House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig was one of those books where my expectations were so far away from reality. I didn’t have specific expectations about this book going in, but I knew it was a retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” tale. And it was exactly that. But it was so much more.
House of Salt and Sorrows is a story of death, reality, and dreams. I find it hard to say anything about the plot in summary without spoiling the biggest twist in the novel. My advice would therefore be to learn the least you can about the plot of this novel before reading it. But read it.
Annaleigh is the sister whose point of view we see the story from, and she is one of the first to question the deaths of her older sisters. As she hunts for their murderer, Annaleigh finds herself and her remaining sisters swept up in a beautiful world of dancing. There are a few awkward things about Annaleigh’s character that I wasn’t a fan of. She seemed unable to read the room to know when to ask her father important questions, without fail. I might attribute this to the thing that becomes apparent after the twist, but I still wasn’t a fan while it was happening.
The creepy factor in this book was high. The combination of deaths, the enormous mansion this family lives in, and Annaleigh’s suspicion of a murderer somewhere near made for an edge-of-my-seat reading. I wanted this novel to pull me in, so it grabbed me by the throat and held on until I turned the final page. I couldn’t predict anything that happened and there were so many moments that left me squirming and uncomfortable, the same way a nightmare tries to stay wormed into my vision. Honestly, I loved reading this book, and that feeling didn’t scare me away at all. Instead, it made me so much more interested and made me race towards the finish. The same way you race across the room and launch onto your bed so that nothing underneath can grab you.
I can’t recommend this book enough. For everyone. So, instead, I’ll warn you that if you don’t like thrillers, murder mysteries, psychological thrillers, or creepy books, don’t read this one. But if you want to get into them, I think this might be a good entry into them. It has enough elements of fantasy and enough historical fiction vibes that this is a perfect cross-genre thriller.
Thank you for reading this review! If you pick up House of Salt and Sorrows, let me know how you liked it.
Leave a Reply