Inspired by Grimm’s “Twelve Dancing Princesses,” this gothic fantasy is brimming with ghosts, murder, mythology and romance.
Annaleigh Thaumas is one of 12 sisters who live in the seaside estate of Highmoor in the mythical kingdom of Arcannia. Locals believe Highmoor is cursed, as four of Annaleigh’s sisters have died in tragic and gruesome ways. When Annaleigh’s naive stepmother insists on a ball to end the long mourning period, the sisters bedeck themselves in expensive shoes and luscious gowns, only to find themselves shunned by society. Desperate for company, the girls sneak out through a magical door to attend dances in distant places where no one has ever heard of the Thaumas curse. Meanwhile, Annaleigh, who is being haunted by the ghosts of her dead sisters, is investigating their deaths even as she begins a budding romance with the enigmatic Cassius. When tragedy strikes again, Annaleigh must uncover who, or what, is killing the Thaumas girls before she is next.
Atmospheric, intense and macabre, House of Salt and Sorrows is a smorgasbord of gothic subgenres but a murder mystery at its core. Once the story builds momentum, it rapidly revs up the stakes, making for a devouring and page-turning read.