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The Bookish Owl – House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrow

Tonight we’re going with a horror fairy tale: House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig.

This book was a great mix of fantasy and horror, and that’s a genre we need more of!

(That’s a barely disguised request for fantasy horror suggestions in the comments. Just in case you missed it.)

It reads like a dark fairy tale, which I think is my new favorite kind of story.

I would suggest reading this while it’s stormy outside and you’re all alone in the house. That’s the kind of atmosphere this book needs.


House of Salt and Sorrow
by Erin A. Craig

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.


House of Salt and Sorrow

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The Bookish Owl – The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

It’s time for The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo.

This is a collection of fairy tales set in the Grishaverse and they are all wonderfully dark. We’re talking far more Grimm than Disney here… and then a tad darker than that.

The book itself is absolutely gorgeous, both inside and out. It’s a beautiful hardcover book and each page inside is illustrated. At first I thought that every page in a specific story had the same illustration, but if you pay attention, you can see that it changes subtly for every page and the changes actually provides ominous hints to what’s to come later in the story. It’s genius.

As I said, the stories are set in the Grishaverse (which consists of books like the Shadow and Bone trilogy and King of Scars), but they can easily be read without having read any of the other books. I would recommend The Language of Thorns to anyone who enjoys dark fairy tales!


The Language of Thorns
by Leigh Bardugo

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.


The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo