Some secrets cannot be kept—in life or in death.
Months have passed since Rune has heard a single whisper from her long-dead mother, the great witch of Bavaria. But the absence of one evil has only made room for another.
After rightfully inheriting her ancestral home, Pyrmont Castle, Rune settles into a quiet life taking care of two orphans left in the wake of the terrible witch hunt that claimed dozens of lives in the nearby village. As the days grow colder, the castle’s secrets beckon and Rune finds herself roaming where no one has set foot in a long time. In the bowels of the fortress is a locked room full of memories that hang like cobwebs—shelves stacked with jars, strange specimens, putrid liquids, and scrolls of spells. Rune is undeniably drawn to what she finds there, and she begins to dabble in the possibilities of magic, hoping to find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.
As secrets unspool, the delicate thread of Rune’s world is threatened when she realizes the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew.
Castle of Sighs by Jennifer Murgia is book two of the Forest of Whispers series and if you haven’t read book one, you should consider checking it out. Murgia wrote a story about witches and magic while also tying in a bit of history to create something that had me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next.
When this book opens, Rune is staying at Pyrmont Castle and taking care of two orphans who were left after the witch hunt. As she settles in, Rune feels a pull to certain areas of the castle but as she begins to dig into the secrets of the castle, her mother, and Mathilde she finds out the secrets might be more than she is ready to handle.
I don’t want to say too much about the actual story as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone but I will say that Murgia creates a wonderfully creepy atmosphere in this book. The way Murgia revealed the secrets added to the creepiness of the castle and I loved all of it.
One of the things I liked in addition to the story was the growth I saw in Rune. She has definitely faced some dangerous situations and each time she does, she becomes stronger. Her ability to face things she doesn’t necessarily want to face is something I like about Rune and she does this throughout the entire book.
Laurentz has a role to play in this book and I loved that we were able to learn more about him. His secrets are revealed once Rune begins to dig and I thought Murgia tied everything together in a way that not only made sense but kept the story moving. Laurentz wants to protect Rune but he knows she needs to find the answers she is searching for.
So I’m hopeful this review isn’t too vague and gives you a sense of how well done this series is. Murgia does a wonderful job of creating a story that has solid characters and a great, atmospheric feel to it. If you are looking for something that will have you wondering what the real story is throughout the book, definitely check this series out. Murgia weaves together a story that has wonderful writing and an interesting plot which kept me turning the pages to find out what was coming next.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy!