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{December 11, 2013}   {Review} Severed by Dax Varley

18400224From Goodreads: Katrina’s still haunted by her encounter with the Headless Horseman – the night he beckoned to her. Now he has risen again, slashing heads and terrorizing the quiet countryside.

Her only joy during this dismal darkness comes when Ichabod Crane, a gorgeous young man from Connecticut, moves to Sleepy Hollow and their attraction turns to romance.

When the Horseman marks Ichabod as his next victim, Katrina, despite dangerous efforts to save him, sees no other choice than for them to flee.

But the Horseman awaits. Now it’s up to her to sever the horror and alter the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.


This is a very, very well done take on the classic short story, “Sleepy Hollow.”  In truth, I actually like Severed much more than I like the classic for a number of reasons, two of them being that I can actually connect with the characters and I can fully understand the text!  No offence of Washington Irving, but his story is very dry, whereas this recent rendition is full of characterization, mystery, intrigue, and romance.  Varley does an amazing job staying close to the original story throughout much of her retelling, but adds her own flare near the end, changing the story to a much more sinister and intriguing end, I think, than that of the original.  In fact, as I was reading I pictured the film version with Johnny Depp from 1999, and just like the movie, Daxley creates her very own end that fits perfectly within the storyline.

The story itself kept my attention late into the night, and had my eyes allowed it, I know I would have finished this in one sitting.  Varley definitely knows how to spin a tale, and her characterization was spot on.  I loved Katrina and Ichabod, and loathed Brom and Peter, just, as I imagine, Varley wanted readers too.  In the end, the characters do get their comeuppance, and this twist was really intriguing. I never saw it coming, and truth be told, I think this is an even better ending that the film version.

If you are intrigued by the legend and would like a different approach to the classic, I highly suggest you read this novel. Four stars.

4 stars

Dax Varley was extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

See my review of Washington Irving’s “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” here.


I have this as an ARC too, do you need to have read the classic? I have not but I have seen the film (hoping it’s the same basic storyline). Looks really good though. The cover is just beautiful.

You don’t need to need read the classic–this is way better, anyway. If you’ve seen the film, you are good to go. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!!

Thank you, I am looking forward to it :)

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