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Review: The Horseman by Christina Henry

I want to thank Titan Books and Netgalley for sending me an e-ARC of this title for a fair and honest review.

I want to start by saying I have read most of Christina Henry’s work and they are written by an author you have to understand when going into them. Set from a first-person perspective I feel some people may find the writing style ‘younger’ than the intended audience. This is generally because our protagonist for the majority of the book is a fourteen-year-old. This is something Henry does amazingly well and something I personally enjoy but it sometimes might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Once you remember and keep in mind that Ben, our protagonist, is at the tender age of fourteen in a small village in the 1820’s (roughly) it makes much more sense and works extremely well for the narrative. That said I can understand how if you ignore the fact or focus just on the storytelling without remembering who our narrator is it may come off as aimed at the younger end, but it most definitely isn’t.

As I have mentioned the story follows a fourteen-year-old, Ben Van Brunt, who loves to play ‘Sleepy Hollow boys,’ reenacting the events Brom Bones once lived through. Everyone in Sleepy Hollow knows about the Horseman and the tales but no one really believes in him. Not even Ben’s grandfather, Brom Bones, who was there when the horseman chased the upstart Ichabod Crane out of town. He is adamant it’s just a legend, the villagers’ way of sensationalizing the quick disappearance of Crane. Ben couldn’t see why their grandfather would lie but when Ben and a friend stumble across the headless body of a child in the words it’s hard to not start questioning. Slowly Ben begins to question everything they’ve been told, even by the great Brom Bones. Could the Horseman be real and claiming the children of Sleepy Hollow or is there something even more sinister stalking the woods?

Lead through the events from Ben’s point of view we begin to learn that all legends have to start somewhere and not everything is what it appears to be.

I found the writing style engaging and well-paced and suited to the narrator changing adequately when the narrator ages. The story kept me hooked and guessing throughout. While the book is yet to be released, I will try to avoid any spoilers but the ending I personally found memorable and a wonderful way to tie up the story and legend.

I personally cannot find fault in the book. It is, in my opinion, an excellent spooky read.

The Horseman will be published on the 28th September 2021 by Titan Books.

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