Review: The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan

The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan

The Buried and the Bound
Rochelle Hassan
MacMillan
Published January 24, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Buried and the Bound

A contemporary fantasy YA debut from Rochelle Hassan about monsters, magic, and wicked fae, perfect for fans of The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Hazel Wood.

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 on Goodreads

My Review

I absolutely loved PRINCE OF NOWHERE, Rochelle Hassan’s debut novel, so THE BURIED AND THE BOUND was one of the books I most looked forward to reading this year.

Though it took me a few chapters to get into the book, I was delighted to find characters just as rich in a world just as magical as the author’s debut. I loved Aziza immediately. Leo took me a minute, but once I saw his big heart and how determined he truly is, I couldn’t help loving him. Tristan grew on me much more slowly, but in the end, I loved him, too.

The story world. Okay, so this is a real world setting right next to an entirely magical world with fairy bargains, magical creatures, curses, and alliances. The magical world felt so rich and alive. I loved the way different parts of it came together in different ways.

On the whole, I had a second of uncertainty at the beginning of this book, but once I got oriented to the story, I was completely hooked on it. I’m super glad I read it, and I’ll be eagerly waiting for Hassan’s next book, which hopefully will be a sequel to this one??

The Buried and the Bound on Bookshop

Content Notes for The Buried and the Bound

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Representation
Tristan is gay and homeless (his parents threw him out when they learned he is gay). Leo is bisexual but closeted. Aziza is Lebanese American and lost both her parents as a very young child.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
References to a relationship between two boys.

Spiritual Content
Aziza is a hedgewitch, which means she can perform magic that reinforces boundaries between the human and fae worlds. The story contains magic creatures like nymphs, fairies, witches, kelpies, selkies, and a necromancer. A powerful creature has a bond agreement with Tristan in which he must serve her for ten years in exchange for a magical favor. She uses him to lure victims to her which she kills to power herself.

Violent Content
References to murders by Tristan’s master. Murders and harm carried out by immortal hound-like creatures. References to other harm done by magical creatures. Situations of peril. Battle scenes with some graphic detail.

Drug Content
None.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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