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?
Candlelight reflected off the silver anchor etched onto my sister’s necklace.
Reading The House of Salt and Sorrows has been a great reminder that I have been neglecting the YA fantasy genre the last few years. When a first discovered Booktube many years ago, I would read whatever was popular, which was mainly YA fantasy. Since then, I have come to have a better understand of my reading tastes and I though that the genre just wasn’t for me anymore. This mentality prevented me from even considering reading The House of Salt and Sorrows. I never would have picked it up on my own if it were not for a buddy read. I fell in love with this book and it has opened my eyes to how different and dark the YA genre can be.
Retellings can be hit or miss for me, and The House of Salt and Sorrows ended up being a huge hit. I am not very familiar with the original Brother’s Grimm tale (The Twelve Dancing Princesses) but I am now inclined to read it. I am very curious to see how it inspired Erin A. Craig to write dark and haunting story.
What instantly stood out to me was the setting. I could picture this rocky, cold island surrounded by a rocky sea. It was so atmospheric and set the tone for perfect tone and mood for the story itself.
I love when the relationships between siblings is explored in fiction, particular the relationship between sisters. This is something I think The House of Salt and Sorrows does well and was a highlight for me. With twelves sisters you are bound to have characters with varied personalities who clash and come back together at different times. Reading how they navigated their relationships while also dealing with grief was heartbreaking and fascinating.
I was not anticipating HOSAS to be quite as dark as it was. The author holds nothing back in this regard. There are certain scenes that are so creepy and vivid that it made me physically uncomfortable.
I will say that I felt that the ending was a little rushed and that things could have been more clear. There was so much going on and everything happened so fast that I feel like I missed something.
Yes! I think that there is something in The House of Salt and Sorrows for everyone, whether it is the characters, the atmospheric writing, or the dark and twisted plot. Another excellent book for Fall!