Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Review—The Spellbook Of Katrina Van Tassel (A Story of Sleepy Hollow) by Alyssa Palombo

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: October 2, 2018
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars

About The Book

When Ichabod Crane arrives in the spooky little village of Sleepy Hollow as the new schoolmaster, Katrina Van Tassel is instantly drawn to him. Through their shared love of books and music, they form a friendship that quickly develops into romance. Ichabod knows that as an itinerant schoolteacher of little social standing, he has nothing to offer the wealthy Katrina – unlike her childhood friend-turned-enemy, Brom Van Brunt, who is the suitor Katrina’s father favors.

But when romance gives way to passion, Ichabod and Katrina embark on a secret love affair, sneaking away into the woods after dark to be together – all while praying they do not catch sight of Sleepy Hollow’s legendary Headless Horseman. That is, until All Hallows’s Eve, when Ichabod suddenly disappears, leaving Katrina alone and in a perilous position.

Enlisting the help of her friend – and rumored witch – Charlotte Jansen, Katrina seeks the truth of Ichabod Crane’s disappearance, investigating the forest around Sleepy Hollow using unconventional – often magical – means. What they find forces Katrina to question everything she once knew, and to wonder if the Headless Horseman is perhaps more than just a story after all. In Alyssa Palombo's 
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel nothing is as it seems, and love is a thing even death won't erase.

I truly enjoyed Palombo’s take on a classic tale—Sleepy Hollow. We’ve all grown knowing the story and the infamous Headless Horseman. What’s makes this book so interesting is hearing the story told from Katrina Van Tassel. The object of Ichabod Crane and Brom Van Brunt’s affections. What we get is a forbidden love affair between Ichabod and Katrina—and ultimately the disappearance of Mr. Crane. What’s Katrina to do when the love of her life is missing?

I thought the book started or a bit slow but quickly picked up. I was anxious to get to the part where Crane disappeared, partly because I like a good mystery. Knowing this is a retelling you can kind of get the feel of who it is from the very beginning but it’s still able to bring a fresh take on the original story. Katrina and Ichabod are true love and everything it involves. The only problem is that he’s a lowly teacher and won’t ever be able to provide Van Tassel with anything of worth. That’s all according to society and her own father—who shares with us that Katrina is the wealthiest heiress around. 

Which means that Brom makes the better suitor. Brom sucks though. He’s a terrible character and so many times I wished I could punch him in his smug mouth. Katrina is a feminist through and through. She was strong,
independent, and knew exactly what she wanted. I liked how feisty she was. It was amazing watching her put the
men in her life in place. Overall, I thought the book had the perfect amount of romance, eeriness, and the creepiness that made Sleepy Hollow such an amazing read to begin with. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest an unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK 

About The Author
ALYSSA PALOMBO is the author of The Violinist of Venice and The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence. She has published short fiction pieces in Black Lantern Magazine and The Great Lakes Review.  She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively.  A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. She lives in Buffalo, New York.


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