September 6, 2022

BLOG TOUR Raising the Horseman by Serena Valentino

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the RAISING THE HORSEMAN by Serena Valentino Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book


Author: Serena Valentino

Pub. Date: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 304

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD,, Book Depository

*Please note - this post contains affiliate links, from which we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase

From the New York Times best-selling author of Disney’s Villains series comes a ghostly new stand-alone novel that reimagines The Legend of Sleepy Hollow through the eyes of a modern teen.

The two-hundredth anniversary of the Headless Horseman's legendary haunting of Sleepy Hollow is approaching, but Kat van Tassel wants nothing to do with the town's superstitious celebrations. As a descendant of the original Katrina van Tassel, Kat knows she’s expected to fulfill her ancestor’s legacy by someday marrying her longtime boyfriend and running the prestigious family estate. But Kat dreams of a life outside Sleepy Hollow.
Then Kat meets Isadora, a new girl in town who challenges Kat to reexamine those expectations, opens her eyes to the possibility that ghosts are real, and makes her question who she truly wants to be . . . and be with.
When Kat is given the original Katrina’s diary, a new legend begins to take shape, one that weaves together the past and the present in eerie ways. Can Kat uncover a two-hundred-year-old secret, and trace its shocking reverberations in her own life, in time to protect what she truly loves?
Fans of Serena Valentino will delight in this supernatural coming-of-age tale that finally gives the women of Sleepy Hollow a chance to tell their side of the story.


“A sweet retelling of a spooky classic.”Kirkus Reviews

REVIEW of Raising the Horseman by Serena Valentino
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Format: eARC (Courtesy of Publisher and Rockstar Book Tours)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

You may know the tale of Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones, but have you heard the story from the perspective of Katrina van Tassel? A retelling of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and the tale of the Headless Horseman, Serena Valentino’s Raising the Horseman is a standalone young adult novel that tells the story from the perspective of Katrina’s descendant Kat. 

Katrina “Kat” van Tassel is the many times great-granddaughter of the original Katrina van Tassel (with every female in her family being named after the first Katrina). Much to her dismay, her home of Sleepy Hollow is quite entranced by the legend of the Headless Horseman and seemingly obsessed with antiquated traditions. Unfortunately for Kat, who does not believe in anything paranormal or occult, it's the two hundredth anniversary of his original ride and things are not quite as they seem. Will the horseman ride again, or is it all just a bunch of hocus pocus made up to attract tourists? 

The story is told in two points of view; Kat's perspective in the present and in the past through the original Katrina's journal entries. The author does an excellent job of weaving the two timelines into one cohesive narrative. From what I can tell, Katrina’s diary entries offer a majority of the worldbuilding (giving the backstory surrounding the horseman) while the plot moves along in the present day. I did notice that Katrina's diary entries switch from being written in the form of a diary entry to being more narrative in style, so that was a bit weird but didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the read too much. It was a bit disconcerting that the original Katrina insisted all of her descendants have the same name as her (given how much she resented not having a choice) but don’t fret because there is a reason for it that’s revealed later in the book. 

Given that this is a retelling, the author was bound to make some changes and one of the changes Ms. Valentino introduced was the character of Isadora Crow. Isadora Crow was an interesting genderbent interpretation of Ichabod Crane's character, retaining many his positive qualities while also breathing fresh life into the character and the town of Sleepy Hollow. Once Isadora comes to town, she shakes up Kat’s world and gives her the nudge she needed to choose what she wants in life (rather than what everyone else wants for her). In particular, I appreciated how Isadora made it possible for Kat to recognize Blake’s gaslighting and manipulation and ultimately break free from that toxic relationship. 

Overall, this was an entertaining and spooky read. It’s perfect for those who enjoy retellings, and a great choice for the upcoming autumn season. As a note for those  who might be curious, there is enough detail provided in the book that you don’t have to be familiar with the source material to be able to understand what’s going on. 

Thank you to the author, the publisher Disney-Hyperion, and Jaime at Rockstar Book Tours for providing me with a complimentary review copy as part of my participation in this tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review Raising the Horseman immensely! Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and not influenced in any way. 

CW: Gaslighting, Toxic Relationships

About Serena Valentino:

Serena Valentino has been weaving tales that combine mythos and guile for the past decade. She has earned critical acclaim in both the comic and horror domains, where she is known for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty, and extraordinary protagonists. The books in her best-selling Villains series are best enjoyed when read in the following order: Fairest of All, The Beast Within, Poor Unfortunate Soul, Mistress of All Evil, Mother Knows Best, Odd Sisters, Evil ThingCold Hearted, and Never Never. She is also the author of the Villains graphic novels Evil Thing and Fairest of All.

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of RAISING THE HORSEMAN, US Only.

Ends October 7th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Celia's Reads

Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post


Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review/IG Post

Week Two:






IG Review


Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog

Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post


Ya Books Central



A Dream Within A Dream

Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post

Week Three:



IG Review


The Bookwyrm's Den







IG Review


Epic Book Society

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Review/IG Post


Review Thick And Thin

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Week Four:



Review/IG Post


BookHounds YA



Novel Novice

IG Spotlight



YouTube Review/IG Post



IG Review


Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post



IG Review/FB Post

Week Five:


PopTheButterfly Reads

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IG Review/TikTok Post



IG Review


The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post


Two Points of Interest

Review/IG Post



IG Review

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