fantasy · Reviews

ARC Review: Lakesedge | Lyndall Clipstone

Lakesedge (The World at Lake’s Edge #1) | Lyndall Clipstone

Page count: 384

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication date: September 28, 2021

Genres: YA, gothic, fantasy


A lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.

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.”

Thank you to the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Lakesedge was one of my most anticipated books of 2021, and it was pretty good! I had extremely high expectations (sorry, but did you read that synopsis??), which inevitably lead to a little bit of disappointment. Despite that, it was a darkly atmospheric read and perfect for spooky season!

I’m torn on the characters. Leta, our MC, had a surprisingly fun and refreshing sense of humor, but both she and the love interest, Rowan, had a bad case of one of the worst tropes–self-sacrifice. The world is being corrupted? I’ll die to save it! My brother is dying? Take me instead! Your shoelace is untied? Here, let me fall on this knife to fix it!

I loved what we saw of the worldbuilding, but I wish we knew more! There’s something about religion and holidays–what about the rest of the world? There must be some kind of government because Rowan’s a lord, so tell us more! What we know of the world is so interesting, I just wish there was a little bit more.

The very best part of this book was how gothic it was. I LOVE this 2021 trend of gothic YA fantasy books, and it was by far the strongest aspect of Lakesedge! It was incredibly atmospheric and made up for most of the other flaws of the novel.

I was not expecting a cliffhanger. I can normally deal with an end-of-book cliffhanger, but I wasn’t prepared! For some reason, I thought that Lakesedge was a standalone, but as we neared the end with too much story and not enough pages I started to sweat. After that cliffhanger, you better believe I’m coming back for book two!

All in all, Lakesedge had great elements and not-so-great elements, but the strong gothic atmosphere made up for everything else!

Do you have any gothic recommendations?

2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Lakesedge | Lyndall Clipstone

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