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Publisher's Summary

A lush gothic fantasy from debut author Lyndall Clipstone about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.

When Violeta Graceling and her younger brother, Arien, arrive at the haunted Lakesedge estate, they expect to find a monster. Leta 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.

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.... 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.

©2021 Lyndall Clipstone (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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Insufferable main character.

The main character is insufferable. She treats everyone disrespectfully, even her brother, who she'd supposedly do anything for. She ignores him when he tells her to stop and what he wants. She loses it, going way beyond hysterical, and attacks the male lead when she sees him walking with her brother and a woman she seems to trust upon first meeting her. And for some reason, everyone loves her even when they are temporarily upset with her. Though she doesn't even need to apologize and can keep making the same "mistakes" and bad judgment calls over and over and over, and still earns their forgiveness.

The male lead just randomly falls in love with her even though she's unhinged and keeps secrets just cuz she wants to and doesn't have any reason to. It doesn't make any sense why she expects everyone to just trust her when she doesn't trust them enough to tell them anything they deserve to know.

I also didn't understand how she went through the first third of the book acting like she didn't know what she did a few years prior, and then suddenly she just remembers all the details after acting clueless for so long. it doesn't make any sense for her to pretend to herself she didn't know any of it for so much of the book, only to spend the next third of the book, intentionally keeping every detail about it from everyone else and then slowly telling them a few details here and there.

And somehow the end of the book reveals that she's the most special snowflake to ever exist, and she acts like she also knew that the entire time. This could have been a great gothic story if the brother had been the main character and Letta just never existed.

The amount of time the word "litany" is used in this book is over the top. After a while, it felt like it was at least once a page or more.