THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST
Published: January 13th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
Anyone who offers up their heart on a silver platter deserves what they get.
I’ve only just started reading Holly Black books, and what a wonderful journey The Darkest Part of the Forest was. It had so many good things in it, I had to make a list 😀
– The word-building in this was amazing. It was so detailed and well thought out that I had hearts in my eyes while reading it. The world of Fairfold was so rich and creepy and enchanting, I wanted to live there myself, fae and all.
– The writing in general was just so!! Good!!! Holly Black has a way to string simple words together and turn them into striking sentences, and this time it was no different. The way she used repetition throughout the story as well to drive certain points home was also great.
– Hazel and Ben’s relationship was another high point. They were brother and sister and Holly Black wrote their relationship in a way that felt very real to me. There were lies and secrets and so much love between both of them, it was wonderful to read about.
– Layered characters! From Hazel to Ben to Jack to Severin, everyone was different and they all had different motivations, backstories, and voices. Ben and Severin were actually my faves, and as much as I liked Hazel, I kind of wish we got to see more of those two.
– LGBTQIA characters! Hurray! And ones who are not defined by their sexuality! Double hurray!! This was actually a welcome surprise for me, since I had no idea about it before I started the book, and I loved it!
– The plot was also really good. The main mystery didn’t feel like it was dragged out, and I liked the resolution of everything when it came to the ending.
So all in all, this was a success! It worked really well as an eerie fairy-tell book, and it grasped my attention right until the very end.