Billed as fantasy/a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, House of Salt and Sorrows is more horror than fairytale adaptation.
Annaleigh and her eleven sisters are in perpetual mourning as, first, their mother died six years ago. In those intervening years, the four older Thaumus girls have also died. With the arrival of a new stepmother, the Thaumus family’s is allowed to put aside the year-long mourning time when a new death occurs. This allows for the triplets (Legia, Lenore, and Rosalie) to celebrate their sixteenth birthday with a grand ball with beautiful gowns and dainty shoes for all the sisters. But the villagers murmur that the Thaumuses are cursed, and none of the handsome men will pay attention to the sisters. Refusing to die old spinsters, they discover a secret doorway that allows them to visit balls all across the kingdom. But then two more sisters die, and Annaleigh becomes suspicious. As she tries to work out the mystery, she falls into madness. Will she be able to climb her way out before anymore of them die? If it is a curse, who put it on the family and why? Will the (remaining) Thaumus sisters get a happily ever after?
4.5 stars! This bookies engaging and twisty, but it wasn’t quite at the same level of enjoyment/devouring of a Sarah J. Maas story. Nevertheless, I really liked the horror aspect, which I did NOT see coming!