A review by gracelikesorcas
House of Salt and Sorrows, by Erin A. Craig

4.0

3.5/5 A dark retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses? Sign me up!! Barbie movies made me realize I will devour any fairytale retelling. But this one was VERY loosely based on the dancing… in fact, the dancing is really just there for the first little bit!

Though a little slow to start, this story was great. 12(ish) sisters, a stepmother, and a cursed island? Perfect fairytale elements. Plus the little bit of “locked room” mystery was very nice—I loved the setting of Highmoor and the spookiness surrounding it. Annaleigh was a fantastic narrator though she really should have been more bothered about being “cursed” than she seemed to be in the book.

But I WISH there was MORE of the dark spooky fairytale-gone-wrong that we get in the last third of the book! The narrative really ramps up as things start to shift and twist (without giving too much away!) and you’re left thinking “woah, what just happened?” I suppose it couldn’t really get TOO dark because it’s YA, but I wanted more horror-ish elements. Plus there were a few plot holes and seeming inconsistencies with character (what was up with Ortun being so indifferent towards his daughters?) that bugged me.

Also, don’t read this book for any semblance of fairy-tale romance. It seemed a little out of place to me in a dark fairytale retelling.

But…overall a good read if you want to transport yourself into a whole different world!