Nestled within an enchanted forest is the Grove, a community where witches and warlocks practice natural 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?
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What a delightful story! Witch sisters Hazel and Holly must set their mother's soul free from the necromantic bonds that hold her in limbo. Their father, the necromancer who entrapped their mother, disappeared from the sisters' lives years ago. To free their mother they must find their father. Hazel and Holly is full of whimsical fun and sweet characters that really have to grow and challenge their own beliefs. It's unusual to find a book with a YA tone that features older main characters--Hazel is twenty-three and Holly seventeen. It's SO refreshing to read about older characters. We in our early twenties are seriously neglected from both adult fantasy and YA. (And I mean seriously, your early twenties ARE your young adult years!!) I'm twenty-two and it's just really nice to find a book with characters my age that isn't about having kinky sex in a college dorm. Another fabulous plus side? SISTER WITCHES! I loved the bond between Hazel and Holly--they aren't perfect girls nor perfect sisters, and their flaws only make them more human. Their relationship throughout the book is so sweet and natural. They really fight for each other, though they bicker and don't fully understand one another. The witchcraft in this book is also so wonderfully explored. The dynamic of prejudice within their communities based on which type of magic you practiced was so interesting, and really created a lot of development for our characters. I would totally be a Wild witch (the dominion of animal-speaking!) just cause it's so dang adorable. But the rest--Weaving, Wyr, Hearth, and the abominable Necromancy--are all so intriguing and woven so deftly into the very fabric of the story, it's hard to pick a favorite. They really set the mood. If you've been looking for a witchy book with a cozy, recluse-in-the-bright-woods sort of atmosphere about siblings and family, UH this one is definitely for you! The romance in this book is one thing I thought was also really refreshing. Each sister has her own very distinct personality, and they’re still learning about themselves. I love a good romance plot and was not disappointed! But I also appreciated that crushes were just crushes, and don’t always progress into all-encompassing love. That’s something that’s built on compatibility and trust. Each sister has her own foray into the world of love, and it’s just a good message all around! A copy of this ARC was provided by the author through Netgalley for an honest review! Thank youuu!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the E-Arc copy of this novel. It is funny and wicked rolled up together. I loved Hazel and Holly. I am hoping to read more from this author.
Hazel and Holly is the perfect novel for those who love witchcraft and magic. Living in a little place called the Grove, Hazel and Holly are sisters trying to find their way in a world without their parents. Their mother, Willow, passed away but has been trapped in a geas by their necromancer father. And now, Hazel has made it her mission to track down their father and make him release their mother’s soul so she may finally be at peace. Filled with quirky characters and a compelling storyline, Hazel and Holly is the best of the magical worlds. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however, I did get a bit frustrated with the sisters here and there. Through making bad decisions and generally being annoying, they eventually became some of my favorite witches to read about. There were a few moments where it felt as if the story dragged a bit but it quickly picked up again. I was expecting a epic ending to their journey but found it a bit anticlimactic for me. However, I do believe Snider left it open for more adventures from these two witchy sisters. Something I hope she delivers soon. Look for Hazel and Holly to hit shelves May of this year! **I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.**
Thank you to Double Beast Publishing for the arc of this book. I absolutely loved this book, a great story of two sisters and two brothers going on an adventure and along the way they find themselves, you have the strong sister Hazel, and the soft scatterbrained sister Holly, then you have their unlikely friends brothers Hemlock and Hawthorne, and we can’t forget Tum, he gave me so many laughs in this. I hope there will be a second book, I would love to see how they develop.
First of all, I must confess that I was a bit skeptical at the beginning of this book, simply because I'm not fan of Paranormal genre or Witches themed stories. Still, I gave it a try - and I do not regret it at all! Since English is not my native language I can not evaluate it (language) in the right way (as I do when I read books in my native language), but still I can see that writing style is good - let me even say heterogeneous - there's no excessive repetition and story is running and unfolding well. Also, I like authors sense of humor and this is first book in a while that made me laugh out laud (Sara, thank you for that). I also read some reviews by other people (mostly on Goodreads) and thing that caught my eye was that people are dissatisfied with unfolding of story, which they describe as slow or boring. The thing is that I like it just the way it is! At the beginning of story plot is unfolding slowly - yes. In some moments I caught myself wandering about why that part is even important for the plot. But let me say - everything is there with a purpose, and you will discover that purpose only if you continue with reading. Thing is that you simply must accept the dynamics of the book and enjoy how characters develop as the story goes. In one moment you will found yourself tied and you will rush through story do discover what will happen. The world in which this story is located is magical. It remembers me on Alice in Wonderland, but also of Jane Austen and Brontë sisters stories (let me just point at Hawthorn's "perfect manners"). I like the idea of elemental magic and "specialization" that each character have in it. "Botanical" names of inhabitants of Groove are simply amazing, and I think there should be some kind of preface that will point on that. As I said, English is not my native language, so I discovered this thing about names completely by chance, and I think it would be a pity for readers to miss it. When it comes to charters I will not talk much because I don't want to spoil reading for others. I love how opposite sisters Hazel and Holly are at the beginning and how they develop and change. "Everything changes regardless. It's just it usually happens too slow for most people to notice."
I mean my name is in the title, how could I not read and review this guys? We are immediately introduced to a pair of adventuring sisters (also witches), Hazel and Holly who live in a cute little place called the Grove. Pretty fitting, right? It's very picturesque and the author does a great job describing in detail the whimsical environment. Unfortunately their mother, Willow, has passed away and they are tasked to find their father who has the power of Necromancy as he has trapped their mother's soul.. which causes some inconvenience. This story has a very lighthearted feel to it that I really enjoyed. There is nothing complicated, nothing too busy and convoluted. It's a pretty simple story about witchcraft and potions and sorcery. It's a tale about a quest that will definitly take you on an adventure to meet strange creatures and characters. If you are looking for a quick read with a sense of humor, I'd recommend this one!
Fantastic book! I was gripped and enjoyed seeing the characters grow and learn who they are. It was good to see the decisions they made and why they did. I’d certainly recommend it! I want to know more!
I picked this one up mostly based on the cover, but this time it was quite indicative of the actual experience. It’s a fun and quirky read that doesn’t require a lot of input from the reader but does put its characters through some paces. While the characters’ personalities can be divisive, they do go through strong character development. This story started out as a serial on the author’s blog, which contributes to the easy reading method, as you can jump in and out quite easily and as required. For me, I kept coming back for the characters and their interactions, rather than a strong wish to find out what would happen next. Still, the plot moves along quite well and has plenty of twists and turns. Overall, I’d recommend this book for anyone who is looking for: - vivid locations: lush, and drab, and grey, and mystifying, and everything in between - two sibling pairs where the respective siblings could not be more different from each other but still (come to) appreciate the other - elemental magic systems y’all - pet familiars who are sweet and clever - golems who range from sweet and clever to intrusive and spoilers - questioning of existing magical systems and rules, especially why we pit dark against light and why dark would be bad p.s. i wished we could’ve seen more of the experience of the one character who is confirmed as not straight in the text - it’s there as subtext throughout only to be confirmed at the end, and it would have been great if that could have been explored more.
Awesome sister duos always hold a very special place inside my heart, so I'm super glad I got to add this one to the bunch! Hazel & Holly by Sara C. Snider was a lighthearted and entrancing read. With all the talk about about witches & warlocks, necromancers & dangerous magic, I was expecting and was even a little excited for a dark read...but that's not what I got. Instead, this book brought out the quirky angles of fantasy, which I absolutely loved! I so look forward to more of this author's work and recommend this book to friends.