House of Salt and Sorrows

House of Salt and Sorrows

by Erin A. Craig

Hardcover

$11.61 $18.99 Save 39% Current price is $11.61, Original price is $18.99. You Save 39%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, August 26

Overview

Get swept away in Erin A. Craig's mesmerizing House of Salt and Sorrows. As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family. Be careful who you dance with. . . .

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there 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 her sister's deaths were no accidents. The girls 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 is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Get ready to be swept away.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984831927
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 244
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Erin A. Craig has always loved telling stories. After getting her BFA in Theatre Design and Production from the University of Michigan, she stage managed tragic operas filled with hunchbacks, séances, and murderous clowns, then decided she wanted to write books that were just as spooky. An avid reader, decent quilter, rabid basketball fan, and collector of typewriters, Erin makes her home in Memphis with her husband and daughter.

erinacraig.com
@Penchant4Words on Twitter and Instagram

Read an Excerpt

 
CANDLELIGHT   REFLECTED   OFF  THE  SILVER ANCHOR etched onto my sister’s necklace. It was an ugly piece of jewelry and something Eulalie would never have picked out for herself. She loved simple strands of gold, extravagant collars of diamonds. Not . . . that. Papa must have selected it for her. I fumbled at my own necklace of black pearls, wanting to offer her something more stylish, but the battalion of pallbearers shut the coffin lid before I could undo the clasp.
 
“We, the People of the Salt, commit this body back to the sea,” the High Mariner intoned as the wooden box slid deep into the waiting crypt.
 
I tried not to notice the smattering of lichens growing inside the gaping mouth, drawn wide to swallow her whole. Tried not to think of my sister—who was alive, and warm, and breathing just days before—being laid to rest. Tried not to imagine the thin bottom of the coffin growing fat with condensation and salt water before splitting asunder and spilling Eulalie’s body into the watery depths beneath our family mausoleum.
 
I tried, instead, to cry.
 
I knew it would be expected of me, just as I knew the tears were unlikely to come. They would later on, probably this evening when I passed her bedroom and saw the black shrouds covering her wall of mirrors. Eulalie had had so many mirrors.
Eulalie.
 
She’d been the prettiest of all my sisters. Her rosy lips were forever turned in a smile. She loved a good joke, her bright green eyes always ready for a quick wink. Scores of suitors vied for her attention, even before she became the eldest Thaumas daughter, the one set to inherit all of Papa’s fortune.
 
“We are born of the Salt, we live by the Salt, and to the Salt we return,” the High Mariner continued.
 
“To the Salt,” the mourners repeated.
 
As Papa stepped forward to place two gold pieces at the foot of the crypt—payment to Pontus for easing my sister back into the Brine—I dared to sweep my eyes around the mausoleum. It was overflowing with guests bedecked in their finest black wools and crepes, many of them once would-be beaus of Eulalie. She would have been pleased to see so many brokenhearted young men openly lamenting her.
 
“Annaleigh,” Camille whispered, nudging me.
 
“To the Salt,” I murmured. I pressed a handkerchief to my eyes, feigning tears.
Papa’s keen disapproval burned in my heart. His own eyes were soggy and his proud nose was red as the High Mariner stepped forward with a chalice lined with abalone shell and filled with seawater. He thrust it into the crypt and poured the water onto Eulalie’s coffin, ceremonially beginning its decomposition. Once he doused the candles flanking the stony opening, the service was over.
 
Papa turned to the gathered mass, a wide shock of white streaked through his dark hair. Was it there yesterday?
 
“Thank you for coming to remember my daughter Eulalie.” His voice, usually so big and bold, accustomed to addressing lords at court, creaked with uncertainty. “My family and I invite you to join us now at Highmoor for a celebration of her life. There will be food and drink and . . .” He cleared his throat, sounding more like a stammering clerk than the nineteenth Duke of the Salann Islands. “I know how much it would have meant to Eulalie to have you there.”
 
He nodded once, speech over, his face a blank facade. I longed to reach out to ease his grief, but Morella, my stepmother, was already at his side, her hand knotted around his. They’d been married just months before and should have still been in the heady, blissful days of their joined life.
 
This was Morella’s first trip to the Thaumas mausoleum. Did she feel uneasy under the watchful scrutiny of my mother’s memorial statue? The sculptor used Mama’s bridal portrait as reference, transmitting youthful radiance into the cool gray marble. Though her body returned to the sea many years ago, I still visited her shrine nearly every week, telling her about my days and pretending she listened.
 
Mama’s statue towered over everything else in the mausoleum, including my sisters’ shrines. Ava’s was bordered in roses, her favorite flower. They grew fat and pink in the summer months, like the plague pustules that claimed her life at only eighteen.
 
Octavia followed a year later. Her body was discovered at the bottom of a tall library ladder, her limbs tangled in a heap of unnatural angles. An open book adorned her resting place, along with a quote etched in Vaipanian, which I’d never learned to read.
 
With so much tragedy compressed into our family, it seemed inevitable when Elizabeth died. She was found floating in the bathtub like a piece of driftwood at sea, waterlogged and bleached of all color. Rumors ran from Highmoor to the villages on neighboring islands, whispered by scullery maids to stable boys, passed from fishmongers to their wives, who spread them as warnings to impish children. Some said it was suicide. Even more believed we were cursed.
Elizabeth’s statue was a bird. It was meant to be a dove, but its proportions were all wrong and it looked more like a seagull. A fitting tribute for Elizabeth, who always so badly wanted to soar away.
 
What would Eulalie’s be?
 
Once there were twelve of us: the Thaumas Dozen. Now we stood in a small line, my seven sisters and I, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a ring of truth to the grim speculations. Had we somehow angered the gods? Had a darkness branded itself on our family, taking us out one by one? Or was it simply a series of terrible and unlucky coincidences?
 
After the service, the crowd broke up and began milling around us. As they whispered their strained condolences, I noticed the guests were careful not to 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 lowbrow superstition, but as a distant aunt approached me, a thin smile on her thin lips, the same question flickered in her eyes, just below the surface, impossible to miss:
Which one of us would be next?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

House of Salt and Sorrows 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
ElleRudy 4 days ago
This ended up being a lot creepier than I was expecting! I thought it would be a Victorianesque fantasy/murder mystery as a spin on the old 12 Dancing Princesses fairytale, which it still was. But there was a really Gothic and twisted element to the story that was a welcome surprise. All of the characters come off as at least a little bit sinister as you attempt to unravel the strange events befalling the Thaumas family. You're never sure what's real and what's not, which is disorienting in the best way. It's a really devastating story, even if it ends on a high-ish note, there's a lot of death and destruction. I'd suggest not reading while on any downers. The one thing I wish wasn't as prevalent was the romantic element. Maybe it's my cold, un-dead heart, but I kind of feel like it takes away from the familial love and trauma if in the midst of mourning your sisters there's a week-old romance that gets all the grand gestures and statements. But it's based on a fairytale, so the heroine is expected to fall in love with the first person who says "bless you" when she sneezes, I guess. On the source material, I really, really liked the answer to the question: "How do the princesses' shoes keep getting worn out?" Craig is quite clever with this storyline and it's one of my favorite parts of the whole book!
magicalreads7 16 days ago
**I received an ARC from Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** 3.5 stars I was incredibly excited to be approved for an ARC of House of Salt and Sorrows because I’d heard such great things. I was hesitant to start it, though, because I heard that it was scary, and I am a total weenie when it comes to horror/suspense. However, it wasn’t as intense as some people made it out to be. That being said, I did enjoy this book! House of Salt and Sorrows is a lovely retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, set against a gloomy backdrop by the sea. The sister relationships are so strong! The book opens with one of the older sister’s funerals (I think that the first three have already died, but it’s been a while since I finished this book). As one of the remaining eldest sisters, Annaleigh takes on the role of her younger sisters’ carers. I loved that Annaleigh is so kind-hearted, even with her stepmother whom she dislikes. It’s a good characteristic to have. The worldbuilding was so cool; I’m strangely into island-centered books, and this story is heavily impacted by the isolation of the island. The gloominess of living by the sea creates a quietly intense atmosphere surrounding the words. Again, thrillers/horror/suspense is usually not my genre, but I really enjoyed this one! I especially liked the fantasy aspect of it; the religious system was interesting. There were, however, some parts of the book that irritated me. The romance wasn’t particularly interesting to me because it was so instalove-y that I couldn’t take them seriously. I also thought the ending was incredibly rushed; I think everything happens in the last ten percent, having been built up so much and then all of the reveals being unveiled so quickly. House of Salt and Sorrows was, overall, a nice read. The atmosphere was well-established, a soft gloominess that creeps up on you. I found this to be a solid debut. If you want something that will make you hold your breath, I definitely recommend this book.
Morgan_S 4 days ago
When I heard this was a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, I knew I needed this book. The Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale is my absolute favorite to hear retold. This cover is also so beautiful and fits the darkness of the book. This book was definitely not what I was expecting, but in most ways that wasn't a bad thing. Here is what I loved: the relationships between the sisters were well fleshed out. Normally, when there are 12 princesses involved, it's hard to give each of them personalities and a place in the story, but this author made the choice from the onset that four of the sisters would already be dead. This gave her more room to explore the remaining 8 and their relationships with each other. I also liked that this time around, the oldest sister wasn't the one telling the story, as is often the case in other retellings. It also made me curious as to why the writer chose Annaleigh to be the storyteller, which I would love to ask if I get the chance to go to one of the author's events! I think the only downside is that for some reason I was not fully invested in Annaleigh. I suppose I had questions about her older sister Camille that I thought Annaleigh herself should be asking, which would have given more depth to her character (such as why Camille does not take on the responsibilities she has as eldest instead of dumping them on Annaleigh). In a lot of ways, this was different from all other Twelve Dancing Princesses retellings I have read. The atmosphere of the book was perfect. The ocean, the isolation of the island, the gods and goddesses worshipped who also work and travel among the humans, and the shadow of the past that haunts the Thaumas family gave this book an eerie darkness and fantastical quality that other retellings of the Grimm fairytale have not taken advantage of. However, I think it is important to understand going into the story that the gods and goddesses do play an active role, because if you think they are only there to be worshipped, once you get farther into the story you might be confused by the sudden importance of these characters. I think the visions aspect and sightings of "ghosts" added a great deal to this story. It's hard to talk about without giving anything away, so I'll just say wow, I really liked where this plot took that. It was something that's never been done before with this story, and I liked that we were experiencing the craziness along with Annaleigh. Really, I only have a couple issues with the book, and they deal with the love interest and lack of dancing. I expected there to be MORE dancing. Since it was marketed as a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, I expected there to be a lot. There were times Annaleigh didn't go with her sisters, and because of that we didn't get to experience the dancing, either. Secondly (and more importantly), the love interest was instant-attraction without Annaleigh knowing anything about him. The fact that she fell for him so quickly, especially since she seemed like the pragmatic one of the group, didn't make sense. I expected her to be more wary of the stranger, but she trusted him almost immediately. I would have liked more build-up to their relationship. All in all though, this is going on my list of books I would like to reread as one of my Twelve Dancing Princesses-retelling staples!!
GracewBooks 8 days ago
First I would like to say Thank You to Netgalley and the Publisher for the ARC of this lovely book. To start, I want to say how absolutely gorgeous I thought this book cover! I love the story of the 12 Dancing princesses and really enjoyed seeing the parallels between this book and that fairytale! I am not usually a fan of horror, suspense but I found that I really enjoyed it in this book There were romance and action, and a mystery to be solved. This was a unique take on a story that doesn't get many retellings and I am so happy I got a chance to read it.
TeresaReviews 9 days ago
A huge thank you to NetGalley, Erin A. Craig, and Random House Children's for the opportunity to read House of Salt and Sorrows in exchange for an honest review. First and foremost, an absolutely charming and exquisite debut novel! What a talent for writing that already has me intrigued as to what Craig will craft next! Inspired by "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," House of Salt and Sorrows is told from the first-person perspective of Annaleigh Thaumas, one of twelve daughters to Ortun, Duke of Highmoor, a glorious manor by the sea. The catch is, Annaleigh creeps closer and closer to becoming the heir, because her sisters keep dying. The locals call it the Thaumas curse, and the daughters can't help but feel lost hope, seeing the constant death as a curse themselves. The novel opens with the funeral of Eulalie, but Ava, Elizabeth, and Octavia have already been lost, leaving eight of the twelve sisters still alive. To top things off, their mother died after giving birth to their youngest, and Ortun has a new wife, already pregnant with hopes her child will be a son to inherit Highmoor instead of the current eldest daughter, Camille. On the islands, though, daughters can inherit, no questions asked.  I love the gentile political aspect of this novel as well as the mystery of the sister's deaths, for Annaleigh begins digging around and very shortly suspects that her sisters were murdered. But the sisters have mourned for a year after the death's of each of their siblings, putting their lives on hold to mourn as society dictates. When the girls decide to host a ball and move on with their lives days after Eulalie is sent to the salt, they finally learn the joys of dancing and parties. As Annaleigh seeks the truth of her sister's deaths, she learns of a myth that the sea god Pontus uses a doorway to travel anywhere instantly. She makes a game out of this for her sister's, but when they actually find this doorway, they use it to go to balls across the land, dancing through pairs and pairs of shoes. But some sort of strangeness beyond mortal comprehension is behind everything. As much as I want to say more and could go on and on about Annaleigh, I cannot, or the allure of reading this whimsical book will be lost. A few things to note: the cover is absolutely gorgeous. Brilliantly well-done to give off both a haunting allure, but also filled with high-class. Also, the name Annaleigh is similar to Poe's Annabel Lee. Coincidence? I thought the connection was fun and creepy, very fitting for this novel full of murder by the sea. A book I would highly recommend to teen readers, those who love a good mystery with an otherworldly twist, lovers of retellings, or even Jane Austen fans (a vibe I personally felt with this novel and loved). One of the best book releases of 2019!
book_junkee 9 days ago
I was sucked in by that synopsis and the cover and couldn’t wait to get to this story. I liked Annaleigh. She’s tenacious and loyal and so full of love for her family. I truly loved being in her head. I was a bit concerned at the idea of 12 sisters and keeping them straight in my head, but each had a unique personality. Plot wise, it was so very slow to start. I spent a good third of the book enjoying the atmosphere, but also sort of bored and wondering if I should continue. Thankfully, I kept going because I do love an unreliable narrator and that’s what this morphed into. Overall, it was a story that kept me guessing until the very end with an epilogue than couldn’t have been done any better. **Huge thanks to Delacorte Press for providing the arc free of charge**
Persephonereads 10 days ago
4 out of 5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and Delacourt for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I love a good retelling and this is definitely a good one. This is a retelling of the classic fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". This is a Gothic retelling of the tale told through the POV of Annaleigh one of the middle of twelve sisters. The family resides at Highnmoor Manor on an Island and one by one each sister is found dead. Each death more tragic than the last one. Everyone believes that there is a curse upon the family and basically the sisters are just waiting to see who will die next. Annaleigh has gotten to the point that she can't even cry anymore as she continues to lose her sisters. After all of the grief Annaleigh's step Mother suggest they start living again instead of always being in mourning. Annaleigh is not sure that this is something that she wants to do but for the sake of her sisters she decides to try. But, she also is determined to find out if the family really is cursed. This is a beautiful and sad tale with a lovely creepy, Gothic vibe. Darkness around every corner. I really enjoyed this novel!
Anonymous 11 days ago
it was amazing!!! I was hooked from the first chapter! love the twist on 12 dancing princesses fairytale.
Charles Templeton 12 days ago
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for this ARC! What a whirlwind of a book! It starts off with a bang, throwing us into this mystical and fantastical world with tragedy, family, and power, and what a striking world it was! The world building in this novel was awe-inspiring. I would love another novel on just the different gods and goddesses! For this narrative though, we start out by being given a mystery, and I was very literally kept guessing until the end! There a small clues dropped, red herrings delicately placed, and enough twists and turns to make your stomach roll like you’re on a rollercoaster. I enjoyed the journey from start to finish; it was a delectable spin on an old tale -Twelve Dancing Princesses- but you can tell from the very first chapter that the author made it her own in a variety of ways. My absolute favorite of those is how absolutely dark the story is. Murder, ghosts, madness, and tension that is so tangible you can almost choke on it all make this story wholly original and a delight to have had the pleasure of reading. I had chills the majority of the book, and it was extremely hard to put down. I didn’t want to miss a second of the Thaumas saga! I love retellings, but this book exceeded all of my wildest dreams. It’s a perfect read for a dark and stormy night!
Charles Templeton 12 days ago
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for this ARC! What a whirlwind of a book! It starts off with a bang, throwing us into this mystical and fantastical world with tragedy, family, and power, and what a striking world it was! The world building in this novel was awe-inspiring. I would love another novel on just the different gods and goddesses! For this narrative though, we start out by being given a mystery, and I was very literally kept guessing until the end! There a small clues dropped, red herrings delicately placed, and enough twists and turns to make your stomach roll like you’re on a rollercoaster. I enjoyed the journey from start to finish; it was a delectable spin on an old tale -Twelve Dancing Princesses- but you can tell from the very first chapter that the author made it her own in a variety of ways. My absolute favorite of those is how absolutely dark the story is. Murder, ghosts, madness, and tension that is so tangible you can almost choke on it all make this story wholly original and a delight to have had the pleasure of reading. I had chills the majority of the book, and it was extremely hard to put down. I didn’t want to miss a second of the Thaumas saga! I love retellings, but this book exceeded all of my wildest dreams. It’s a perfect read for a dark and stormy night!
Anonymous 13 days ago
This book was enchanting from beginning to end. I was intrigued by the characters and the mystery surrounding Highmoor, Annaleigh and her family. It is a dark version of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, plot twisting and turning until the end.
PNWBookworm 13 days ago
Spooky, dark and enthralling, this book sucked me into its world and didn’t let go until the very last pages. I loved the world that Craig created. I could almost feel and smell the damp salty air while I read and I definitely felt the creepy goosebumps during some of the creepier scenes. The writing in this book was superb, the flow and pacing was great and I loved all of the characters. I was surprised by the ending and I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery. This gothic retelling of the twelve dancing princesses is one that I would highly recommend!
Elle_Gutierrez 14 days ago
hank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are exclusively my own. Holy wow. I mean amazing. I don’t even know what to say. Where do I even start? THIS WAS SO FREAKING GOOD. It had me on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE time! My heart was pumping, I was captivated, I was scared, I was frustrated, I was sad! SO MANY EMOTIONS! I do not want to say much because I think it is so much more exciting to go in blindly. However, I do think you should know this is a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses fairytale. A much darker and creepier retelling, mind you. From the opening scene, we are met by death, and the story just gets progressively darker from that point. There is an air of mystery surrounding the deaths of Annaleigh’s sisters, but no one other than Annaleigh seems to notice. I was completely fascinated the entire way through, and not just because of all the pretty dresses and opulent comfort of their Highmore manor home. The plot kept me intrigued, and guessing what the heck was going on all the way through. Each time I thought I had it figured out or at least had a general direction, some other event caused me to rethink my entire solution. I truly could not put this book down. I read it in 5 hours, almost never putting the book down in that time. The pacing of the book just continued to increase the stakes until the ultimate climax where all is revealed and discovered. I mean, woo, my heart was having palpitations. The eeriness, the mystery, the dancing, the romance, this book has it all, and it is all done fabulously well. Dance your way into a bookstore and buy this book ASAP. I promise you will enjoy this book, and it may even become a new favorite. You better believe I will be in the bookstore picking up my physical copy, so I can read it again. For a debut novel, the author completely blew it out of the park. Stunning homerun!
Kayladeej 14 days ago
Welcome to the House of Salt and Sorrows, where the wine is sweet and the Thaumas girls are dropping like flies. Erin A. Craig's debut is one that will stick with me for years to come. The creativity and originality displayed truly shocked me. If you're a fan of thrilling mysteries and stories of young women journeying to find the answers they seek, then this is the read for you. The Thaumas girls are all lovable and distinct and charming. You don't get the unnecessary drama that usually comes with a gaggle of sisters in pretty dresses. For being up to their necks in grief and death, they support each other the best that they can, especially with the looming threats of the "family curse" on their backs. I especially adore Annaleigh. She's tough through it all and determined to figure out what's happening to her family. She doesn't judge those lower than her, nor does she give up. Thank you Erin Craig for this beautiful story, I can't wait to purchase a copy when it comes out!
Kayladeej 14 days ago
Welcome to the House of Salt and Sorrows, where the wine is sweet and the Thaumas girls are dropping like flies. Erin A. Craig's debut is one that will stick with me for years to come. The creativity and originality displayed truly shocked me. If you're a fan of thrilling mysteries and stories of young women journeying to find the answers they seek, then this is the read for you. The Thaumas girls are all lovable and distinct and charming. You don't get the unnecessary drama that usually comes with a gaggle of sisters in pretty dresses. For being up to their necks in grief and death, they support each other the best that they can, especially with the looming threats of the "family curse" on their backs. I especially adore Annaleigh. She's tough through it all and determined to figure out what's happening to her family. She doesn't judge those lower than her, nor does she give up. Thank you Erin Craig for this beautiful story, I can't wait to purchase a copy when it comes out!
brookishbrunette 14 days ago
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Would it be possible for me to just dive into the pages of House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig and live in this world a bit longer? I absolutely enjoyed every second I spent reading this atmospheric, spooky fairy tale retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. This book was infused with mystery and magic, keeping me on the edge of my seat as I turned every page. Perfect for both fans of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and those new to the story, Erin A. Craig has truly made House of Salt and Sorrows stand on its own and added countless twists and turns to this classic tale. From the first chapter, we are thrown into a nautical, dark fantasy world where the Thaumas family is reeling from yet another death. Originally, there were twelve daughters in the family; however, only eight remain. Centered on Annaleigh Thaumas, the now second eldest daughter, House of Salt and Sorrows tells her story as she tries to navigate the mysteries surrounding her sisters’ untimely deaths. Transitioning between creepy, occasionally horrific scenes to moments filled to the brim with magic, plus a swoon worthy romance that will take your breath away, this book is not one to miss! Hands down, my favorite aspect of House of Salt and Sorrows was Erin A. Craig’s world-building. From the eerie halls of the seaside Highmoor manor to the bustling markets on Astrea (especially during the Churning Festival celebrations), Craig’s descriptive writing truly made me feel as if I had jumped into the pages of this book and was experiencing all the wonders of this world alongside Annaleigh. As an additional bonus, it is refreshing that House of Salt and Sorrows is a standalone novel. With so many series dominating the YA fantasy genre, I appreciated how Craig was able to keep this story well-paced and interesting within the scope of one book. I would like to recommend that a reference guide for the names of the twelve sisters be included in the final version of House of Salt and Sorrows. While reading the first several chapters, I struggled to remember all of the sisters’ names, in particular which sisters were the Graces and the triplets. In addition, at the beginning of the book, I initially misunderstood that the girls’ maid, Hanna, was one of Annaleigh’s sisters. A chart outlining the names would have been very helpful based on my experience reading this book. House of Salt and Sorrows is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2019 so far. I was very impressed with Erin A. Craig’s debut novel and would be happy to read any of her books (fairy tale retelling or not) in the future!
Anonymous 15 days ago
All I can say is WOW. This book gave me serious Crimson Peak vibes and I loved every second of it. For a story that begins with a funeral, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not much for things that are scary, but this had just enough creep factor to it that kept me interested but not hiding under the covers. I won't give anything away because honestly, you need to read this book, but I will say that it plays tricks with your mind and that's just some brilliant writing. I am a huge fan of fairytales and retellings and I was disappointed that I had never read the 12 Dancing Princesses beforehand. Obviously, that is now very high on my to-do list. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I understand some reviews that say there was a lull that made them uninterested or put it down--but trust me, you want to get to the end! Every single thing the book does or says leads to the mind-boggling ending that you truly can't miss out on. This is me, waiting not-so-patiently for a book two so I can get more of my favorite characters.
HollyLovesBooks4 15 days ago
This book had me at The Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling link. What a wonderful premise and the story did not disappoint. This is a darker, more Gothic version of the old fairy tale and therefore a more "grown-up" version of the story. Really well done and definitely recommend it. I am already anticipating what this author does next. #HouseofSaltandSorrows #NetGalley RandomHouseChildrens #DelacortePress
Bella_G 15 days ago
The House of Salt and Sorrows is an Eerie, beautifully written and atmospheric tale. These are the words I choose to define this lovely book. I loved this whimsical retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. There are magic doorways, secrets to unveil, sisterly bonds and unique mythology. Telling more would be spoiler, but I'm impressed with this debut. If you enjoy suspense and gothic romance you'll definitely love this. ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)
forsakenfates 15 days ago
Pros: - World: I really enjoyed the world this book takes place in. I enjoyed the idea of Highmoor and the Thalmus curse. It was fascinating to see how their lives were secluded from the rest of the world but still very much involved due to their father's profession. - Religion: I am saying religion even though that may be the wrong term, but I liked how each area of the world worshiped a different God that was based on their livelihoods. But that being said, I feel like we did not get to know enough about the Gods others than Pontus which the Thalmus girls worshiped. Cons: -Twist: I predicted who was going to be the cause of her sisters' death way at the beginning and I never wavered with this guess, even when the author tried to get us to believe it was someone else. I feel like she picked the next obvious person after the one that is implied in the summary. - Pacing: This book struggled to move the story forward. I feel like everything happened in the last 15% of the book and it took forever for things to happen that are stated in the summary. That is something that really irks me lately in YA when a summary tells you something that as a reader you do not actually find out about until way into the book. Overall, this book was a disappointment. I wanted so much more with the mystery of her sisters mysteriously dying off, this mysterious stranger, and these magical balls the sisters were attending. But I feel like I did not quite get that and instead got this overly drawn out story that took way too long to pick up and grab my attention. It took me 12 days to read this and that was mostly because I never felt the need to pick this up to see what would happen. Eventually, I just told myself I needed to finish so I could start the next books on my TBR for the month. *Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.*
princesslillia 15 days ago
This book blew my mind. It was so incredible and really enjoyable to read. This book did not disappoint. I loved the characters as well. The author did an excellent job and I hope they write more and more good books like this to help me get out of my reading slump.
TheBakersBooks 15 days ago
A haunting story wrapped in fairy tale atmosphere House of Salt and Sorrows reimagines the tale of the twelve dancing princesses to beautifully spooky effect. Main character Annaleigh Thaumas is torn between mourning the deaths—one very recent—of four of her older sisters or moving on with her life. Her youngest sister's ghost sightings complicate the issue, as does Annaleigh's growing doubt of her own sanity. Staged against the backdrop of a Victorian-reminiscent manor on a stormy island, it's the perfect recipe for a spot of Gothic horror.
Anonymous 15 days ago
House of Salt and Sorrows is an ode to all the Gothic tales that haunted us at night. I simply couldn't put down this tale of ghosts, mysteries and dancing girls once I started it. An hauntingly-beautiful retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, House of Salt and Sorrows stole and shattered my heart. Storytelling: A tale of eight haunted sisters and chilling phantoms, House of Salt and Sorrows kept me on the edge of my seat with all its twists and turns. There are no words to describe how I fell completely and unconditionally in love with the writing. Erin A. Craig's writing is eerie and spellbinding. The descriptions are enticing and yet terrifying. Through words, the author crafted a spooky world where dreams and nightmares intertwine, creating a tale about sisterly love, soul-shattering loss, gloomy shadows and dark secrets - all the needed ingredients to write the perfect Gothic tale. The story is creepy with an imagery that would be applauded by Ann Radcliffe and Edgar Alan Poe. Characters: Annaleigh Thaumas, the second oldest of now eight sisters, loves her family wholeheartedly. After, Eulalia, her oldest sister and Highmoor's heir, passes away, Annaleigh is convinced that she was murdered and didn't fall off a cliff accidentally, as everyone believes. Going against her family, who vehemently shuns her theories, and putting her sanity at risk, Anneleigh decides to unveil the dark secrets hidden in the many floors of Highmoor in an attempt to discover if her family is indeed cursed or if there's a murderer running free on the island. I quite enjoyed Annaleigh's inquisitive nature and that she never gave up, even when faced with obstacles. I also enjoyed how protective she was of her family - she would do anything to protect her sisters - and how much she loved them - against her beliefs, she ended her mourning period earlier so that her sisters could have beautiful colourful dresses and attend never-ending balls without feeling guilt. Regarding the slow-burning romance, I had my doubts in the beginning (I was worried that there would be a love triangle), but, in the end, it was perfect. I don't want to say much because I will start gushing about the romance and I'll spoil it (that's why I'm not even mentioning the suitor's name in this review). In few words, he is charming and swoon-worthy. World building: The atmospheric sea setting and Highmoor are the perfect background for this frightening Gothic tale, where Gods mingle with humans and curses prey on innocent girls. The world crafted by Craig was alluring. I loved the culture she built and all the myths and folk tales about Pontus, the Sea God, and the Salt people as well as all the little details about the five islands (Selkirk, Astera, Salten, Vasa and Hesperus) that were part of the Thaumases girls' world. The descriptions of the landscapes were stunning if yet there was something chilling about them. In the end, I just wanted to learn everything that I could about this world of humans and Gods, of shadows and curses.
ChasmofBooks 16 days ago
I have only ever read one other retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses and I loved it. So I admit that I had very high expectations for this book. I think that overall, this book delivered. The book was perfectly balanced between the light and silliness of little girls and sisters, and the darkness creeping towards them. Somehow I ended up reading the creepiest parts of this book in the middle of the night. I’m not even exaggerating. There were a few nights that I definitely was creeped out in my own house and didn’t want to be walking around in the dark. There were some truly chilling passages and times when I didn’t know what to believe either. The story follows Annaleigh and her sisters as they grapple with the terrible grief of losing their elder sisters. After a series of ghostly appearances, Annaleigh is convinced that her sisters’ deaths weren’t accidents. So we follow her and her quest to discover what truly happened to her sisters and why. Honestly, this book was pretty compelling although I was a bit annoyed with the girls’ father, Ortun, (Morella) their step mother, and Camille (Annaleigh’s only remaining older sister). They all struck me as quite selfish. Out of all of them, I really disliked Ortun which disappointed me a bit. I was hoping he’d be the type of father that it warm and kind, but yeah… I didn’t get what I hoped for. I absolutely loved Annaleigh’s younger sister, Verity. She was so sweet and adorable. All in all, I think the author did a good job of assembling a cast of flawed but forgivable characters (with the exception of Ortun and one other but I don’t want to spoil anything). It was a very large cast of characters so it was a bit of challenge keeping all of the sisters straight but I felt like the author did a really good job of identifying the girls each time so that I never felt lost. Of course, a fairytale retelling isn’t complete without suitors and I really loved the ones in this book. They were endearing, distinct, and great compliments to the sisters’ dynamics. The thing that impressed me most about this book though was definitely all of the twists in the last half of the book. The world building in this novel was incredible. The story takes you on quite the roller coaster and I didn’t expect any of it. House of Salt and Sorrows is a very clever take on the tale. At the end of this book I was left surprised by all of the twists and turns and completely satisfied.
marongm8 16 days ago
This book was received as an ARC from Random House Children's - Delacorte Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I always love books with secrets of family disappearances and how the youngest most ambitious family member digs deep and gets themselves into so much chaos that it turns into a thrilling adventure. However, there were some parts that are a little dark at times where young teens will find it a bit scary and not want to finish the book. But if you have the readers that do like a bit of darkness and thrilling story with such a shocking ending, then this book will be phenomenally popular. We will consider adding this title to our YFiciton collection at our library. That is why we give this book 4 stars.