Title: Hazel and Holly
Author: Sara C. Snider
Publisher: Double Beast Publishing
Release Date: May 16, 2019
Book Source: NetGalley
“Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice elemental magic, brew mystical potions, and lock their cellars against beer thieving gnomes. Life is quiet and uneventful. Well, except when Hazel’s long-lost father uses necromancy to trap her dead mother’s soul.
That simply won’t do. Necromancy is forbidden in the Grove, and for good reason too. Nobody wants filthy corpses shambling around, mussing up one’s garden. Hazel is determined to find her father and undo his treachery.
But despite Hazel’s plans of becoming a one-woman army, she can’t do everything alone. It’s not until wild sister Holly convinces her to leave the house for once and go to a party that Hazel finds a pair of unlikely allies in two bickering warlock brothers.
Together, the four of them go on a journey that takes them out of the Grove and into a world where necromancy reigns and the dead won’t respectfully stay in the grave. Hazel will do whatever it takes to stop her father and save her mother’s soul. Even if it means turning to necromancy. Even if it means losing her friends. Because they would never help a necromancer. Would they?” Amazon
I really enjoyed this book! My only tiny problem was the four main characters all having names that start with H. At times my mind would just get confused, and I would have to stop and remind myself the oldest siblings have HA names, and I would sort myself out for awhile.
But don’t let this stop you from reading Hazel and Holly, and hopefully enjoying it as much as I did.
This fantasy, which I can see becoming a series, has all the essentials to make it epic. A witch with an impossible mission, learning more about herself and being tempted into great evil. Throw in an entourage of friends, each with unique abilities and insights, and you get a fast paced, very entertaining story.
Sara Snider does a fantastic job with the world building. There are numerous books and movies that I’m sure people will compare this story to, but for me, I kept thinking of the movie Labyrinth. I think my mind equated searching for a baby brother, with Hazel looking for their father, and Hoggle reminded me of their cellar gnome, Tum.
Snider also does a wonderful job with the character’s development. Even the secondary characters are well rounded, and not just used in the story for filler. The four main characters continue to grow throughout the book, and I hope she continues this into a series, because I would love to continue getting to know them.
A fabulous fantasy, that I highly recommend.