Book Review: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow by Alyssa Palombo

The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel
Title: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow
Author: Alyssa Palombo
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 432
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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.

 A story of Sleepy Hollow (a legend that haunts a small town), a setting that radiates fall and spooky at moments, and characters that can't help falling in love. Those are all things this book has, that had me signing up with no hesitation. What I found while reading, was all this and more. 

I loved the writing. The way that Palombo laid the scene and the setting of Sleepy Hollow was one of my favorite parts of the book. From the secret spot that's a short walk in the woods to a clear area by a stream to the beautiful home that Katrina resides in, it all read so picturesque and atmospheric. This takes place in the North Eastern US near colonial times. 

I enjoyed seeing the romance between Katrina and Ichabod develop. It seemed a little quick to me, but it felt plausible and romantic, the way that a potential true love might seem. I want to quickly mention that this is an adult book - and the romantic scenes are there to show it! 

I loved following Katrina's character. But I also loved Charlotte. They balanced each other so well. The way that Katrina was passionate and determined really matched the way that Charlotte was sensible and level-headed with heart. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the setting, the writing and the characters. If you're looking for something with atmosphere, romance, a legend, a bit of spookiness, and a female friendship, this is a book you should check out! 

Happy Reading from me to you!

Alyssa Palombo is the author of The Violinist of Venice and The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence. She has published short fiction pieces in Black Lantern Magazine and The Great Lakes Review. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively. A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. She lives in Buffalo, New York.


  1. I'm so happy this book exists. The book deserves a book translation services so many people can reach the content. I totally enjoyed this entertaining, delightful story. Good evening read.


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