House of Salt and Sorrows

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...

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Title:House of Salt and Sorrows
Author:Erin A. Craig
Rating:
Edition Language:English

House of Salt and Sorrows Reviews

  • megs_bookrack

    ...and the award for

    goes to...

    ...

    !!!!

    I loved this book

    . It was not at all what I expected but I am so damned pleased with what it turned out to be! In one word: EVERYTHING!

    Annaleigh lives at

    , a remote manor on the sea with her father, stepmother and sisters. Where once there were twelve sisters, at the start of our story only nine remain.

    The mto...ERIN

    ...and the award for

    goes to...

    ...

    !!!!

    I loved this book

    . It was not at all what I expected but I am so damned pleased with what it turned out to be! In one word: EVERYTHING!

    Annaleigh lives at

    , a remote manor on the sea with her father, stepmother and sisters. Where once there were twelve sisters, at the start of our story only nine remain.

    The most recent to die, Eulalie, plunged to her death from a high cliff into the sea. It is rumored she was out to meet a lover and run away with him.

    Tragedy has struck the family so many times, in fact, the villagers whisper that they are cursed. While some of her sisters buy into the curse, Annaleigh doesn't. She also doesn't believe that Eulalie's death was an accident.

    Perhaps her other sister's deaths weren't accidental either?

    Teaming up with a handsome and mysterious stranger, Annaleigh begins to investigate what is truly happening at

    .

    As many of you may know,

    is a retelling of a fairy tale known as

    , or

    . Going into this, I expected a typical YA fairy tale retelling. Fortunately, there was nothing typical about this!

    Truth be told, a lot of this story creeped the heck out of me.

    There was one night, I was up late, reading this on my kindle with all the lights turned off, I got to a section where there is a particularly lucid scene involving one of Annaleigh's dead sisters and I legit almost put that thing in the freezer! I had to switch to something fluffy just to be able to go to sleep that night.

    As someone who is a great fan of the dark and macabre, I must say, I was beyond impressed with Craig's writing. Her ability to conjure truly terrifying moments and atmosphere is absolutely fantastic.

    I am calling this a YA Horror, because even though the story isn't exactly a Horror story, I am calling out Erin A. Craig as a Horror writer!

    I really hope she continues more in that vein with her future stories. There was an ominous feeling surrounding this whole story.

    , it was all incredibly visceral.

    I have never read the original source material, so I cannot weigh in on the merits of this as a retelling but I imagine, most folks who have read the original will be impressed by this. In my opinion, this book has it all and if you are a fan of gothic-feeling stories, you CANNOT miss this one. Pick it up, you won't regret it!

    Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I cannot wait to see what Craig comes up with next! You better believe I will be buying it!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    5 SPOOKY, TERRIFYING, OH MY GOD MY HANDS STILL TREMBLING , CONTAINING GOTHIC ELEMENTS, GHOSTS AND CURSES KINDA STORY, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR LIGHTS ON BEFORE GO TO SLEEP AFTER THIS BOOK AND DON’T BE AFRAID OF CREAKING SOUNDS, THEY MIGHT BE ONLY RATS DANCING ON YOUR FLOORS STARS!

    You know Brother Grimm’s fairy-tale named “Twelve Dancing Princesses”: Those girls each more beautiful than the last, sleep in twelve beds in the same room. Every night their doors securely locked by their father.

    5 SPOOKY, TERRIFYING, OH MY GOD MY HANDS STILL TREMBLING , CONTAINING GOTHIC ELEMENTS, GHOSTS AND CURSES KINDA STORY, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR LIGHTS ON BEFORE GO TO SLEEP AFTER THIS BOOK AND DON’T BE AFRAID OF CREAKING SOUNDS, THEY MIGHT BE ONLY RATS DANCING ON YOUR FLOORS STARS!

    You know Brother Grimm’s fairy-tale named “Twelve Dancing Princesses”: Those girls each more beautiful than the last, sleep in twelve beds in the same room. Every night their doors securely locked by their father. But in the morning THEIR DANCE SHOES are found to be WORN THROUGH as they had been DANCING ALL NIGHT! So this book’s quite great, horrific, roller coaster riding version of retelling.

    As you consider how Grimm Brothers’ vulgar, harsh tones and merciless writing on those books and depressing, grimacing things happened to their characters, you may understand how this book could give you creeps, stomach churning, eerie sensation. THIS IS REALLY SCARY AND MIND BENDING BOOK! If you’re not ready to read something spooky, twisty, surprising, giving you nightmares, please put the book down and choose something lighter like your chic-lits or summer reading you could grab to read at the seaside while you’re sipping your cool drink and totally forget about this dark story forever!

    This book might be 12 Dances Princesses’ retelling, a different approach, newer version but it also reminded me the “Inception” with its mind confusing, head hurting, dream into-dream into- dream sequences. You’re really getting lost what’s real or what’s a nightmare. There are some parts of “7 Ravens” which is originally about 7 brothers but we had our heroine Annaleigh ( which is so amazingly melodic and capturing name, if I ever have a child, I named after her without thinking a second) and her 7 sisters! And also we had some glimpses of Little Women in this book as we read the sister’s stories and character analysis. Rosalie reminded me Amy and Verity had a little Beth, a little Amy inside. And Camille, know-it all, pretentious elder sister reminded me a little Meg, at least Annaleigh and her struggles had great resemblances with Meg and Joe’s fighting about their differences.

    WHAT I REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK:

    BIG FAN OF RETELLINGS AND THIS GREAT DEBUT :

    It’s real defying and challenging thing to write again with brand new, fresh, crystal clear, visionary perspective and create a new story based on Brother Grimms’ works. The author chose not one of the famous works of him and she definitely achieved dexterous, adroit, refined job by adding horrific, gothic, mysterious elements and a poignant, lyrical romantic story.

    FAST PACING TEMPO, HEART-THROBBING TERRIFYING SCENES:

    Verity acts like Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment and claims she’s talking with the ghosts of her dead sisters and draws so many scary paintings which contain too many gory and harmful details about the way how her sisters have died. There is no way she can know these facts without being crime scenes (which of course she hasn’t!)

    I really jump out of my seat, throw the book away as if my hands were burned, screamed non-stop when I caught a monster looking back at the me(then I realized that’s my morning self in the mirror before I had my morning coffee so I shut my mouth!)

    AMAZING LOVE STORY:

    We need romance after jumping out of our seats and taking few breathes to ease our heavy heart rates! So this love story was a medicine for the pain this book gave me. I love Annaleigh and Cassius’ slow-burn, passionate, tender, devoted, growing love story.

    ENDING:

    The part about the villain’s identity was foreseeable but last twists about delusions were clearly mind-bending, brain cell burning, head thudding kind of experiences they had to endure for finishing this book. I enjoyed those twists, mind games that the author professionally played with us. She was my great winner.

    SUMMARY:

    I want to read more retellings and surprising stories if Erin A. Craig intends to write. This year, I discovered too many new writers and I enjoyed their works so much which gave me hope, we’ll have more amazing literary works in near future. I LOVE THIS BOOK TOO MUCH. If you’re big fans mysterious, horrifying, Grimm Brothers style fairy-tales, that’s definitely a “Yes, this book is truly for you!”

  • Debra

    3.5 stars

    Annaleigh, (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

    3.5 stars

    Annaleigh, (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.

  • chan ☆
  • jessica

    uhhh… theres definitely gonna be nightmares. how come no one told me this would be so creepy?!? wow. im such a wimp. lol.

    also, early side note. i had no idea this was a retelling before i picked it up. ive never even heard of

    so im coming at this review with the perspective that this story is wildly original and one of a kind, because i have no idea which aspects are

    uhhh… theres definitely gonna be nightmares. how come no one told me this would be so creepy?!? wow. im such a wimp. lol.

    also, early side note. i had no idea this was a retelling before i picked it up. ive never even heard of

    so im coming at this review with the perspective that this story is wildly original and one of a kind, because i have no idea which aspects are part of the retelling and which are craigs own invention.

    that being said, if

    and

    created a hybrid world, it would be the atmosphere and setting of

    its not exactly enchanting, because the story is actually quite dark. but there is something so captivating about a mysterious island kingdom, a family curse, and unreliable events. the writing easily transports the reader into this world, filled with ghosts and secrets, and that alone made this story worth it to me.

    however, i am a little disappointed with the ending. there are a couple of things that relate to their religion/gods that come into play and it had me very confused. im not sure if i missed their introduction earlier on in the novel, but i felt like that key component was quite rushed. could just be an oversight on my part, though.

    regardless, this is a hauntingly impressive debut!

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    3.5

    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.

    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

    . 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.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I would say a 3.5 stars. I liked it well enough. I loved the characters and the overall craziness of the book. I don’t think I would read it again though so it’s going in the trade in box. I would buy it on kindle if it was ever on sale though 😉

    Happy Reading!

    Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

    Buddy read with For Love Of A Book.

  • Chloe

    I was LOVING this book at the start, but as the story went on I started to lose interest in the story and was honestly waiting for it to be over. My favourite thing about this book was definitely the atmosphere (very dark and eerie and I

    the setting).

    I do think I would have enjoyed it more if I read it physically (the audiobook wasn't my favourite)/ if I wasn't in this weird reading slump (I was forcing myself to read it at times since I really just wanted to finish it)

    I was LOVING this book at the start, but as the story went on I started to lose interest in the story and was honestly waiting for it to be over. My favourite thing about this book was definitely the atmosphere (very dark and eerie and I

    the setting).

    I do think I would have enjoyed it more if I read it physically (the audiobook wasn't my favourite)/ if I wasn't in this weird reading slump (I was forcing myself to read it at times since I really just wanted to finish it).

    Maybe I'll reread it physically sometime in the future to see if I enjoy it more that way, since I really wanted to love it and it had SO much potential!

  • Chaima ✨ شيماء

    read this retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" and reinject myself in with this fictional world and its characters to avoid engaging with my very real responsibilities

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    well this was trippy, weird, & unexpected! i've never read the story this book is based on so maybe had i read that i wouldn't be as surprised as i am, but here we are. the only downfall for me was the romance... shocker!

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