When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll

Much like Through the Woods, this story starts off with moody atmosphere that grows until it grabs you by the throat and chokes you.

  • TitleWhen I arrived at the Castle
  • AuthorEmily Carroll
  • IllustratorEmily Carroll
  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Young Adult
  • Publication Date:  June 2019
  • Publisher: Koyama Press
  • Rating: 4 stars


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


This is the second graphic novel I’ve read of Emily Carroll’s, the first being Through the Woods, which I loved.

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.

Emily Carroll again delivers a disturbing and gory narrative, complete with illustrations that drink from a well of the macabre. Disturbing at the very least, the narrative follows an unnamed feline girl who journeys to the castle where a beautiful, but menacing, countess lives. This countess reminds me of Elizabeth Bathory, though no mention of blood-bathing is made in the story.

But this countess is not what she seems – and neither is our unnamed character. The two battle it out in a way, though I’m unsure exactly what is going on – not in a bad way, but in a disturbing and Twilight Zone way. The ending is twisted and left open to interpretation.

I’ll be reading more of Carroll, no doubt about it.

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