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 something darker seems to have been awakened, as well.
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 she will find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.
And the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew.
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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite If you want to scare yourself with a long night of creepy fun, then curl up with a copy of Castle of Sighs by Jennifer Murgia. Witches, both dead and alive, evil spirits, and mystery combine to create an almost 'made for TV' book about the supernatural. The story begins in the winter of 1628 in a creepy castle in a creepy forest. Rune is a witch by blood, but she is in no way a bad person. In fact, bad people and bad things want to dominate her, change the course of her life, and steal her heritage. There is nothing more frustrating than watching someone born to power but is ignorant of how to use that power. Part of the fun of reading Castle of Sighs is watching the lovely young Rune slowly come into an awareness of who she is, what she can do, and who her enemy is. Jennifer Murgia does a good job of walking us slowly through this tale of suspense. The children and their particular mix of innocence and knowledge are especially well done. I’m guessing Castle of Sighs is a sequel because there are a lot of references to Rune’s dead mother, the witch Matilda, and traumatic events from Rune’s childhood. It might not be a bad idea to read that first novel before you read Castle of Sighs in order to fully comprehend the story but you don’t have to. Castle of Sighs is a good read in and of itself.