Book Review, Death, Fantasy, Ghosts, Horror, Jane Eyre, Paranormal, Romance, St. Martin's Press, Suspense, Urban, YA Fiction

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood


What the heart desires, the house destroys.

Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.

Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda 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, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.


I learned about this book from a publisher PR crowdcast and I’m so glad I picked it up. The magical and dark retelling of Jane Eyre is genius as two opposites fight a curse that threatens everyone they love. Will a young debtera apprentice be able to save them all?

Andromeda’s strength is phenomenal as she wades through a sea of sinister secrets, prejudices, and terrifying monsters to find love where she least expected it. Her lonely life and need for a job have led her to get rid of the Evil Eye living inside Magnus Rochester. Her education was not complete as a debtera before her mentor Jember abandoned her and she soon realizes she is in over her head. But she has enough hope and optimism to make her new plan work…even if it kills her.

The story is a wonderful and gripping infusion of fantasy, horror, and romance all wrapped up into one as people disappear one by one in a household filled with fear and menace. 

The suspense is intense and the characters are intriguing as I waited with bated breath to find out who would survive and who would meet their painful and terrifying end.

Thank you to Ms. Blackwood for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Within These Wicked Walls

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Lauren Blackwood is a Jamaican American New Yorker living in Virginia who writes Romance-heavy Fantasy for most ages. When not writing, she’s a physical therapist assistant and violinist who really doesn’t know how to settle on one career field. Her debut YA novel, Within These Wicked Walls, is a NYT/Indie Bestseller and the Reese’s Book Club Fall 2021 YA Pick.

Follow Lauren on her website, Twitter, and Instagram.