Today I’ll be reviewing Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone. I went into this anticipating a gothic novel, but there wasn’t much that made me like this book. I’ll be discussing why I didn’t like this book in this post.
About the Book
Title: Lakesedge • By: Lyndall Clipstone
Published on: 12 Oct 2021 • By: Titan Books
Pace: Fast • Pages:400 • Age: 15+
Series: World at the Lake’s Edge #1 • Genre: YA Fantasy (Romance)
Song: You Are Not Alone by Rok Nardin
A lush, gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake, perfect for Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer fans.
When Violeta Graceling and her younger brother Arien arrive at the haunted Lakesedge estate, they expect to find a monster. Leta knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster is what they seem.
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… 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.
ADD TO GOODREADS
I received a copy of this book from Titan Books courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Rep: Queer (SCs), Brown (SC)
First off, I wish we had a third-person narrative because reading the story through Leta’s perspective was very frustrating. She was impulsive and dived into reckless situations without even blinking when everything was at stake undoing others hard work in the process. She trusts strangers almost immediately and makes utterly stupid bargains with the Under Lord, which comes at a steep price, and does she learn from her mistakes? No, not at all. She goes ahead and makes more dreadful bargains that made their lives miserable.
The Monster of Lakesedge was just a 19-year-old boy who wasn’t intimidating as Leta made him sound. He was just another teenage kid with rumors tied to him. The only time he could be called the “monster” was when he had those episodes where he’d lose himself to the poison in his body and have no control over it and hurt anyone near him with his claws. Besides that, he seemed like a normal teenager to me. He was working hard to end the Corruption that was spreading from the lake because it was poisoning everything it touched. He saw Arien as a key to finding a solution to put a stop to the Corruption since his shadows were somewhat similar to his.
While Rowan and his alchemist Clover helped Arien learn Alchemy, our girl Leta was finding ways to undo their hard work by making bargains that were utterly useless and thereby putting others lives in danger.
Let’s talk about the setting. In gothic novels, the atmosphere sets the tone for the book. There wasn’t much to know about the Lakesedge estate except for the dark lake, garden, and some of the leaking rooms in the mansion. I must say, her dreams were a bit spooky because the lines between reality and dreams were becoming thin. Other than that, the book didn’t bring out the gothicness of the story.
Finally, it’s time to speak about the Lord Under. He was known for his infamous bargains. When he tries to offer anything, it’s always not a straightforward bargain. His go-to answer for anything is bargains, and Leta is reckless enough to fall for his bait. What I couldn’t stand was when the Lord Under, who is presumably the strongest fearsome person. says that Leta has the power to end the Corruption because she was his equal without any explanation or details to back up his claims. I dislike novels when they don’t elaborate much on a character’s powers in Fantasy novels. This book lacked depth or any kind of development that would have made these characters stronger and solid.
There wasn’t much I could take away from this story. Leta’s actions were repetitive, and it was up to no good. She seems to have the power to end the Corruption, which even the Lord Under couldn’t do, without any explanations, so I don’t buy it. The romance felt insta to me. We know she’s attracted to him from their first meeting, and their relationship was bound to happen anyway. Moreover, there was hardly any room for character development, and I’d have loved to see the story through others’ POVs. In short, this book wasn’t for me, and I don’t think if I’ll be reading the next book in this series.
This darkness before me isn’t a wound. It’s a path. And I have to follow.
TW // Self Cutting Imagery, Child Abuse, Suicide Attempt, Drowning, Blood
“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri
i see a lot of my own thoughts mirrored here. i didn’t feel like this novel really gave me anything to take away from it. it was so repetitive, which made it hard to get through. i enjoyed the gothic setting but that’s about it.
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Glad that I’m not the only one who felt like this about the book. Even the setting fell short for me, but good that you enjoyed it.
I’m sorry you didn’t like the novel – I’ve seen a lot of people echo your points. It’s a shame that it wasn’t as Gothic as you hoped/as the synopsis made it out to be. Really articulate review 💛
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Thank you, Saima🧡 It’s disappointing when a synopsis misleads a reader😔
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[…] Making dumb bargains became one of my disliked tropes after reading Lakesedge. It was not like it was terrible but I lost the patience to put up with the mc who came across as […]