Author: Lyndall Clipstone
Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Where can I get this? Goodreads | Booktopia | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble
Recommended for: fans of gothic romance fantasy, fans of For the Wolf, House of Salt and Sorrow, fans of flowery writing
CW: emotional + physical parental abuse, body horror, gore, exploration of death + grief, drowning, self-injury (e.g. cutting)
Check out the Goodreads synopsis below!
A lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.
There are monsters in the world.
When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.
There are monsters in the woods.
As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…
There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.
Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.
• Dark, gothic read incorporating a simple yet beautiful writing style. The beautiful descriptors evoke a rich and eerie atmosphere. Normally, I enjoy a straightforward type of writing, but here the narrative was fun and easy to read.
• Intriguing premise with promising concepts—magic? Broody love interest with a mysterious past? Suffocating atmosphere and spooky mansions? Yes, please!
• I know I mentioned how I enjoyed the writing, however, I understand that it won’t be for everyone. The flowery language paints pretty pictures and can get repetitive if you’re not a fan or think about it too closely (I don’t know what silt and shadows taste like? And I’m not sure I want to…)
• Whilst I somewhat like the main character, she can seem a bit too self-sacrificial at times and her poor choices™ did frustrate me more than once. I also didn’t appreciate how she never communicates anything with anyone!! Despite promising her younger brother that “we’ll figure things out together” she runs out and does things herself with no consideration of anyone. I really empathise with her younger brother. How can someone be so “selfless” and selfish at the same time??
• I really enjoyed the first part of the book and then… arghhh!!! Why did I think this was a stand-alone??
𝐈𝐧 𝐚 𝐧𝐮𝐭𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐥, 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞:
✔ monster boys
✔ sibling love
✔ eerie atmospheric reads
“𝐈’𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫.~ 𝑳𝒚𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑪𝒍𝒊𝒑𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒆, 𝑳𝒂𝒌𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒅𝒈𝒆
𝐈’𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐡𝐮𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫.
𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭.”
Please note: This is NOT a stand-alone.
𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐬: first love, sacrificing yourself for others
𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫: fans of gothic romance fantasy, fans of For the Wolf, House of Salt and Sorrow, Down Comes the Night
𝐂𝐖: emotional + physical parental abuse, body horror, gore, exploration of death + grief, drowning, self-injury (e.g. cutting)
Thank you to @NetGalley and the publisher (Titan Books) for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦: 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘊𝘰𝘱𝘺 (𝘈𝘙𝘊) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.