The Hazel Wood

Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood
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The Hazel Wood

Melissa Albert

As far back as Alice can remember she and her mother have moved from place to place, followed by - and running from - bad luck …

But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get.

Her mother is taken by a figure who claims to have come from the Hinterland, the cruel, supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message she left behind: Stay away from the Hazel Wood.


Stay away from the Hazel Wood was the warning Alice’s mother Ella left before she vanished.

Bad luck isn’t new to Alice and Ella though, and they’ve spent years on the move doing their best to stay one step ahead of it. But when word reaches Ella that her mother – the reclusive author of a cult book of fairy tales whom her granddaughter Alice has never met – has died alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Ella assumes their losing streak is behind them.

Then strange characters who claim to come from the Hinterland, the twisted wonderland where her grandmother’s stories are set, begin to pop up in their lives before they snatch Alice’s mother from her own home. With no other option than to seek the help of her classmate and Hinterland super-fan Ellery Finch, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world of her grandmother’s lore to find Ella and bring her back.

If you thought the old Brothers Grimm fairy tales were strange and cruel then brace yourself as you follow Alice into the Hinterland. Melissa Albert has created a vivid storybook world in The Hazel Wood – full of twists and turns and gritty fantasy that bleeds into our reality. A dark but mesmerising journey! Perfect for twisted fairy-tale fans aged 13 and up who enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval.

Pilgrim Hodgson is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids.

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