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The Buried and the Bound (The Buried and the Bound Trilogy, 1) (edition 2023)
by Rochelle Hassan (Author)
The Buried and the Bound (The Bound and the Buried Trilogy, 1) by Rochelle Hassan
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A dandy dark fantasy with plenty of supernatural critters, three teens bound together by their efforts to defeat an utterly evil hag and secrets that affect all three. I'll be very interested to see what happens in the sequel. ( )
As the only hedgewitch in Blackthorn, Massachusetts—an uncommonly magical place—Aziza El-Amin has bargained with wood nymphs, rescued palm-sized fairies from house cats, banished flesh-eating shadows from the local park. But when a dark entity awakens in the forest outside of town, eroding the invisible boundary between the human world and fairyland, run-of-the-mill fae mischief turns into outright aggression, and the danger—to herself and others—becomes too great for her to handle alone.
Leo Merritt is no stranger to magical catastrophes. On his sixteenth birthday, a dormant curse kicked in and ripped away all his memories of his true love. A miserable year has passed since then. He's road-tripped up and down the East Coast looking for a way to get his memories back and hit one dead end after another. He doesn't even know his true love's name, but he feels the absence in his life, and it's haunting.
Desperate for answers, he makes a pact with Aziza: he’ll provide much-needed backup on her nightly patrols, and in exchange, she’ll help him break the curse.
When the creature in the woods sets its sights on them, their survival depends on the aid of a mysterious young necromancer they’re not certain they can trust. But they’ll have to work together to eradicate the new threat and take back their hometown... even if it forces them to uncover deeply buried secrets and make devastating sacrifices.
The Buried and the Bound is a YA fantasy about Aziza, a teenage hedgewitch, and her newfound friend Leo, whose family has been cursed for an unknown reason. When a hag goes after Aziza - and, by extension, Leo - through her conduit, a teen named Tristan, they make unlikely allies and team up to rid the city of Blackthorn from the hag's dark magic.
There is a lot to like about this book. I sometimes feel like characters can get lost in all the goings-on of fantasy fiction, but this story definitely feels like it is character-driven instead of plot-driven. Even so, that doesn't mean that the plot drags - far from it, as there is a lot of ground covered in relatively few pages. Hassan manages to almost perfectly balance these two factors, and the result is a lush story that the reader can really sink their teeth into, regardless of where their interests lie.
I believe this is the first in a series; this first book certainly does set things up well for additional installments, and not all the loose ends are tied up by the end - in a good way! I'll definitely be a reader of the next in the series, and look forward to returning to this world and these characters in the future.
Thank you to NetGalley and Roaring Brook Press for providing a copy for review.
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