What worked: This is a spellbinding twist on the classic fairy tale Twelve Dancing Princess. This story though is darker and much more satisfying! Add mythological seafaring gods, a mystery, and a charismatic stranger, all set on a rocky island.
Usually when a book has numerous characters, it's confusing to know who is who. Craig though shows us the sisters in such a way a reader doesn't get confused. Annaleigh is strong, courageous, and not afraid to follow her heart. She also has a forgiving heart and tries to make her new stepmother feel more welcomed.
The magical dances are the stuff of fairy tales. Annaleigh is swept up in the dances, but later feels something isn't quite right. When her father tells his guests, during a holiday celebration, that he'll give them their choice of any of the sisters if they can find out the mystery behind the tattered shoes, a change sweeps over the household. A change that has tragic and surprising reveals.
I loved the Wuthering Heights feel of Annaleigh and the mysterious Cassius. Readers can sense that he might in fact be more than he's letting on. There is a definite chemistry between the two.
Captivating Gothic fantasy where a family curse might be much more.