Iris Villiers lives in gloomy Belerion Hall with her mother, crazy grandfather, and twin brothers. The house is surrounded by legends, standing stones, and ancient tombs that the family still uses to bury their dead. Growing up and listening to all the old legends, Iris comes to believe in the Cornwall superstitions, much to her brother's consternation.
Then tragedy strikes the family, and Iris becomes unhinged, using the old legends to commit a horrifying act.
This is a very short book, but it packs quite a punch. It's seriously spooky in that deliciously Victorian, subtle manner, and ended in a way that I did not expect and found deeply disturbing. It reminded a lot of The Mummy by Anne Rice (click here for my review), both atmospherically and story-wise.
Plus the book is absolutely gorgeously illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne--the reproduction of the cover here really does not do justice to the detail of the illustrations.
This book is a little too short to be a thoroughly engrossing read, but it is a quick bite of spooky narrative that is well-worth picking it up, especially if you're a fan of the Edwardians.
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