house of salt and sorrows

3.5 stars

An entertaining re-telling of a Grimm fairy tale.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I enjoyed it, but there is just something about it that kept me from loving it. Perhaps it’s because I don’t really like horror, and wasn’t expecting it to go there. Partly because I was frustrated with the book because I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to be. Only after I read the book did I learn that it was a retelling of a Grimm’s fairytale called “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.”

Annaleigh lives in a manor by the sea with her father, sisters and mother in law. At one time, there were 12 girls, but a series of tragic accidents cost the life of 4 girls and their mother. The house has been in a constant state of mourning for years. When the family decides to try to break out of their grief and get the girls out into society, they find that the family is considered cursed and no young man wants to date any of the girls.

Annaleigh is upset that the rest of the family wants to move on, and begins to investigate the death of the last sister to die. She also begins to have frightening visions of her dead sisters and mother. Meanwhile, her sisters are sneaking out every night to attend balls throughout the country and dance the nights away. She occasionally joins them but has some disturbing encounters, so she tries to get her sisters to stop going. Annaleigh gets involved with a mysterious stranger with a secret of his own as the urgency to discover what is happening with her family intensifies.

To me the story was uneven at times. It also seemed to take a really weird left turn toward the end and turned into more of a horror book than fantasy or romance. The writing was good and I think most people will enjoy the book, there were just parts of it I didn’t care for.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.