REVIEW: Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

When traipsing on over to the blog to write this review I typed Lakesedge into the search bar. As anyone who knows me will tell you, that is an endorsement in and of itself. I was singularly focused on communicating why you need this book and I am never focused.

First things first, I've wanted to read Lakesedge from the moment I saw one of Lyndall's signature spooky meets heartache posts about it. For those of you who are just here to see

me wax chaotic and don't know the synopsis:

"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."

What's that sound? Oh, just my anguished wailing that we don't have a cover yet. Don't mind me.

So, it's not hard to guess that I gave this book 5 stars. But you probably want to know why. I'll tell you everything if you add it on Goodreads ( preorder it when able

...done yet?

Ok, here are the juicy details.

Lyndall's prose is luxurious. Poetic yet easy to parse. Like wrapping yourself in the softest furs and magically knowing no animals were harmed in its making. Everything she describes is visceral - there's a particular injury that I'm still thinking about months later. It haunts me at random.

The magic system weaves into the world seamlessly, through lore, and religion, to the darkened shore of the lake--through the blood in someone's veins. *wink* *wink* Altogether, it formed incredibly compelling stakes that had me gripping my chair arms and yelling, "how are we supposed to come back from this?"

My husband was very confused.

But I know what you're really here for. It was pretty much my main concern too. THE ROMANCE. This book is pitched as a Gothic Fantasy Romance so if that element didn't cross your mind until now...what exactly were you thinking about?

I don't want to spoil anything because you, dear reader, deserve to experience it as I did. But the romance was as delightful as it was delicious. And like all good romances, when things went sideways, it cut to the bone and left me breathless.

Bottom line is, I love this book and I cannot wait to read its sequel Forestfall (

Here's an aesthetic to celebrate the occasion of you adding BOTH books on Goodreads.

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