Louisa Ditton has escaped an intolerable boarding school to become a fortune teller and petty thief when she’s found by an old woman who offers her steady employment and a warm bed. Louisa accepts—thinking that her destination, Coldthistle House, will at least offer opportunities for stealing items of worth that she can then use to move on to bigger and better things.
The book begins with a prologue that states, “My name is Louisa Rose Ditton. I work and live at Coldthistle House, a house for boarders and wanderers. A house owned by the Devil.” The statement is made a year after the book’s action takes place, so readers know what they’re getting into as they plunge into the pages. The first page also explains that the people who come to board at Coldthistle House are certain to die, and the house’s staff are there to speed that process and clean up the messes that result from the guests’ deaths.
Despite the dark backdrop, HOUSE OF FURIES manages to be an inviting story. Roux’s main characters are devils, demons, changelings, and other otherworldly creatures, yet they are somehow largely likeable. In contrast, the human characters are despicable at best, and truly deserving of their gruesome fates. Louisa is a strong female character who has always wanted to fit in somewhere, and when she finds the place where she fits in best, she’s none too happy with her situation.
HOUSE OF FURIES has constant action while fulfilling the duty of the first book in a series: it sets the tone, gives the background, and builds the characters for the future books. Although it leaves some gaps through the course of the story, those plot holes aren’t huge, and I suspect they’ll be filled in subsequent books. As noted, there is plenty of blood and violence throughout the book, but it’s not all that scary. If you’re looking for absolute horror, this isn’t it, but if you want a good suspense story with a bit of magic and lore and some good, strong, and likeable characters, then dive in! I’ll certainly be looking for the rest of the series to pick up where Louisa left us in this one.
My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest review.
The first book in what promises to be a great series