The Hazel Tree
by Julia Debski
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Cover Artist: Julia Debski
The Hazel Tree revisits a classic Cinderella tale of
abuse and sought after freedom from the confines
of a cruel life.
Ivy Lune is not your ordinary girl for within her blood flows the secrets of an ancient species of werewolf; a secret that also foretells of a great war and a struggle for ultimate supremacy.
Ivy lives a life of isolation torment at the hands of her aunt and cousins for the majority of her life. Mistreated and neglected, she longs to escape the shackles of her prison-like life. And in that longing, she learns the truth of her identity. She learns her place in a long line of events that were set into motion many years ago. She finds intimacy and belonging in a much larger family. All the while, unknown to her, there are dangerous forces are at work; old blood ties and murderous plots threaten her chance at happiness beyond her current life.
The Hazel Tree is a tale of mystery and romance set against a supernatural backdrop of terrifying and awesome power.
As someone with limited experience with fairy tales and their retellings, I really enjoyed The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski. The twists work perfectly for the story that the author is trying to tell. It was a unique tale that I found myself sucked into without any regret.
There are certain parts of the story that do lag and feel out of place, but overall I found myself enjoying the pacing of the story. The ending was the major downfall for me. I felt like there was more of the story to be told, and it was glossed over in a race to the end. It's a very raw, unpolished story. But I feel like that works to its benefit in a way.
The characters were engaging and had their own voice. I wish I could have gotten more into some of them, though. I feel like there is more to this story that needs to be told, and if Julia Debski decides to write it, I'll be waiting to read it! This is a fantastic retelling of Cinderella with unique twists and turns that kept me turning pages. I'd recommend it to fairy tale fans in the young adult genre who don't mind things that howl at the moon!
**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Julia Debski and Bewitched Book Tours.
Julia Debski was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1996. Her family moved around a lot during her childhood before finally settling down in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It wasn't until the 8th grade that she found her passion for writing. It was thanks to a particularly inspiring English teacher and a story that needed to be told. So she began to write, and she never stopped.
Four years later she found herself with nearly a dozen started novels and short stories. As junior in high school she was introduced to Greg Wilkey, a self-published independent author of four novels. He soon became a mentor to her as she worked to write and self-publish her own novel. After two years of hard work, and a nearly a year of mentorship The Hazel Tree was published in October 2013.