The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan (384 pages)
Aziza is in Over Her Head in The Buried and the Bound
Aziza El-Amin, the sole hedgewitch in the tiny town of Blackthorn, was used to taking care of supernatural problems. She had been dealing with the fae and their mischief since she first moved to town three years ago. And yet, despite her knowledge and experience, Aziza was no match for the darkness that had begun to stir in the woods outside of town. Aziza decided that her only option was to go to the ancient hedgewitch who lived in the nearby forest. She had heard tales of the old woman’s wisdom and power, and so she set off, determined to find a way to protect her town from the encroaching darkness.
Leo Merritt had been born with a curse, but he never expected it to cost him his memories. He’d grown up in the magical town of Blackthorn, Massachusetts, where his mother was a powerful witch. But on his sixteenth birthday, the curse kicked in and left him with no memories—not even knowing what had happened to him. Everywhere he went, Leo felt the absence in his life—the memory of someone important whose name he didn’t even know anymore. It made being back in Blackthorn bittersweet; he had a lot of good friends here who would help if they could, but it also served as a constant reminder of what he was missing.
In a desperate attempt to learn the truth, Leo makes a deal with Aziza: if he joins her on her nightly patrols, she will help him break the curse. When the creature in the woods turns its attention to them, they must rely on the assistance of a mysterious necromancer whose trustworthiness is questionable. To protect their town and complete their mission, they’ll have to reveal dark secrets and make hard sacrifices. Together, they may be able to drive away this new menace.
Effective World-Building and Character Development
The writing in The Buried and the Bound was beautifully poetic, which perfectly captured the mysterious, thrilling atmosphere. The world-building was done subtly; rather than through a long info dump, it was incorporated into the narrative as readers went along. This book combines traditional fae stories with fresh ideas to create its own unique story. If you’re looking for something new and exciting but still have a fondness for fairy tales, this is the book for you.
I totally loved the characters. Each one was unique but still fit in with the writing style. Aziza was a brave and loyal protagonist, while Leo was looking for answers even after having lost memories of his love. He was also an innocent sweetheart. Tristan was moody but not at all in a cliché way. My heart broke for him and I wanted the best for him throughout the story.
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
After reading Hassan’s debut novel, Prince of Nowhere, I had to take a look at this one. It took me some time before the plot and characters captivated me. Aziza and Leo were instantly lovable, but Tristan I wasn’t so sure about. As the magical realm was revealed, its parts were connected in a fascinating way that hooked me in. Eventually, I couldn’t put The Buried and the Bound down and can’t wait for Hassan’s next wor
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Rachel Gomes is a 30-something high school English teacher who lives with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband and their son. Rachel is a voracious reader who loves to learn and has her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She’s happiest listening to podcasts and talking to friends about the latest news in nerd culture.
Favourite book: Don’t make me choose between A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter
Favourite brunch spot: The Farmer’s Table