Review: The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan

A library copy of The Buried and the Bound rests on a white marble table with a notebook, a gold pen shaped like a feather, and a candle in a tin.

Alexis:

Hello! 👋 I’m back! 

I feel like I haven’t posted a review in ages! (In reality it hasn’t been that long, right?)

I read a lot of books while recovering from lung surgery, but I didn’t have the energy or urge to review a lot of them. It doesn’t help that spring has sprung early, bringing my allergies in full force along with it.

However, I recently read The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan and enjoyed it.

Synopsis:

The story has three different main characters and POVs: Aziza, Leo, and Tristan. 

Aziza is a hedgewitch. She helps protect her town of Blackthorn, Massachusetts from all sorts of magical creatures and mischief. 

Leo is cursed. On his sixteenth birthday, he was cursed to forget his true love, and now he feels the absence in his life and spends his free time searching for answers. 

Tristan is lost. After being kicked out of his family home, he made a bargain with an evil hag, and now he finds himself not only doing her dirty work and bidding, but being a necromancer, as well. 

Review: 

This is definitely a very me story. It has a host of magical, whimsical creatures, but it also has a dark tone and deals with a lot of dark themes. It touches on topics such as homophobia, death, and memory loss. 

The main characters are all well-rounded and flawed. I love how this book has the found family trope but without feeling tropey at all. It has several plot twists that are well-done. And I like the LGBTQ representation.

My main critique is that the middle of the story dragged, and the slow pace meant that it didn’t do a great job of holding my attention. However, I really enjoyed both the beginning and the ending, and I think the ending set up for a fantastic sequel. I guess we’ll see!

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Alexis:

Today is the last day of National Library Week! I’m always grateful for my local library; most of the books I’ve read lately have been from the library, whether digital books on my Kindle or physical library copies. Since I’m finishing up grad school, I don’t have a budget for book buying!

Now onto my review:

The Bone Witch follows Tea, a necromancer capable of wielding Dark Magic. She only learns about her power when she accidentally raises her brother, Fox, from the dead. Fox accompanies Tea as she travels around the eight kingdoms and trains to become an asha in order to learn how to control her magic. 

Chupeco’s writing style is lovely and lyrical, and the sentences flow like water on the page. The amount of detail and worldbuilding they manage to include in this book is mind boggling at times. I loved learning about all of the delicious foods Tea gets to experience, and I loved reading about the beautiful, unique huas that Tea and the other ashas wear, as well as their powerful necklaces called heartglass. The magic system was dark yet lovely, and I enjoyed learning about it. 

The story is set in two different time periods. Before each chapter is a mini-chapter set in the future, when Tea is seventeen, from the point of view of a Bard asking Tea questions. Unfortunately, these prologues before each chapter didn’t really work for me. I kept waiting for the events that were hinted at in the future sections to happen, but they don’t happen in this book. Because of this, I constantly felt like I was waiting for the actual plot to happen, and it made this whole book feel like a prologue to me.

That being said, I think if you love slower-paced, coming-of-age stories that are heavy on the detail and lyrical images but with minimal plot, then I definitely think this is the story for you. 

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐/5

NOTE: It’s also worth noting that I happened to get this book from the library when Chupeco opened up about how they received hate and xenophobia when this book was first published. It sucks when authors and books receive hate for dumb reasons and things out of their control. I will always be honest in my reviews, but I don’t tolerate hate and bad ratings for books and authors purely because some people don’t like where the author is from??

That is all. Have a great weekend, everybody!