Book Review, Fantasy, Horror, Magic, NetGalley, Random House, YA Fiction

The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

Bethan Jones lives alone with her grandmother, Gran, who is the drabarni (magical practitioner) of her clansmen.  To Romany people, the drabarni is the wise women of the clan and Bethan is next in line. To Bethan’s disappointment, Gran says she is not ready to learn spellcraft yet and insists she go to the local village every day to sell herbs to the villagers, but her world turns upside down.

Martyn Woodward is a local farmer, a diddicoy (of Romany blood), and a gadjo (an outsider), who is forbidden in Bethan’s life.  However, Bethan finds him handsome with a pleasant disposition and will ask her Gran if he could teach her to read.

Silas Roberts is the chieftain’s son and wants Bethan for himself at any price and will use force to do it.

One night Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and leave Martyn to die.  When Bethan asks her Gran to save Martyn’s life, Bethan is told that she must exact revenge on the boys that attacked her and Martyn.

This is a story of magic, betrayal, revenge and inner strength, and it contains quite a bit of violence so beware.  The story is unique from the Romany perspective, and it had a strong heroine who preserves her beliefs even through horrendous and mind-shattering situations.  However, I felt that the story dwelled on the revenge aspect too long and ended too abruptly.  I was expecting more about Bethan’s internal conflict, than the revenge plot itself.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but would probably not recommend it to a friend.

Thank you to Hillary Monahan, Random House and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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