Give me a good re-telling any day. And when you give me a re-telling of one of my favorite stories as a child, The Twelve Princesses, then you have me hooked. Welcome to my shelf 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 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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
House of Salt and Sorrows is an eerie re-telling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. If you’re familiar with the original, it’s a story of sisters who love to dance all night, a quest to figure out what is happening to their shoes, and a story of family. But what Craig has done is not only add a gruesome and creepy atmosphere to the story, but root the story firmly in sisterhood, family, and the importance of knowing nothing is as it seems.
There were so many times while reading where I thought, “Am I going to be able to sleep at night?” Well the answer was yes, but it was difficult. That being said, I have a pretty low tolerance for scare factor and anything with ghosts or psychological scare will terrify me. So Craig, you got me. But if you’re anything like me, just know that House of Salt and Sorrows will keep you on the edge of your seat and it is entirely worth it.
Craig continuously surprises us, makes us question everything we read, all as part of this atmospheric thriller. I have so many notes in my book that just begin, “OMG!” House of Salt and Sorrows is a story of the danger of pretty boys, dancing shoes, and magical doors. What may have started out as my favorite story of a child who couldn’t stop dancing, turned into terrifying images of ghosts and mysteries you can’t explain or unravel. All stories have to come to an end. It is a story that is shaped by grief, where no one seems safe in this world, in a way that is scary, but one you are unable to put down.