House of Salt and Sorrows – Book Review

About the book

Title : House of Salt and Sorrows

Author : Erin A. Craig

Publisher : Penguin Random House

Publish date : 6 August, 2019

Review

The story, set in the coastal land of Salt, starts off with a funeral. Duke of Salt’s fourth daughter Eulalie’s funeral. After the mysterious deaths of four of his twelve daughters, the Duke’s family is rumoured to be cursed. While the remaining sisters wait for the impending curse to engulf them, Annaleigh, our protagonist, is sure that there is no such curse, nor did Eulalie kill herself. And after being haunted by the ghosts of her dead sisters, Annaleigh is sure there is a foul play in motion; the deaths are no mere accidents or fatal luck.

Annaleigh sets out to unravel the truth. She finds support not in her eight sisters but in Cassius, son of the sea captain. The truth, she finds, is not simple, it gets more complicated by the day – from scary phantoms to mysterious lurking figures to past secrets; suspects are a plenty but no definitive motive. As Annaleigh approaches the truth, the line between reality and fantasy keeps blurring. Amidst all this, tragedy strikes again and Annaleigh finds herself helpless.

There is a popular saying, Do not judge a book by its cover. But I completely did so while requesting this book from NetGalley. Especially because I had not read Craig’s earlier writings. I did not regret my judgement at all.

I will start with what I did not like in this book. The list is not long. I did not like the characterisation of the sisters. The fact that all the sisters were like the Austen era ladies did not suit my taste. The sisters could think only of dancing at balls wearing sparkling dresses and shoes, garnering attraction from the opposite gender and get married. That was irritating.

What I liked most about this book is the world-building. The concepts of Salt and Arcannia, their different traditions, the Gods and their temperaments, was fresh and stimulating.

Like most YA fantasy novels these days the protagonist gets a strong character. But she has different layers, she is strong and delicate, brave and scared, confident and doubtful at the same time. She has been portrayed as a medieval age Nancy Drew. Which was interesting.

Cassius is the ultimate dreamy, swoony hero who has romantically best lines, timing and gestures up his sleeves.

I enjoyed the thrill, suspense and mystery factor. With unpredictable twists and turns and unexpectedly new angles, truly commendable.

Overall, it was an unexpectedly invigorating read.

Rating: 4/5 🌟

P.S. I have received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher

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