Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

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.

*****

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

Review:

A quiet, gothic story with a cursed manor, a dark god, and a boy with a curse. With titles like Summer Sons and A Lesson in Vengeance, 2021 has been on a roll with it’s gothic stories. I picked up Lakesedge on a whim, going with with zero expectations and found myself enchanted by this quiet haunting tale

Violeta, Leta, Graceling and her younger brother Arien are hiding a curse, one that’s been slowly threatening endanger Arien to the rest of their small village. When the lord of their town gets wind of this curse, the two are abruptly whisked off to Lakesedge Manor, where the two quickly learn the origins of this curse, and how to stop it.

Like the other gothic books I’ve read this year, I found what makes or breaks a story is the atmosphere, the vibes. Do I feel suitably ensnared in the mystery, balancing on a knife’s edge between enchanted and horrified? With Lakesedge, that answer is absolutely a yes. There are some especially vivid scenes early on, when Leta is first learning the ways of Lakesedge and first uncovering its dark secrets in a dream-like manor, that were so beautifully disturbing. The descriptions of the feeling of drowning, the enveloping darkness, and the siren-like lures Leta experienced were just beautifully crafted.

I was surprised to find myself so endeared to this set of characters. Lakesedge is told in an almost fairy-tale like manner, so there’s a degree of separation from the characters and the reader, yet something about Leta and Arien’s sibling bond struck me in a way I haven’t really experienced before. I loved how much they were willing to do for each other. Additionally, Leta and Rowan’s budding yet antagonistic relationship was a ton of fun to read!

If I had to give a critique, it would be that the worldbuilding felt empty. In part, I think, due to how short the book is. In this world, there exists the Lady and the Lord Under, who represent life and death. However, that’s about the extent of what we learn of them, There’s very little on their origins or how widely spread their worship is, or any details about the Lady in general. Likewise, we learn very little about the world Leta lives in other than her village, the Lakesedge Manor, and some talk of foreign countries with magic.

Overall, I rate this book a 4/5. The gothic atmosphere is delicious and the characters well written and fascinating. And of course, there’s the dark and sexy Lord Under (big fan). The one thing I wished was that the worldbuilding could have been expanded on, but the story did an excellent job staying within a small confined setting.


r/Fantasy 2021-22 Bingo Squares:

  • 1st Person POV
  • Gothic Fantasy
  • Published in 2021
  • Forest Setting

Publication Date:  28 September 2021
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 384
Word Count: ~94,000
ISBN: 1250753392 
Buy It Here: Amazon | Google Books | Barnes and Nobles | Goodreads

3 thoughts on “Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

  1. I’ve been reading this as Lake – Sedge and thought that was a very weird title but ok. Kind of publishers to supply so many gothic books when it’s a bingo square :))

    Liked by 1 person

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