Author: Erin A. Craig
Release: August 6th, 2019
Warnings: Suicide, Infant death
I received a copy of House of Salt and Sorrows through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
House of Salt and Sorrows is the debut novel of Erin A. Craig, but don’t let that reduce your expectations any. House of Salt and Sorrows is a deeply complex and emotional piece of work – one that’ll chill you to your bones.
House of Salt and Sorrows is a retelling – yet another in a huge list following this trend. But it stands out for me, turning itself into something wholly new and different. Here it follows the tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, though you might know it by another name (it goes by many).
This novel follows Annaleigh Thaumas, one of the Thaumas dozen. Well, one of the ones that are left, at least. If you believe the townsfolk, she and her sisters are cursed – though nobody quite knows why. Annaleigh is determined to find the cause of her sisters’ deaths, before she loses any more of the ones she loves. But what will she dig up in the process?
House of Salt and Sorrow blends young adult with fantasy, adding a dash of a thriller element for good measure. It’s a perfect balance of the three, and held my attention from start to finish.
Warnings: House of Salt and Sorrows lives up to its name. It has some heavier elements to the novel, including (but not limited to), mentions of suicide, infant death, graphic deaths, and body descriptions.
House of Salt and Sorrows was everything I had hoped it would be – and then so much more. I loved everything about this novel, even the parts that occasionally broke my heart. Annaleigh’s journey was beautifully written and so compelling. I simply couldn’t put the book down until I was finished.
With a title like House of Salt and Sorrows, you already know to expect it to be at least a little bit depressing. And this novel didn’t let me down on that account. But it was more than that as well. It was intricate and beautiful and mysterious, all in one.
The world in this novel was so detailed that it felt real. In fact, it almost felt historical, thanks to all of the details and the tone of the novel itself. It was the perfect setting for Annaleigh and her sisters. Speaking of, her sisters (while many) were all unique and clearly well thought out. They all fit together as a family unit – but more than that, they were all unique enough where they didn’t have to be considered ‘Annaleigh’s sister’ in order to fit into the plot.
I loved Annaleigh’s journey to find the truth of what happened to her sisters. Well, really it started with the focus on one sister. But over time, things changed. The truth was revealed or obfuscated at every twist and turn. It’s no wonder Anneleigh found herself so confused.
Erin A. Craig wove this mystery perfectly. It was not given away at the start, but she dropped enough hints and pieces along the way that when the final reveal was made, it made complete and total sense. I absolutely love that.
One thing I failed to mention earlier – there’s also a love story that occurs within these pages. It blended in well with the mystery and tension of the series. At times it gave relief, and at other times it added to the concern and stress of the tale. In short, it was perfect.
House of Salt and Sorrows was a brilliant read. One that made me sad to see it end. I’m truly looking forward to seeing what else Erin A. Craig comes out with. And I promise I’ll try to be patient waiting for news.