‘House of Salt and Sorrows’ by Erin A. Craig is a shocking retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale by Grimm

salt and sorrows

“House of Salt and Sorrows” by Erin A. Craig is a creative and, at times, shocking retelling of the fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” by the Grimm brothers. Unlike the Grimm fairy tale, in this young adult version, the oldest of the dozen sisters have already died by the time the story begins.

Annaleigh, the sixth sister, narrates the tale. Only one sister remains older than she, Camille, who is in line to inherit the dukedom that their father now controls. Their mother died while giving birth to the youngest sister, Verity, who is now a young girl. Their father recently remarried, and even if their stepmother delivers a son, their island rules dictate that oldest child inherits regardless of gender. Their stepmother is not happy to hear this.

At the start of the story, Annaleigh and her family are attending the funeral of Eulalie, the sister who fell from the cliffs and died. We learn about the strange custom of consigning the casket to the sea instead of burying it. We also learn about the grief and the endless mourning the sisters have been subjected to because of the never-ending deaths of the daughters of the duke.

Annaleigh is more observant than her sisters, and when she begins to suspect that Eulalie’s death was not an accident, she decides to investigate. Her suspicions are confirmed, but soon others are in danger, and Annaleigh is unsure of what is real and what is not.

In fact, toward the end of this novel, the reader becomes very unsure about what is “real” and not “real” in this fantasy. The solution to the mystery is bizarre and nightmarish, but then so are most of Grimm’s fairy tales. This fractured fairy tale is certainly not sugar and spice, but rather horrific in nature, although the ending might not be totally Grimm.

It’s a wonderful read and very engaging. The writing is descriptive and vivid. I’d say this is definitely not a young adult book for middle grade readers, but rather readers from 12 and up. It works wonderfully for adults as well.

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher,  , for review purposes.

One thought on “‘House of Salt and Sorrows’ by Erin A. Craig is a shocking retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale by Grimm

  1. Hey, you mentioned something about sending that Stranger Things book and needed my address… I just happened to see it in one of my book emails and remembered.

    250 Orienta Point Street Altamonte Springs FL 32701

    anytime you want to come down to Fl and escape the IL cold, let me know. Ron’s hotel is right outside Disney and near Seaworld, Universal and I-Drive. He can get you a really good Friends and Family rate there. And if you want to drive to a beach like Daytona, it’s about 45 minutes to an hour. Or you can take a drive up to Mt. Dora, which has lots of crafty shops, good restaurants. So does the city of Deland. New Smyrna Beach is also great – good restaurants, shops, etc. Notice I’m not saying anything about museums. That’s the wasteland. We do have loads of theater groups. I take what I can get.

    🙂

    On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 9:32 PM PamelaKramer.com wrote:

    > pamelaokramer posted: ” “House of Salt and Sorrows” by Erin A. Craig is a > creative and, at times, shocking retelling of the fairy tale “The Twelve > Dancing Princesses” by the Grimm brothers. Unlike the Grimm fairy tale, in > this young adult version, the oldest of the dozen siste” >

    Like

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