within these wicked walls – lauren blackwood | arc review

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

Published October 19th 2021 by Wednesday Books
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Retelling
Representation: Ethiopian-inspired


Rating: 4 out of 5.


What the heart desires, the house destroys… 

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.


trigger and content warnings:

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

As an unlicensed debtera, cleaning the Thorne Manor from the Evil Eye could be a breakthrough in helping Andromeda establish a career as an exorcist. This Ethiopian-inspired retelling of Jane Eyre features a young woman who has nothing much in the world except her own skills and determination. Since I’m not entirely sure of the original tale, I recognised some of Jane Eyre‘s elements in Within These Wicked Walls.

The dire situation at this gothic-like mansion soon worsened as servants started disappearing. The curse within Magnus and the manifestation of the Evil Eye would consume the household if nothing was to be done. Lauren Blackwood created a creepy atmosphere as the manor is filled up with dark possessions in different corners and rooms.

As the story progresses, Andromeda slowly found her footing as a debtera. She reacted quickly to dangerous situations by keeping her wits close to her. Although afraid of the evil that roams the halls, Andromeda was determined to purify Thorne Manor and save Magnus.

For the romantic development between Andromeda and Magnus, it was a little too quick for me. However, I still enjoyed their banters. Magnus was often oblivious about his surroundings but Andromeda found him attractive. I wasn’t too attached to any of the characters so this didn’t affect me too much.

While Andromeda falls in love and cleanses the castle from spirits, she has problems with her mentor and only father-like figure. To say the least, it’s awkward and complicated and rocky. Throughout the whole book, Andromeda reflected upon her childhood with Jember. The knowledge she had about cleansing and being a debtera was all from Jember. The dynamic between Jember and Andromeda was pretty interesting since they felt distant but close at the same time.

I don’t often read books in the horror genre, since it’s out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I picked up Within These Wicked Walls. It reminds me of Mexican Gothic which I read not long ago. They had pretty similar vibes.

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2 thoughts on “within these wicked walls – lauren blackwood | arc review”

  1. omg i’m loving the consistent posting so much !!! and i keep hearing a lot about lauren blackwood’s books so i actually can’t wait to read this soon. definitely going to the top of my tbr and your review was amazing to read🤍🤍

    Liked by 1 person

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