I’m back with a book review today and it’s a book that I really, really loved reading! Hazel & Holly is the story of two young sisters (I imagine them to be in their 20s) who are witches. They are trying to save their mother’s soul which has been trapped by their father, a warlock who practices necromancy. I know, it sounds really dark, but it’s actually got a lot of whimsy to it. The whole necromancy bit is the only dark part to it and it’s still done in a very fantastical, whimsical, magical way and not a dark, creepy way. If you don’t know what necromancy is – it is the art of raising the dead.
Hazel and Holly live in a place called The Grove and decide they need to venture out of the place they’ve lived their entire life to track down their father and get him to free their mother. With the help of two warlock brothers, Hemlock and Hawthorn, and a cellar gnome (good at stealing as long as you pay him in beer) they venture out of The Grove and in to communities that welcome necromancy which is very unsettling to them.
The way the towns like Sarnum (a place where necromancers live) are described actually made me think of the movie Sweeney Todd. While The Grove is described as lush and green with woods and gardens, and rolling hills – Sarnum is described as a darker city with street lamp lined streets with blue flames. If you’ve seen Sweeney Todd, you know the city looks kind of dark and grey with that unsettling vibe.
The quartet travel around, trying to find clues and people who might lead them to Ash – Hazel and Holly’s father. Every lead they find always seems to lead them to a road block and it becomes increasingly clear to Hazel that she may need to dip her toe in necromancy as well in order to find her father. But can she practice something she has spent her life abhorring and believing to be completely wrong and immoral? If she does it, even if it’s for the greater good (freeing her mother), can she ever go home to The Grove – a place where necromancers are not allowed? Will her sister and new friends (and love) ever forgive her?
I would love the novel to continue in to a second book. It could definitely be a series. When reading the little note from the author at the end of the book, I learned that she started the story as a weekly fictional series on her blog, which as a blogger I think is so cool! And as many of you know, I’d love to write a book one day – if I could just turn one of my many ideas in to an actual story – so I find this really inspirational!
If you are in to whimsical, fantasy stories then Hazel & Holly is worth a read!
*This novel was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.*