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Within These Wicked Walls

by Lauren Blackwood

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1216187,600 (3.96)1
"An intricate magic system, a grimly humorous Black heroine, AND a heart-thumping romance? This book leaves nothing wanting." -Jordan Ifueko,New York Timesbestselling author ofRaybearer What the heart desires, the house destroys... Andromeda is a debtera--an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. Shewould 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. "Fierce, eerie and heartfelt... a romantic and spine-chilling reimagining of a classic. I loved every creepy, swoon-worthy moment of it." - Laura E. Weymouth, author ofThe Light Between Worlds… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I liked the spooky stuff very, very much. There was a cool, creepy system to learn about. I did not find the romance at all compelling. ( )
  bibliovermis | Feb 17, 2022 |
The horror stuff was cool, but holy cow both of the love interests were so immature. ( )
  Tikimoof | Feb 17, 2022 |
An unusual tale that felt like I was riding an escalator that periodically went over an invisible rock. Andromeda and Jember seem to have little save for antagonism between them when this story begins. He's trained her as a debtera, but was abusive in the process and withheld the credential needed for her to work in her profession. When she's hired to exorcise multiple evil spirits in a remote castle, she's pretty much the last hope for Magnus Rochester who inherited the place. What, at first seems to be a straightforward series of banishings, becomes ever more complex, made so by murky history between Magnus and people living in the haunted residence, as well as a growing relationship between he and Andromeda. As bad things happen to people at the castle, the tension relating to what she must do in order to succeed at the task for which she was hired skyrockets, along with the revelation of more secrets about the players and their messy history. Everything comes together, but not without pain and loss. A very good tale for lovers of complex fiction with a blend of gore, romance and the supernatural. ( )
  sennebec | Nov 12, 2021 |
Darkness and evil form a hauntingly, deadly background for a young woman, discovering the world beyond the walls of what she's known.

Kicked out by her adoptive father and trainer to survive on the streets, Andromeda sees a job at a mansion in the middle of the desert as her only hope to finally find footing in her future as a debtera (an exorcist, who cleanses houses of the Evil Eye's influence). All other experienced and older debtera have failed, but she knows she was trained by the best. The horrors, however, are stronger and more deadly than any she ever even dreamed to be possible. She should give up before the house destroys her, but her one fault keeps her from leaving. She can't leave an innocent victim to fall prey to the evil, especially when her heart won't let her.

In some ways, this house reminds me of the one in The Amityville Horror but with a few major twists, since the evil isn't the house but connected to a cursed person. The horrors are terrible and dangerous, but still, it doesn't have the same scary atmosphere. Andromeda and those living in the mansion are well aware of the horrors surrounding them and try to deal as best they can. So, I don't see this one as horror or really even a real thriller. It slides more into a gothic or dark paranormal realm. And it does this masterfully.

Andromeda is a trained exorcist and a talented one. She knows her skills but also realizes when she might be in over her head...something which made me like her more. Her harsh past does add a bit of sympathy, but more so, it gives a solid basis to understanding her personality, which is packed with corners and sharp edges. And yet, she does have a soft side and a yearn for the one thing she never had, friends. It makes her likeable while still allowing the basis for her hard exterior.

I did almost lay this one down about half-way through (but am so glad I didn't!) There are horrors, which she has to extinguish but this started to get lost in the background of the romance and seemed to be losing the plot. But luckily, this lull was really only a couple of pages (for me) because it immediately swooped in with an unexpected twist and shot the action back up along with the plot. So, this hiccup (and it may have just been a personal thing) was cleared up so fast that it didn't hurt the read really.

Gore, death, and paranormal evil are unforgiving in these pages, which may not be the best for more sensitive readers. It is a dark story...not horribly cruel, though, either. Just lots of haunting, brutal (but not overly graphic) deaths, and violence. Anyone who enjoys dark paranormal tales with a young adult romance are going to enjoy this one quite a bit. I received an ARC through Netgalley. ( )
  tdrecker | Jun 30, 2021 |
Lauren Blackwood’s Ethiopian-inspired retelling of Jane Eyre is a thrilling, haunting, and emotional journey. It’s got gothic horror (murderous mansions and cursed souls); a swoony romance with delicious kissing; a fascinating magic system of exorcism; incredibly imaginative characters; and the beating heart of friendship, love, and family through it all. ( )
  sylliu | Jun 12, 2021 |
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"An intricate magic system, a grimly humorous Black heroine, AND a heart-thumping romance? This book leaves nothing wanting." -Jordan Ifueko,New York Timesbestselling author ofRaybearer What the heart desires, the house destroys... Andromeda is a debtera--an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. Shewould 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. "Fierce, eerie and heartfelt... a romantic and spine-chilling reimagining of a classic. I loved every creepy, swoon-worthy moment of it." - Laura E. Weymouth, author ofThe Light Between Worlds

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