Jul 29, 2019

ARC Review--House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

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.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Erin A. Craig’s debut House of Salt and Sorrows is a fairy tale worth waiting for! It’s a retelling of one of my most favorite fairy tales, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It’s not as common as our other princess tales, but I read a kid version of it once and loved it! Erin’s story is quite different from the original tale, though its concepts are similar. I found I was quite enamored with this story and never wanted it to end!

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 releases August 6, 2019 


  1. I'm so glad you loved this one! I can't wait to read it.

  2. OMG so happy you loved this one! I cannot wait for August 6 to pick it up! So excited for it!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

  3. Ooh, super excited for this one!!

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I am super excited for it so this makes me that much more excited!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

  5. I love fairytale retellings and have been seeing a lot of rave reviews over this one. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one!


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