Synopsis: After her mother and four of her older sisters have died, Annaleigh begins to think that her family and their island home is cursed. Trying to forget about their grief, Annaleigh and the rest of her sisters find a magic door that leads them to a new magical ball every night.
Spoiler Free Review:
This is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, a fairy tale that I am not familiar with. I also didn’t know too much about the book, other than the fact that I liked the cover and I’ve seen it around on social media a lot. I have to say, this book completely surprised me! Not only did I enjoy it way more than I was anticipating, but I didn’t expect it to be so scary!
Full disclosure, I scare so easily, and listening to the audiobook while laying in bed in the dark certainly did not help. There were frightening scenes, but there was also the fact that as a reader, you don’t know what is real and what isn’t. It is in first person, so you just have to trust that Annaleigh is seeing things as they are. As much as it scared me, I absolutely loved the spooky vibes of this book! It definitely had me leaving on my fairy lights at night so I wouldn’t be in complete darkness 😨
A lot of reviews I saw prior to reading this book said that the pacing was really slow in the beginning, but honestly, it didn’t feel that way to me. I think the beginning portion really builds up the atmosphere that I loved so much about this book. It felt dark and briny, but at the same time, magical and dreamlike.
I have to say, I had such hard time keeping track of the sisters, even though four of them are already dead at the beginning of the book. Camille is the only one older than Annaleigh and Verity is important to the plot, so they were the only two that I had a good grasp on. The rest of them really blended together for me. I don’t necessarily think that was a bad thing, because I much preferred getting more plot, as opposed to seeing eight different sisters be fleshed out characters.
I also think that some of the mystical elements that play a large role in the ending of the book could have been woven throughout the story better. I think the ending just would have been more satisfying if I knew what was unrealistic within the world.
That being said, I still rated this book 5 stars. It was just such a good time! My enjoyment of it overshadows the things I didn’t love about it. I am super curious to see what else Erin A. Craig writes in the future!