Monday, March 5, 2018

House of the Lost by Sarah Rayne

I finished another Sarah Rayne book! Now that I’m done, I’m pretty sure it’s a reread but it’s been long enough that it feels new to me.

When Theo’s cousin is murdered, he inherits Fenn House, where he used to spend his summers. Deciding that this would be a good place for his creative muse, Theo relocates to Fenn House. But his story deviates from plan and Theo finds himself writing about Matthew and Mara, two children living in a bleak and dystopian world. The more Theo writes and investigates, the more he realised that all that he’s writing is based on reality. And more pressingly, someone seems to be after him as well.

This story is the one where the dual plot-lines connect from the start. Theo is writing Matthew’s story, though he isn’t sure where the story is coming from. That made it slightly spooky, although the reason why he knew all this is grounded in reality. That said, when it was other people relating parts of Matthew's story to Theo, the switch to Matthew/Mara's POV felt a little strange since Theo wasn't actually writing.

As usual, I was entertained and a little horrified by this story. Matthew and Mara lived in Romania and they experienced some truly horrifying things. I guess sometimes, the scariest things are those that are rooted in reality.

That said, this book is the most ‘adult’ of Rayne’s in terms of themes that it deals with. Apart from the torture, there are pretty explicit sex scenes inside (explicit for her, anyway). So if stuff like that makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this.

Overall, I would recommend this book to people who are interested in dark stories rooted in history. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but it’s an absorbing read and I was not disappointed by it.


  1. I can see why you described this as dark after reading your review. It does sound dark--and creepy. I think it's interesting how the author presents part of the story--through Theo's writing of Matthew's story. And the historical aspect interests me also. I will have to give this author a try.


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