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Within These Wicked Walls: A Novel Hardcover – Oct. 19 2021
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
REESE'S BOOK CLUB FALL 2021 YA PICK
"Lauren Blackwood’s can’t-miss debut is a magical, Ethiopian-inspired remix of Jane Eyre." - Harper's Bazaar
What the heart desires, the house destroys...
Andromeda is a debtera―an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron―a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities.
When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. Never mind that he’s rude and demanding and eccentric, that the contract comes with a number of outlandish rules… and that almost a dozen debtera had quit before her. If Andromeda wants to earn a living, she has no choice.
But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, the reason every debtera before her quit. But leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option because―heaven help her―she’s fallen for him.
Stunningly romantic, Lauren Blackwood's heartstopping debut, Within These Wicked Walls, ushers in an exciting new fantasy voice.
"An intricate magic system, a grimly humorous Black heroine, AND a heart-thumping romance? This book leaves nothing wanting." - Jordan Ifueko, New York Times bestselling author of Raybearer
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
REESE'S BOOK CLUB FALL 2021 YA PICK
INSTANT INDIE BESTSELLER
A NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 KIDS' INDIE NEXT PICK
"Lauren Blackwood’s can’t-miss debut is a magical, Ethiopian-inspired remix of Jane Eyre." - HARPER'S BAZAAR
"[A] creepy, immersive, romantic and thrilling retelling." - MS. MAGAZINE
ESSENCE, "19 Black Children's Books To Share With The Little Ones In Your Life"
BUZZFEED, "26 New Science Fiction And Fantasy Books To Read This Fall" and "18 Epic Fantasy Books Starring Magical Black Leads"
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, "Hot New Books with Hollywood Appeal"
POP SUGAR, "Best Books of 2021"
CULTURESS, "21 exciting YA book releases we can’t wait to read in Fall 2021"
BOOKISH, "20 YA Books by Black Authors for Your 2021 TBR"
BOOK RIOT, "20 Must-Read 2021 Young Adult Fantasy Releases", "New YA Retellings to Fall Into", and "Something’s Amiss: 12 of the Best Gothic YA Books"
SHE READS, "Most Anticipated YA Books of Fall 2021"
GOODREADS, "The Most Anticipated YA Books of October" and "The 36 Most Anticipated Upcoming YA Novels"
POP SUGAR, "The 55 Best New Books of October" and "11 New YA Books You Won't Want to Miss This October"
DEN OF GEEK, "Top New Fantasy Books in October 2021"
BUSTLE, "The Most Anticipated Books Of October 2021" and "9 Must-Read New Books Out This Week"
EPIC READS, "24 Books to Read After You Watch ‘Fear Street’"
GREATIST, "20 of the Best Fantasy and Sci-Fi Novels in 2021"
"A fast-paced and heart-wrenching tale...Perfect for lovers of light horror, romance, and suspense, Within These Wicked Walls will be a surefire pick for the coming autumn nights." - BOOKLIST (starred review)
"Stunning... An inventive, original, and legitimately scary debut, this is a must for fans of witchcraft, horror, and romance." - NERDIST, "Contemporary Witchy Reads for a Magical Spooky Season"
"Blackwood’s eerie, evocative debut fully embraces its gothic lineage and brings a welcome contemporary feel. The book is sure to lure readers in with the promise of hair-raising chills and passionate romance." - THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
"Mesmerizing." - BUZZFEED, "18 Horror Novels About Ghosts You Won’t Put Down"
“This action-packed novel draws inspiration from Jane Eyre as our fearless heroine must conquer the supernatural...and survive.” - GIRLS' LIFE MAGAZINE
"...a deliciously dark and creepy Ethiopian-inspired romantic retelling of Jane Eyre with a pop of grim humor." - BUZZFEED, "Celebrate Black Love During Black History Month With These 20 YA Books"
“A dazzling retelling of ‘Jane Eyre,’... promises readers a fantastical, edge-of-the seat, swooning-over-Magnus kind of experience.” - THE SEATTLE TIMES
“Within These Wicked Walls is the best sort of historical fantasy… leaves Jane Eyre in the dust.” - LOCUS MAGAZINE
"Blackwood’s storytelling skills and the worldbuilding and fantasy components of the novel will intrigue readers... A promising debut." - KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Within These Wicked Walls is an indulgently Gothic fairy tale, comparable in mastery with Mexican Gothic and Jane Eyre. An intricate magic system, a grimly humorous Black heroine, AND a heart-thumping romance? This book leaves nothing wanting." - Jordan Ifueko, New York Times bestselling author of Raybearer
"Within These Wicked Walls adds a haunting new landscape and a chilling curse to Jane Eyre’s magnetic romance and searing chemistry. A Gothic retelling, and a true original." - Anna Bright, author of The Beholder
"Fierce, eerie and heartfelt by turns, Within These Wicked Walls is a romantic and spine-chilling reimagining of a classic. I loved every creepy, swoon-worthy moment of it." - Laura E. Weymouth, author of The Light Between Worlds
"Lauren Blackwood's Within These Wicked Walls is the Jane Eyre retelling I didn't know I needed, and everything I needed it to be. Atmospheric and moody, with sharp subtle humor and romance, Andromeda's story is engrossing and unputdownable. This Jane Eyre isn't your average classroom read; it is so much more than that." - Rachel Simon, Newton Free Library
About the Author
- Publisher : Wednesday Books (Oct. 19 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250787106
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250787101
- Item weight : 300 g
- Dimensions : 13.67 x 2.84 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #179,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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Andromeda is this version’s Jane who comes to Thornfield, to Rochester — Magnus, in this case — not to be a governess but to exorcise the Manifestations that are haunting the castle, and it’s master, from an inherited curse. I don’t know that I ever fully understood how she was capable of doing this, it involved goggles and a welding pen (steampunky, almost, I guess) to make amulets that were suited to each element of the curse, and then.. voila. She takes this job, what she learns is an impossible job, to guarantee her patronage and recognition as a debtera aka exorcist. But, much like the original, Magnus is often distracting Andi from her job, longing for attention, lonely and entitled, and fascinated by this person who resists him, speaks truths to his face, and is also fiercely capable.
From then on I won’t say which parts are new or true or how it all plays out but honestly other than a few scenes that I think tried too hard to force themselves into the original story.. this was totally captivating. I maybe would’ve liked to see more build up to their relationship, maybe because I enjoyed their earlier prickly interactions so much and didn’t feel as much chemistry after a certain point, but the rest of the story, the world, kept it strong. There was a secondary relationship that I thought was both adorable and also maybe took some focus away from other dynamics I would’ve liked to be stronger but.. it helped humanize, and soften, a character that definitely needed it. And made some later moments perhaps a little more believable.
Vague vagueries, oooh, spooky.
If you want a somewhat dark, atmospheric, yet also occasionally playful, diverse fantasy, that happens to harken back to a well known classic tale, you should absolutely have this not only on your radar but on your TBR. Considering this is Blackwood’s debut, I can’t wait to see what she cooks up next.
Andromeda is desperate to make a living since the abusive man that raised her has just kicked out. Andromeda is a debtera, someone who cleanses homes from the Evil Eye. In her desperation, Andromeda takes on an impossible job that no one else would dare to touch. When she meets her handsome new employer, Andromeda slowly realizes that her task will be much harder than she had imagined. She also suspects that her boss is hiding a lot more than he let on.
I loved Andromeda’s character. She’s tough, funny, and very determined. Magnus was a great character as well, a bit slow to recognize his privilege but ready to charm Andi’s socks off. Their relationship was very insta-lovey, which is probably my only critique of this novel. Otherwise, I loved it.
I also liked that the author eased into the story rather than present lots of info-dumping and world-building. The world-building is there, but it’s gradual.
I will definitely pick up anything else that Lauren Blackwood decides to write.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Top reviews from other countries
The house is overtaken by the Evil Eye, which reveals itself in hideous ways. These include manifestations but more insidiously in a form that stalks at night. Andi must use her amulet-crafting skills to ward and exorcise the evil. Of course, falling in love with the owner was not in her plans, but he becomes irresistible to her. Delightfully, Magnus is both the love interest and the comic relief and their flirty encounters are blissful. The setting of the novel is shown in the words, mentions of food, and types of dress. Themes of parental love, sacrifice, and faith are included.
TW and CW: blood/gore, physical violence, animal attack,
Thanks to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the e-galley. My reviews and ratings are my own.
*Since writing this review, I have purchased a personal copy. This review is still based on the e-galley.
Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2021