- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: BANTAM DELL (6 August 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1984831925
- ISBN-13: 978-1984831927
- Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 3.4 x 21.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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House of Salt and Sorrows Hardcover – 6 Aug 2019
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"Haunting, atmospheric, and immersive."--Bustle"Nothing short of both haunting and mesmerizing . . . a perfect step into escapism and away from real life."--Hypable "It's a fairy tale, a young-adult romance (though gothic enough for adult readers) and a whodunit too."--The Wall Street Journal "Chilling and atmospheric."--Laura E. Weymouth, author of The Light Between Worlds
Evocative details and lyrical, moody prose . . . a richly conceived story that blends mythic and Gothic storytelling."--PW
"The novel's vivid, evocative atmosphere will please fans of the gothic . . . chills aplenty."--The Bulletin
"Equal parts gothic fairy tale and romance . . . compulsively readable."--SLJ
"This moody maritime retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses blends elements of suspense and horror for a gothic twist on a familiar tale. A memorably built world populated with a hauntingly doomed family."--Booklist
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Why did the eldest sisters die? What happened to the father? Why did Lenore go back into the house and leave her siblings? Was the baby really dead? So many loose-ends, I’m annoyed I even read the book to have these eternal unanswered questions. Also, hello editor?! You could have done a better job reigning in your author and not letting her try to fit so much unnecessary nonsense into one book.
Annaleigh and her sisters believe they are under a curse, they were once twelve and in the beginning of the story we learn that they are eight. Tragedy has befallen this family time after time. Their mother died many years ago and their father remarried and then sister after sister has died in some tragically devastating way. The most recent sister died by falling off a cliff, but Annaleigh thinks there is something more to the story than just a simple accident and she decides to investigate.
It’s important to know in this world, people believe in a set of entities, I’m not sure if they are considered gods and goddesses, it’s possible, but I was never really clear on that impression. They do pay homage and honor these entities, so I guess that’s considered godlike. Anyway, it’s because of their beliefs that the sisters stumbled upon a doorway for one of them. One that takes them to a magical place where there’s dancing and parties all night long. They continue to visit this magical place night after night, wearing through their shoes in one night’s time, completely baffling their father.
Then Annaleigh meets Cassius, a newcomer in town, one is her age and just the overall man of mystery persona. Annaleigh begins to lose sight of her sister’s death as she and her sisters continue their nights of dancing, but she soon finds herself focusing on the mystery once more.
This book has left me speechless! I don’t know if there’s ever been a fairy tale retelling that has taken the original fairy tale and turned the story on its head so much as this one! And I mean this in the best possible way! We have the general theme of the story remaining true, but the reasons and the mysteries behind it are so vast compared to what the original story had! Here there is magic, curses, gods, tricksters, and most of all, murder!! This book seriously had it all, all while remaining true to its fairy tale nature!
Fairy tales are where I found my love for reading! I always loved reading the magical tales that were so different from the Disney movies (lol)! This one had me feeling every fairy tale vibe that I get when reading the original ones and when an author can do that to you, you know they have real magical talent! This story enchanted me from start to finish and I am only sad that it’s over.
This story isn’t without its romance either! Cassius, our man of mystery, is the love interest for Annaleigh and let’s just say there were a few romantic interludes between these two!
Erin does a magnificent job of keeping the reader on their toes! I mentioned there’s a great deal of mystery in this one and there were so many instances I found myself falling down rabbit holes thinking one thing, only to have something occur later that shattered my theories. I loved that this one kept me guessing at every turn! It was mind-boggling and yet, I loved that about this story! I loved that I never knew what to believe! I really should remember my rules for fairy tales and never trust anything! The added fallback of knowing the fairy tale tropes helps too. Had I remembered these things, I wouldn’t have been caught off guard! Lol.
House of Salt and Sorrows was without a doubt the most magical and magnificent read I’ve read this year! It’s the kind of read fairy tale fans live for and not one of them should pass up on this read! It’s spellbinding and lyrical style will have you mesmerized from the beginning and you will not want to let go! If there’s one fairy tale book you read this year, make it this one!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
House of Salt and Sorrows was definitely not what I expected for a re-telling of the 12 Dancing Princesses. I was warned prior to reading that it wasn’t as much a fantasy as it was a creepy paranormal story that reminded me quite a bit of Crimson Peak in that regard. The mystery, the haunting vibes, unsolved deaths, and a romance flung in the middle? Definitely an excellent choice if you’re fond of the gothic romance movie.
Craig sold me on the whole world and general concept of the book, but I wasn’t really on board with how everything played out. A lot of that came down to the protagonist, Annaleigh.
First, there are a lot of characters in this book, which I expected since it’s a re-telling and there needed to be the 12 sisters at least, not counting other supporting characters. But Annaleigh blended in with the rest. She didn’t have a strong enough voice to stand out against the other characters. Nor did I ever really connect with her as the point of view perspective. Any of the older sisters would have worked and it wouldn’t have made a difference to the story.
Second, as I was already disconnected from Annaleigh, I couldn’t buy into the romance subplot. There’s a hint of a love triangle (which I’m glad didn’t happen) but the rival love interest bit played out for too long. And the romance that did happen felt like major insta-lust to insta-love. I didn’t believe it for a second and, to be perfectly honest, it ruined the story for me. I don’t think it was necessary.
But I did really enjoy the writing style. There were times I was sucked into the mystery and needed to figure out what happened next. Granted, I also put the book down just as many times because I wasn’t engaged with Annaleigh’s character on her own. I preferred the scenes where the other characters were more involved.
The story moved at a decent pace and I didn’t feel like there were too many lulls in the plot itself. While the twists weren’t terribly unpredictable, I still enjoyed them as they happened, and I really liked the overall concept for a 12 Dancing Princesses re-telling.
But I hated the ending.
If House of Salt and Sorrows had just ended with that last chapter, I would have been perfectly happy (or at least mostly happy). But then Craig tacked on a mushy ending that felt unnecessary and so. . . off from the rest of the book that it felt more like wish fulfillment than necessary to the story. I’d have rather seen some of the epilogue woven into the last chapter, if anything, and the rest cut off. But that’s neither here nor there.
I liked this book well enough, and probably would have liked it even more without the romance subplot and epilogue. House of Salt and Sorrows is definitely a solid book and I look forward to more from this author in the future.