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

Flushed with starlight and moonlight drowned,
All the dreamers are castle-bound.
At midnight’s stroke, we will unwind,
Revealing fantasies soft or unkind.
Show me debauched nightmares or sunniest daydreams.
Come not as you are but as you wish to be seen.

― Erin A. Craig, House of Salt and Sorrows

Published August 6th 2019 by Delacorte

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.


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by Erin A. Craig on Goodreads!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erin A. Craig has always loved telling stories.

After getting her B.F.A. from the University of Michigan, in Theatre Design and Production, she stage managed tragic operas with hunchbacks, séances, and murderous clowns, then decided she wanted to write books that were just as spooky.

An avid reader, a decent quilter, rabid basketball fan, and collector of typewriters, Erin makes her home in Memphis, TN with her husband and daughter.

She is represented by Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic.


REVIEW

This book was listed in my 2019 most anticipated reads. The moment I saw that it was like a retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses, I wanted it so bad. I may have had high expectations for this book and it flopped for me. It only had elements of the Twelve Dancing Princesses – the worn out shoes, the dancing, the challenge to anyone who could figure out why the shoes were so worn. That was it.

I appreciate the fact that it had it’s own story – the mystery behind the death of sisters, the land of Salann and their belief in the god Pontus who made the people out of salt, etc. The setting and the beliefs were painted so beautifully that I could picture the Duke of Salann’s vast estate and the sea that bordered their small dukedom. The sisters were not totally spoiled (not the bratty kind anyway?), but they were tired of always mourning.

The story opens with a funeral and we meet our protagonist Annaleigh, the 6th of the Duke’s 12 daughters. She is mourning the death of another of her older sisters and she’s wondering who will be next. There are talks of them being cursed but she believes her sisters deaths were not by accident. So she sets off to find out as much as she can to prevent the next one.

The introduction of the dancing part was a little awkward. They didn’t want to be in mourning anymore and their childhood friend just so happen to know about a door the gods used to visit one another and then they happen to find it in their property of all places. So the sisters go dancing every night, wearing out their shoes.

The side plots also introduce us to the love interest of Annaleigh but there were too much going on with the curse and the description of the new dresses and what not that the background story of Cassius was buried. It was revealed that he was the half human son of a goddess but that was almost basically it. It was like it was only added so that he could be the one to help Annaleigh figure out what was really happening. And all this just in the last 3-4 chapters before the book ended. There were actually some parts that bored me and I slightly skipped through them.

Rating: ⭐⭐

Sadly, I can only give 2 Stars to this book I waited so long for. This always happens to me with anticipated books. It makes me not want to anticipate them anymore.


Have you read this book? How did you find it? What are you other most anticipated reads of 2019?

17 thoughts on “Book Review | House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

  1. Oh no! I’ve been wanting to read this one. Sorry it didn’t live up to the hype for you. I hate when that happens!! Hope the next book you were excited for exceeds your expectations 🙂 Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually just got this a few days ago. I’m not sure when I’ll pick it up, but I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it like you thought. This actually makes me more curious to read it lol

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  3. Oh dear!! I’m sorry this one didn’t do it for you. Makes me a bit nervous about it. I’m still going to check it out though so fingers crossed it works for me a bit better? If not, I’M SORRY I MAY SHOUT AT YOU ABOUT IT AND BE LIKE, YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel this book might still be a good read for some. I did like how the author set the mood ad described the location, what the characters looked liked and it sounds magical.if only they were arranged right? Or maybe there were some elements missing. I think the best analogy I can think of is it’s like Little Women (with all the women having to marry and stuff but with fantasy elements).

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  4. Sorry to hear that it didn’t live up to your expectations! This is one of my most highly anticipated reads and I’ve heard so many great things about it. I hadn’t heard about this fairytale before this book so I’m keen to see what it’s like. Hope your next read is better!

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    1. I think the reason why I expected so highly of this book is that I grew up with the 12 Dancing Princesses and I’ve rrad sooo many “retelling” type works that I was comparing it to how those otheres were written. Unfortunately for me it didn’t meet my expectation. I hope you like it when you do read it.

      Liked by 1 person

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