A Short Story in the Network Series
“You are a mighty little thing, Hazel.”
Hazel Monroe knows one thing: she wants to be a gardener.
Fingers in the soil, canopy overhead. That’s all she needs. Except the High Priestess Evelyn’s dark reign threatens to destroy even that simple desire.
If she can just get through the Network school system.
If she can just live out the Resistance that threatens to overthrow their insane leader.
If she can just . . . survive.
When the final battle at Chatham Castle begins, Hazel finds herself unexpectedly in the middle of an entirely different war. One between the vile Miss Mabel and her nefarious grandmother, May.
One that threatens to change the course of her quiet life beneath the trees that she so deeply longs for.
Until Hazel is discovered, and May’s wrath unfurls.
Fans of the Network Series can’t afford to miss this companion novella to the Network Series—covering the exact moment that launched the beloved story of Bianca Monroe.
Learning about Bianca’s resistance fighter grandmother (who was punished with an Inheritance curse) and great grandparents provides more background for her and her parents current stories in Katie Cross’s magical world of Alkarra.
The series is worth reading again!!
Readers of other Alkarran stories may have seen snippets of Hazel. Yes, we know how her story ends. In Hazel, we learn about the pivotal time when she attended Miss Mabel’s and made choices about who she would be. Without Hazel, we wouldn’t have the same Bianca. Read on, Alkarran family…
This is an exciting little story and for me, emotional. It’s interesting to see Bianca’s grandmother as a teenager. Gramma Hazel isn’t really present when we are learning Bianca’s story but so important in it.
This story about Hazel and her family answers questions we didn’t know we had
This is great bridge between Mildred's Resistance and Miss Mable's School for Girls. This is the backstory for Bianca and how her story started.
Apparently this short story was originally included in one of the short story collections before it was expanded enough to become a separate release. Because I only encountered Katie's work in 2021, I never read the original version. However, I did read this version just a couple of months ago.
I went into this having read the whole Network Series and Mildred's Resistence, so I knew to expect something more akin to MR, given this short story is set during part of that. I had read the other short stories too in the two collections, which I had enjoyed, so I went into this expecting to enjoy it. My expectations were met in that area.
The whole story follows Hazel, Bianca's grandmother, as she enters her third year at Miss Mabel's School for Girls. Due to the political landscape at the time, attendance is very low compared to usual, but school life goes by regardless. We find out what led to Hazel receiving the Inheritance Curse, something that surprised me, due to the context of what's going on that the time, plus we get the chance to despise Miss Mabel and her grandmother May even more. This is definitely a sad story, but if you went in expecting something that wasn't a sad story, you can't have read the blurb.
Thanks Katie for making this piece of history in Alkarra feel even more personal.