Oct 7, 2022

Review--Horseman by Christina Henry


Everyone in Sleepy Hollow knows about the Horseman, but no one really believes in him. Not even Ben Van Brunt's grandfather, Brom Bones, who was there when it was said the Horseman chased the upstart Crane out of town. Brom says that's just legend, the village gossips talking.

Twenty years after those storied events, the village is a quiet place. Fourteen-year-old Ben loves to play Sleepy Hollow boys, reenacting the events Brom once lived through. But then Ben and a friend stumble across the headless body of a child in the woods near the village, and the sinister discovery makes Ben question everything the adults in Sleepy Hollow have ever said. Could the Horseman be real after all? Or does something even more sinister stalk the woods?





October is the perfect time for spooky reads and what could be spookier than a new story about the Headless Horseman?! Christina Henry brings us a sort of sequel, if you will, to Irving's classic tale, with Horseman. In this we see Brom Bones and Katrina's grandchild, Ben growing up and uncovering a mystery that's deeply rooted in Sleepy Hollow history.

I've read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow many a time throughout my school years and recall the story fairly well. In this story, everything you might have thought about the story will be challenged. Here, Brom Bones is not as villainous as he might have appeared in the original story, Katrina...may or may not come off as the same sort of selfish girl she appeared to be. I can't quite remember my impressions of her as well as Brom, but oh boy, things definitely change here!

Ben is the grandchild of Brom Bones and Katrina, and though he was born as their granddaughter, Ben has always preferred the life of a boy. One day, he and his friend were out playing Sleep Hollow Boys in the woods when they stumbled upon the body of one of their playmates...headless and without his hands. But that is only the first victim as soon another boy is found in the same condition.

Everyone fears that the Headless Horseman has returned once again. It was some years ago that everyone remembers the night where the old schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, was chased down by the specter and never seen again. Did he die? Did he just leave town? No one knows. But now it seems the Headless Horseman is back and is attacking children.

Ben has always felt a kinship with the woods growing up. There's something peaceful about them, but yet with the recent events he notices a change within them. There's a sinister edge to them. But yet, he feels like evil cannot touch him either, almost like he's protected by something.

This was a very interesting story indeed! It was a bit odd, almost, to see Brom Bones being such a good guy. I couldn't really wrap my head around it! Then there's Katrina who is so in love with her husband, it makes you wonder why she even paid any attention to Brom...but there's an answer to that! Though, the way she handles Ben might be something up for debate as to whether she's doing right by Ben. Of course, remembering what time period they are in, you can almost understand her position as well. It's trippy for sure!

I did get a sense of where part of this dark mystery was headed! Though, as always, the whys and hows of it all were still something that needed exploring! It did make for an intense story though as I was eager to see just what those reasons were!

There is a great deal of mystery and magic involved as well! The story-building was very atmospheric. You could practically see the small town of Sleepy Hollow, smell the fall leaves...there's just something about Sleepy Hollow that makes you live and breathe Halloween!

There were a few surprises and twists to the story that I didn't really see coming and perhaps might now have been explained in the most coherent of ways. Though I did read this just as I came out of a head-cold so maybe that played a part in some of my confusion, plus other life distractions. But all in all, I can say that this was a most entertaining story!

Horseman is the perfect read for this time of year! It's the sequel you didn't realize you needed until you start reading and getting down into its roots! I loved seeing more from these characters that we only briefly glimpsed in the original short story! This is definitely a book to read on those dark, spooky nights where you never know what may be watching from the shadows!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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