Cait’s Review of “House of Lies and Sorrow” by Emily Blackwood

By: Cait Marie


Jade Farrow will die tomorrow.

Her fate was decided years ago, when her useless father made a deal with the greedy fae king to save his own life. Now, she is being sent to marry one of the five ruthless fae princes. The only problem is that she is not the first human to marry a fae prince. And like every human wife before her, Jade is going to be killed before she can find a way out.

Malachi Weyland is the heir to the fae throne. It’s the reason his brothers have despised him all these years, and it’s the reason his father is adamant on finding him a human wife. Malachi has one job, and that is to unite the fae and human lands. But Malachi has a secret, and it’s one that gives him his rightful name amongst both the human and fae lands: The Prince of Shadows.

Jade and Malachi are faced with life-or-death challenges as Jade is thrown into Malachi’s world. Will she die just like every wife before her? Or will Malachi, the same fae who is feared across all of Rewyth, be the one to save her life?


This book has been on my radar for a while, and I was excited to finally jump in!

It starts off with major ACOTAR vibes. I mean, the beginning is almost identical with the human girl hunting to feed her sister, then she’s taken to across the wall to where the fae live. It has a lot of similarities in the world building and basic set up, except it doesn’t have as much detail and descriptions. So, I’ve told a couple people that if they like ACOTAR but aren’t fond of how lengthy the books are and how slow parts can be, this book might be better for them.

While it starts off similar, the story itself is very different. Jade is essentially sold to the fae to marry the crown prince, who is rumored to be a vicious killer. He has been married a few times before, and none of the wives make it longer than a day. She has pretty much accepted her fate, but when she gets there, she finds out things aren’t what she expected. A lot of what she’d heard about Prince Malachi was just rumors; he isn’t killing his wives but trying to find who is murdering them. So, he’s extremely protective of her while looking for answers.

Jade herself is a fighter. Once she realizes he isn’t going to kill her, she starts cooperating and looking for the murderer too. She’s a tough human who will do whatever it takes to protect her sister back home, and her marriage ensures her safety.

Jade and Malachi together are interesting. They are very clearly both drawn toward one another, but they refuse to act on those desires–Malachi because he doesn’t want to care for a human, and Jade because she has feared the fae all her life and doesn’t want to admit they might not be the horrible creatures she always believed them to be. Because of this, there are hints of a future romance subplot, but this first book is extremely slow burn. It’s not the focus at all.

The two main characters felt well developed, but the rest felt a bit lacking, to be honest. The story wasn’t too fast paced, but it could have been expanded a little more to give readers a fuller experience. We do get some of Malachi’s sister, Adeline, and his guard/friend, Serafin. However, their backstories were all but missing, and the rest of the side characters were shown in brief scenes that didn’t give us much.

There were times in the book where I felt like I had been thrown into the story without enough information, or like I missed something. For example, they kept saying things like, “especially after what happened to Laura,” and I gathered that she was one of the wives who was killed, but it didn’t actually say that. Nor did we ever find out what happened. It would’ve been one thing for it to have been casually mentioned once around the time of the wedding, but it was mentioned a few times throughout the book, making it seem important. And the first couple times, I was asking, “Wait, who’s Laura?” It almost felt as if I’d accidentally skipped a book or short story or something to introduce this world and the characters.

We also never really learned why the wall exists between the humans and fae. What happened between them? Are there other fae kingdoms? At one point, a sister kingdom is mentioned, but then it seemed as if that kingdom was for humans. I don’t know. So, I’m just really curious about this world and its history.

I know there are at least a couple more books in this series, so I’m assuming a lot of this will be answered in time. As an author and editor myself though, it was kind of difficult to ignore these things that are typically explained in the beginning of a series. Of course, more should be revealed as the series continues, such a specifics about the histories, but I like having at least a general knowledge of a new world early on.

The writing itself was well done. It was easy to read, and because it wasn’t bogged down with details and it was fairly quick paced, it was a quick read. With it being easy to get into, plus the mystery of who was killing the human wives, it was difficult to put down. I just wanted to keep going.

That being said, it was fairly predictable. I still wanted to be sure I was right in my guess, but the plot was kind of simple and straightforward. There was a pretty big twist though, which was intriguing. So, I got the who right, but the why hasn’t really been explained. It’s not why one assumes, that much I know.

This book was good and fun, and I will definitely be reading the next one. I think it could’ve been developed a little better, but that didn’t deter me. I really believe it’s one of those series that will get better as it continues.

It reminds me of my reaction the first time I read Shatter Me. The first book was a bit too fast for me and underdeveloped, but it ended up being one of my favorite series that I reread frequently. House of Lies and Sorrows gives me that same feeling–that I’ll like the next book more.

I can’t wait to dive into book two and see where this story goes!

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