Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Ahhh, this was so good!

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Published August 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Library Borrow
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.

My 2 Cents For Free!

This entire book reads like a dark fairytale and that’s because, I learned as I was midway through reading it, that it is based on a dark fairytale called “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”. It looks like there have been quite a few adaptations when I snooped on the wiki page.

Annaleigh is one of many female siblings who appear to be doomed. When the book starts she’s already lost her mother and several sisters to a supposed family curse. Annaleigh has questions about the recent death of her sister. Questions no one seems able or willing to answer so she begins to seek out the truth on her own. And boy does she find out some stuff!

I listened to this book as an unabridged audio and narrator Emily Lawrence is very engaging and does justice to the dark material. I was never confused as to who was speaking and that’s a rarity for me in an audio with this many characters. This story isn’t a light and happy one. It’s filled with grief and ghosts, uncertainty, and mistrust and Annaleigh navigates her way through all of it with grace, intelligence, and compassion, while all her sisters seem to want to do is dance the sadness away.

If you happened to see my reading updates, there was one point where I feared we were seeing the beginning of the dreaded love triangle but this book doesn’t go there. The male characters all had their secrets and I looked at all of them with a side-eye until all was revealed. I love it when a book can keep me guessing like this and doesn’t take the route most traveled.

If you pick up this book, and I think you should, expect to settle in for an imaginative, haunting, disturbing and heartbreaking experience. There was one point in this book where I screamed (if only in my head) PLEASE UNIVERSE LET THIS GIRL HAVE ONE GOOD THING and that’s only because I cared so much. Which rarely happens, haha.

Read it. I don’t think you’ll be sorry and if you have regrets well, that’s why they make chocolate!


  1. I so want to read this one! The Twelve Dancing Princesses has always been my favorite fairy tale and I love good retellings of it. Even dark ones. :D

    1. Oooh you must read it then. It's really good stuff!

  2. Wow, it sounds really good! I'm not familiar with the fairy tale, but it doesn't sound like I need to be in order to enjoy this book.

    1. I read it during the book (it's short) but it's not at all necessary.

  3. I love it when books are like that, making you want to really root for a character! Especially in horror. And a Twelve Dancing Princesses take. Interesting!

  4. normally i would just skim over a book like this, but your review has me rethinking this
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. Wow. So many feels! I'm going to give this one a try.

  6. I've had this on my radar for some time. Need to make time for it it seems.

  7. I've heard about this one but it has slipped off my radar. I don't know anything about that fairy tale but this sounds cool.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth


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