted with no solid goal in mind. She really infuriated me. Overall Don’t be fooled by the pretty prose: I came away from it realising that, for a book over 400 pages long, very little of the story involved Annaleigh actually doing anything.[Blog] - [Bookstagram]
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    26% in, and I just don't feel compelled to continue reading this novel. Even though the potential for a story that I would be really into (sisters! fairytale elements! island life!) exists, the execution (especially in terms of characterization, setting and plot) just isn't really working for me.
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