Title: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow
Author: Alyssa Palombo
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Page Count: 432
My rating: 4 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.
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow by Alyssa Palombo is of course a retelling of Sleepy Hollow told from the point of view of Ichabod Crane’s love, Katrina Van Tassel. With the fantasy of the headless horseman, the romance of Ichabod and Katrina all wrapped in the historic setting this one was a must read and couldn’t come at a better time of year leading into fall and the Halloween season.
The story begins as Ichabod Crane comes to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to become their new school teacher. Katrina’s parents own the largest farm in the town and hr parents often play host to newcomers or those passing through the town so Ichabod comes to their home to stay until suitable arrangements can be made for his lodging.
Katrina and Ichabod find that they have a lot in common with their love of reading and music and before they know it they are falling in love. However, with Ichabod only being a schoolteacher the pair fear Katrina’s father may not approve of their marriage as he’s had his eye on the son of another wealthy farm owner at Katrina’s dismay.
I absolutely enjoyed reading this retelling from Katrina’s point of view and immediately became totally engaged in the era and their romance. I would warn readers that this one is a bit heavy on the historical romance and lighter on the fantasy but being someone that enjoys a bit of everything I didn’t mind at all to wait for the witchcraft and more spookier happenings of the book. Definitely great read this time of year and would recommend checking this one out.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
ALYSSA PALOMBO is the author of The Violinist of Venice and The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence. 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. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her friends, traveling, or planning for next Halloween. She lives in Buffalo, New York, where she is always at work on a new novel.