September 19, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Erin Craig’s House Of Roots And Ruin Thrills With Gothic Fantasy-Mystery

House of Roots and Ruin By Erin Craig- Summary

House of Roots and Ruin By Erin Craig Goodreads Summary (review below): A modern masterpiece, this is a classic Gothic thriller-fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Erin A. Craig, about doomed love, menacing ambition, and the ghosts that haunt us forever.

In a manor by the sea, one sister is still cursed.

Despite dreams of adventures far beyond the Salann shores, seventeen-year-old Verity Thaumas has remained at her family’s estate, Highmoor, with her older sister Camille, while their sisters have scattered across Arcannia.

Then their sister Mercy sends word that the Duchess of Bloem—wife of a celebrated botanist—is interested in having Verity paint a portrait of her son, Alexander. Verity jumps at the chance, but Camille won’t allow it. Forced to reveal the secret she’s kept for years, Camille tells Verity the truth. Verity is still seeing ghosts; she just doesn’t know it.

Stunned, Verity flees Highmoor that night and—with nowhere else to turn—makes her way to Bloem. At first, she is captivated by the lush, luxurious landscape and is quickly drawn to the charming, witty, and impossibly handsome Alexander Laurent. And soon, to her surprise, a romance . . . blossoms.

But it’s not long before Verity is plagued with nightmares, and the darker side of Bloem begins to show through its sickly-sweet façade. . . .

House of Roots and Ruin By Erin Craig- Review

Once again, I’m forgoing the character section of this review. This section encompasses the entire review. To talk in-depth about the characters would provide too many spoilers. This is on me, and which characters I liked, disliked, and their inter-dynamics would be very spoilerish. I believe this is because my views on the different characters are polar opposites of most. That is, in what I loved and which I felt iffy on. Suffice it to say Erin Craig executed all the characters of House of Roots and Ruin expertly. They are all engaging, garnering a variety of intense reactions.

First, I want to commend Erin Craig for her representation of disability. To be clear, the disability representation in House of Roots and Ruin is physical and paranormal. Even so, I felt such a connection to Alexander and Verity as they each discussed how, what they perceived as curses, caused them to have a predetermined course for their life. The things they never expected to experience, such as love. They either didn’t know if they were going mad or were constantly a disappointment (depending on the character) but still found the strength to fight. It was very close to Kaz Brekker’s view of his disability and Wylan’s (see link for a reference point) inability to read. It was an instant connection to my mental adventures.

You’re about to say you are sorry. Don’t, please. He sighed. People get so squeamish about the <wheel> chair, about me being in the chair. They shouldn’t, you shouldn’t, he said with emphasis. I’ve been in it for most of my life. I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t. It’s part of who I am, but it is not the only thing that defines me.

What I wouldn’t give to experience/perceive my being Bipolar, the anxiety, depression, and ADD with such strength as Kaz and Alexander.

Review and SummaryThank you to Delacorte and Penguin Random House Audio for the advanced audio arc of House of Roots and Ruin by Erin Craig, which releases July 25

Next, let’s talk about the gothic/fantasy/mystery that is everything in House of Roots and Ruin. I was thrilled and enchanted by the genre-bending. At the heart of this paranormal fantasy story are multiple mysteries. They up the ante on the intrigue throughout the House of Roots and Ruin, making it an unstoppable read. Just clear your calendars. And even within that, there is more to love—the ideas around being free to live your own life and having the ability to choose your life.

Moreover, Verity’s struggles to decide what reality from the paranormal make her very likable. So many have told her different things about who she is and what she is limited. That alone made cheering her on a blast.

The world-building and creation of Verity’s visions were stunning. Although it was said to leave the world where House of Salt and Sorrows is centered, Erin Craig makes up for it by creating a new and vibrant world for House of Roots and Ruin.

My Review of House of Salt and Sorrows

There are times you might see some of the twists coming. However, it is fantastic when a writer gives you just enough to think you’ve figured it out. Meanwhile, there is so much in the greater picture you get sideswiped on. On the same note, it was said not to (mostly) have so many of the characters we loved in House of Salt and Sorrows present. Erin Craig again makes up for this by creating a new set of characters. Whether you love them, hate them, or just don’t know what to think at certain points of the story? You will be entranced by the new and familiar. Although introduced later in the story, some characters even bring a bit of psychological thriller to House of Roots and Ruin. And that is all I can say about that! 😉

Lastly, I want to mention the ending (no spoilers). Let’s just say I am dying for a third book in the Sisters of the Salt series. My mouth caught bugs from how far open it was due to the ending. Anyone who loved House of Salt and Sorrows will be thrilled by House of Roots and Ruin.

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