In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
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.
I started this book with not the lowest expectations. And still this book didn’t disappoint, it was even better than I had anticipated! I thought that this was going to be an angsty YA fantasy book, for which I have been in the mood to read these past few weeks. And it definitely was that, but it was also so much more. There were even some horror aspects in this book which I didn’t see coming and the whodunit factor was also amazing. To round it up this was basically the perfect spooky October fantasy read!
I have to admit one thing to you all and that is that this was my first ever retelling that I read. And I haven’t even read the original, but I did watch the Barbie movie about the 12 dancing princesses about a hundred times, so that counts right? I absolutely loved the 12 dancing princesses aspect! It was done so well and it was also just so clever.
This whole book was basically super clever. It set up to be a certain story but then turned out to be a completely different story. And I was not mad about that. This book really blew my mind. I had expected that this book would go a certain way and that there would be a certain killer etc. but all my predictions were so wrong and I loved that. I hate it when I can predict the entire plot of a book.
There were a lot of characters in this book, and they were basically all girls. I was very afraid that I would constantly mix them up, especially since their names were all a bit the same, but for some reason I didn’t mix them up. I don’t know how the author did that, but I knew who each character was and they each had their own personality traits. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator also did a great job of giving each character their own little voice, but still remaining not annoying. Because a lot of different voices usually annoy me. I especially loved the voice she did for Verity! But the narrator was just a good narrator, so I don’t really have any complaints for her.
The only reason why I’m giving this book a 4.5 star instead of 5 stars is because the middle of the book felt a bit too slow to me. The action in the story could have been spread out a bit more. Because we got a lot of information towards the end and at the end of the book. But that also made the ending so good, so I’m not sure how the author could have made the middle a bit more interesting or action packed.
Overall I really recommend this book, it’s one of the best in its genre.