House of Salt and Sorrows is the ultimate fairy tale retelling. Erin A. Craig has created a rich world and a fascinating story to build on the tale of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Annaleigh has lived her whole life at Highmoor, the duke’s (her father’s) estate on Saltenn. There they have spent the last five years in mourning, after the deaths of her mother and three sisters. When yet another sister is found dead, the whispers that the family has been cursed begin to haunt Annaleigh along with the ghosts of the dead. Will she and the mysterious and handsome stranger be able to figure out what is happening before all of the Thaumus sisters end up dead?
I was genuinely blown away by this story. It was so well thought out, and had so many twists and turns, that it left even me guessing right up until the end (which is a hard thing for a book to do). Despite the constant misdirection, hidden clues, and even a little unreliable narration, the book never felt confusing. It never felt rushed, or like it was dragging. Basically Craig wrote a pretty perfect book.
The world that this book is set in is beautiful and terrifying and enthralling. This is a world of many gods, and these gods are present and directly interact with humans. I loved learning about the worlds and the different gods each region worships. While this book focuses on the islands of Saltenn and worshipers of the sea and salt and the god Pontus, I would love to read more from Arcannia and the worshipers of various different gods. Please let there be, not a sequel, but more books set in this world in the works!