Book review: Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

Published September 28th 2021 by Henry Holt and Co


A gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake.

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.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Violet in the woods.

Lakesedge is a very lush and gothic story. Every page, every sentence, every word are filled with poetic writing and vivid images. If you are looking for a book with deep submerging into the magical world – Lakesedge is your client.

I have to say, I always enjoyed stories woven with magic and lush descriptions. Gothic is one of my favorite genres. To add to the fact that I have read this book mostly at night, I felt the vibe quite thoroughly. The story flows slowly but you feel every second of it. Dark water flowing down the walls, mud that can’t be washed out; the feeling of wild magic and the dark power of the underworld.

Lakesedge feels like a world beyond imagination, the one you would want to find yourself in but also fear the monsters that lurk in the water.

The characters – main and secondary have their own story to tell. Violeta and Rowan are the main ship in the story. Their relationship starts from enemies and progresses to doomed lovers. I loved the dark edge of the romance. Though Rowan was described as a monster a lot, I could not find it in me to label him an antihero. He is tender and soft and all his choices and mistakes were not for power but in the name of love. Rowan is a tragic figure and I have a weakness for cute damaged boys.

Violeta is a headstrong heroine who doesn’t shy from danger or challenge. I liked her. I did. But at some point the 1st POV narrative started to grate on my nerves because Violeta’s voice became too much: special snowflake syndrome kicked in and I found I couldn’t enjoy her voice quite as much as at the beginning.

Another of my favorite topics in the book is sibling dynamics. Here Violeta and her younger brother Arien make the most endearing couple. I wanted to cry from the way Violeta protected her little brother and how he also wanted to protect her even though she didn’t fully understand that need. My heart stays with these two.

The rest of the crew have the potential to open up more in the sequel and I hope they won’t be just another filler for the main characters’ stories.

All in all, I do not have much to say about Lakesedge because this book should not only be read but felt. It’s hard to describe in words how a seemingly simple plot turns into a magical vortex when added with beautiful prose. Lyndall Clipstone is definitely an author to look at in the future. And meanwhile, I am preparing myself for the sequel, hoping that it would exceed my expectations and come up on top of my favorite reads in 2022.

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