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The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story…
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The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow (edition 2018)

by Alyssa Palombo (Author)

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16714145,859 (3.82)4
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.… (more)
Member:MaLeigh710
Title:The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow
Authors:Alyssa Palombo (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2018), 432 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow by Alyssa Palombo

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I have never read THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Washington Irving. I have seen Tim Burton's movie Sleepy Hollow and parts of the TV series Sleepy Hollow. So, my knowledge of the story of Sleepy Hollow is based on that. Which made this story feel pretty different and slightly less paranormal from what I expected. Not that the story lacks a supernatural angle, for which I'm grateful since I love some magic in a story.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Jul 23, 2022 |
The main title of this book is very misleading - there isn't really a "spellbook" at all, and any witchcraft is faint at best. The vast majority of the novel focuses alternately on the love story between Katrina Van Tassel and Ichabod Crane, and later on the mystery of Ichabod's disappearance.

There are some spooky elements and I can see how this would be fun to read in autumn, with the wind moaning through the windows. However, if bodice-ripper romances aren't your thing, you probably won't care much for this book. ( )
  bookwyrmqueen | Oct 25, 2021 |
I have a weakness for re-tellings. This one had me completely sucked into the story from the first line:

Washington Irving got it wrong.

Katrina Van Tassel tells her story. All the characters are there.....Ichabod Crane, Brom Van Brunt, the Headless Horseman. Only the tale doesn't unfold as Washington Irving told it. Katrina meets Ichabod, immediately forming a friendship with the new schoolmaster, which soon turns to romance. They begin sneaking off into the woods to meet. But the schoolmaster really has nothing to offer....he's poor and has no social standing. Katrina's father prefers his daughter choose Brom Van Brunt. But, Katrina wants nothing to do with him. Then Icabod disappears. With the help of her friend Charlotte, Katrina searches to find out what happened to Icabod....all the while worrying that the ghostly headless horseman might not be just a legend.

I loved getting the story from Katrina's point of view. She enjoys Icabod's company because they have similar interests, but she is afraid she will be forced into a marriage with Brom because of money. In a time where women were controlled by their families, Katrina wants a life with someone she can love. When Icabod disappears, she is determined to find out what happened to him, even if she has to call on the witchy talents of her best friend to accomplish it.

The Legend of Spooky Hollow is one of my favorite spooky reads for fall. This story puts a brand new spin on a favorite classic tale! I loved it! I feel the author stayed true to the feel of the classic, while giving it a completely new direction. Definitely a great book to read in October!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from St Martin's Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.** ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
Do you know the Legend of Sleepy Hollow (a real place, by the way), and the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman? Alyssa Palombo weaves her well-researched tale, along with several others, through the pages of The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassal: A Story of Sleepy Hollow, in a fun romp through the local area, complete with secrets, romance, and strong, well-drawn female characters. Perfect for this time of year, the haunting story doesn’t fall short of raising a few goosebumps along the way. It culminates in a satisfying ending that leaves the reader feeling the air of mystery Sleepy Hollow is known for and that still captures the imagination these 200 plus years later. ( )
  LoriFox | Oct 24, 2020 |
I will admit, if someone told me a week ago that I would like this book more than I liked A Blade So Black, I wouldn't have believed them. But, here we are! I saw this book pop up on a friend's Goodreads feed and was intrigued (shout out to Kate, who has the best spooky book recommendations of anyone I know!). A retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow that gives Katrina Von Tassel more agency and adds more badass female characters to a spooky story I love? YES, PLEASE!

Story- Katrina Von Tassel is the only child of a wealthy farmer living in Sleepy Hollow. Her father wants her to marry Brom Van Brunt, her former childhood friend who she now hates because of how he treats her best friend Charlotte. When the new school teacher Icabod Crane shows up in town, he and Katrina hit it off right away. Soon, a flirtatious friendship turns into a passionate forbidden romance. They sneak away for some sexy alone times and try to work out a plan to get married, despite differing social statuses. On Halloween night, Icabod disappears. It's rumored the Headless Horseman took him away. Devastated at the loss of her love, Katrina makes some difficult decisions to protect her reputation. She and Charlotte work together, using witchcraft and visions, to figure out what exactly happened to Icabod Crane.

I loved Katrina in this book. No offense to Christina Ricci, who did what she could with the role, but it needed MORE. This is the more the character needed. Spunk, realism, intellect, determination and ambition are all characteristics this version of Katrina has. Seeing her have some agency in her life and what happened was refreshing, especially compared to her character in the original version, which was just "pretty girl with a big inheritance."

The author, Alyssa Palombo also adds two other fantastic ladies to Katrina's inner circle. Charlotte, Katrina's best friend, works with her mother as an doctor and apothecary, mixing up herbs for medicines. Her and Katrina's friendship is wonderful and refreshing and was my favorite thing about this book. Other books with female friendships, take note. This book is a great example of how to write a female friendship.

Nancy, her nursemaid, is also a wonderful addition. She's a great ally and second mother to Katrina. Her backstory made my heart ache and she truly cares for Katrina.

Katrina's romance with Icabod is also more rewarding here than it is in the original story. He's not just a guy after her father's money. He loves her for her character, too. The story does follow the original story with Icabod's disappearance, which is heartbreaking here instead of just a creepy conclusion in the original.

Even the golden boy of the town, Brom Bones, gets some complexity added to his character, which was refreshing. He still sucks, as he does in pretty much every version he's in, but it was great to read more about what makes him tick. His character is also an interesting send up of toxic masculinity.

Let's not forget about that spooky Headless Horseman, who is worked into the plot of this story very well. No spoilers for how he plays into the narrative, but it works for the story being told here. I adore both the Disney and Burton Headless Horsemen, so this one had a lot to live up to.

Palombo's research into 1700's New York is also fantastic. When reading this book (and I highly recommend you do, if you're looking for a great Sleepy Hollow adaptation or for something spooky), make sure you find one with Author's notes. I had a blast reading this book, an adaptation done right.

( )
  rkcraig88 | Jul 15, 2019 |
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Alyssa Palomboprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kreinik, BarrieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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