When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll


“A castle, a killer, and prey all bound and blurred by lust and blood.”

Like many before her that have never come back, she’s made it to the Countess’ castle determined to snuff out the horror, but she could never be prepared for what hides within its turrets; what unfurls under its fluttering flags. Emily Carroll has fashioned a rich gothic horror charged with eroticism that doesn’t just make your skin crawl, it crawls into it.


  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Paperback
  • 72 pages
  • Expected publication: June 19th 2019 by Koyama Press (first published April 16th 2019)
  • Original Title When I Arrived at the Castle
  • Edition Language English

My Thoughts

The once was a girl that lived in a deep and damp and dark celler…

Caroll has crafted another beautifully atmospheric and decadent novel that skirts the line of horror and the gothic. A curious and courageous cat-eared girl braves the castle of a vampiric countess with plans to destroy her. Plans change and go pear-shaped when the strange catgirl instead finds that the countess is waiting for her. Soon, the girl is sent into a maze of tragic fairy tales and stories that she must claw her way through holding as best she can on to her purpose and sanity. The tales trapped behind red doors, the house, countess, and her; all is not what it seems.

This story is a rich work that you need to read a few times to get all the meanings. It is beautifully executed, much is conveyed in the simple palette of three colors; bone white, black, and blood red. It is gothic; ornate when it needs to be and simple when it doesn’t. The backgrounds are simple with repeating patterns, but still very useful. It is a hauntingly scary work for a short graphic novella much in the style of her other novels (Out of Skin, Through The Woods) and shouldn’t be missed.


I received a copy of this from Edelweiss+ in exchange for my open and honest review.

About the Author

My name is Emily Carroll, and I was born in June of 1983. I grew up in London (Ontario) but moved to Vancouver for work after graduating Sheridan College’s Classical Animation program. I have since moved back to Ontario, and now live in Stratford with my wife, Kate Craig. We have a very large cat


  1. bingingonabudget

    Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to check this book out. Do you have any book recommendations for spring?

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