I don’t think I’ve ever really read a dark gothic fantasy novel before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. From the first page though I was taken on a ride and kept turning the pages of this short novel until I was done.
It’s about a young maid, Eliza who works for the Norlane family. Her life is miserable, taunted as she is by three sisters who are particularly horrible and nasty. The parents are little better and Eliza lives in constant fear and with nowhere else to go she must endure the harsh life of cruelty. Her only ally is the cook who dotes on Eliza treating her like a daughter. But even she can’t protect Eliza.
The story builds as we are drawn into the darkness entering Eliza’s mind as she senses something else is watching her. Her fear is palpable and the dark forces surrounding her and the house builds the tension right until the gruesome end.
I’ll admit it was a tough one to read not because it’s not well written, it is, but because of the subject matter. It’s disturbing and dark. But the author does a great job to immerse us into the dark world. The world building is exceptional and despite the hot summer day when I was reading, I felt the cold, dank and wet setting. The forest is particularly eerie and I wanted to stop Eliza from going into it.
“The wind whipped harder, its whistle more a song in her ear. She could have sworn upon the bible itself she heard a voice in it.”
Yes, I’m still recovering but then I am a bit of a scaredy cat. If you like dark fantasy then this one might appeal.