I’d been eager to read Lakesedge since it was released, but when I didn’t get to it last year during the “spooky season” I knew I wanted to wait until this years spooky season – and what better month to read this gothic fantasy than October!
Author: Lyndall Clipstone
Series: World at the Lake’s Edge #1
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Romance
Violeta (Leta) and her younger brother Arien are orphans, and the woman who cares for them doesn’t much care for them. You can tell it’s them against the world. When Arien begins to show signs of dark magic Leta does all she can to hide it and protect her brother but she can’t hide him forever. When Rowan, Lord of the Lakesedge estate, is in their town and sees Arien’s displays of magic, he pays off the woman caring for him to take him away – Leta fighting her way in to go with her brother.
Lakesedge is said to to be haunted, as it’s rumored Rowan drowned his entire family there to become Lord of the estate. Rowan needs Arien’s magic to help control the darkness, called the corruption, from taking over.
This story is a gorgeous lush gothic world. I loved the descriptions – this felt exactly as I would expect a gothic novel to feel and gave off all the right vibes.
Leta is rebellious and wants to help in her own way, but tends to cause more harm than good. She cares deeply for her brother, her only remaining family, and would do anything to protect him. She’s stubborn and towards the end she starts making some careless choices which have consequences. She was a bit of a frustrating character to read about honestly when you knew she was making poor choices repeatedly.
This is a gothic romance, so we can’t forget the romance. I enjoyed the gradual slow burn between Leta and Rowan. Leta is demisexual, confirmed by the author, and I love seeing that representation even during a time period when that wasn’t a word that was used. They slowly become closer while working to control the corruption and make things right.
The Lord Under, aka our big bad villain, is one of my favorite characters in this story even though we don’t see him too much. He reminded me of Luc from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, that tempting voice who knows what you want and will ask you what you’re willing to pay for it to get it. He was the most interesting character of this story to me!
The sequel, Forestfall, is out now but I’m unsure if I will continue with this series. Lakesedge does end on a cliffhanger but while I enjoyed this story, I didn’t love it and don’t feel that invested in it.
The audio narration for this was good, the narrator had a good easy to listen to voice and I enjoyed it! But I don’t think you’d be missing out if you read the print version instead.
I’m giving this 3.5* but rounding down to 3. Originally I was going to round up to 4, but after thinking on this more, I’m going with 3. (Half star ratings WHEN Goodreads!?) This gave me the gothic fantasy romance vibes I was looking for for October – maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace when reading this and my mood affected my thoughts – but it wasn’t the best thing ever.
Still, if you’re looking for a gothic fantasy with wonderful world building and descriptions, I would recommend giving this one a try!