Author: Emily Carroll
Publisher: Koyama Press
First Published: April 16, 2019
Genres: Erotic Horror, Horror
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.
When I Arrived at the Castle is an erotic gothic horror that is as gruesome as it is decadently beautiful. The color palette is striking; sharp black and white with gratuitous splashes of red. The colors work perfectly with the lascivious artwork, many of the panels draw the reader’s eye to the character’s mouths and breasts. The line between arousal and obscene is very fine, creating an intensely uncomfortable atmosphere right from the start.
The plot is sparse but highly suggestive, the pace makes the story feel disorienting, which is precisely what makes it creepy. I read it a few times to really soak the story in, and I appreciated it more with each re-read, but the bare-bones plot will easily be the most divisive aspect of this work. I can see why readers either love the mystery, inserting their own interpretations, or end up confused without any solid explanations.
When I Arrived at the Castle is a graphic novel that is not to be missed and is another impressive piece by Carroll. The author has a talent not just for eye-catching art, but also for storytelling. This story in particular feels like a modern fairy tale, it is disturbing but strangely mesmerizing without the need for bloated plot or dialogue.
“’Who are you?’ asked the girl… ‘Who are you?’ asked the cat.”
Trigger Warning: Nudity, Sexual Content, Gore