By Holly Black
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ( 4 out of 5 Stars )
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?
What better way to celebrate my return to the blogging world than with a faerie book?! My obsession with the fae is well known to my readers. I have been in love with the idea of their world since I was a little girl, old enough to hear the tales of a race of painfully beautiful, deceitful creatures. Holly Black writes this world like no other author. Her Modern Tales of Faerie Series was dark and disturbing, which is probably why I put off reading this standalone for so long. I wish I hadn't. The Darkest Part of the Forest had traces of that darkness, but it wasn't overwhelming. The writing style was at times, beautiful, like the cadence to a morbid poem about love lost and the like. It is a style all her own, and in this book, worked out perfectly.
Hazel is the female protagonist. She is brave, a bit insane, and her promiscuity is famous throughout her small town. She is hell-bent on never getting close to anyone. Her brother, Ben is a gay teenage boy, in love with the idea of being in love. The siblings are total opposites, yet so much alike. They were best friends, yet kept so many secrets from each other. The contrasts are wonderful and unexpected. My only complaint with the writing was the town of Fairfold. A town in the middle of modern day America that is controlled by the fae. I found it rather cheesy; tourists coming to visit, drawn by the hope of glimpsing fae. Meh. In all honesty, that is my only complaint though. Hazel and Ben are siblings, raised by parents that party a bit too much. The darkness and pain from childhood is woven into the characters so perfectly that their ridiculous ideas seem to make total sense to the reader. Another thing I have to commend Miss Black for. While reading the book, the idea of a 10 year old girl finding a sword and slaughtering monsters in the woods seemed totally acceptable. Almost normal. Alas, looking back and trying to review this read is leaving me questioning my sanity..
All in all, I have to give it 4 out of 5 stars. The protections were spot-on with the old tales; oats in the pockets to prevent meddling is not well-known and I love that she did her research enough to know that. The fae characters were written so wonderfully horrible, I fell in love with them all. I fully recommend this book to all of you. Even if you have read Holly Black before and didn't like her writing style. This book was wonderful, and the very last line brought tears to my eyes.. :)
“You and your sister are very dear to each other. To show your regard, you give each other lovely bouquets of lies.”
"They are twilight creatures, beings of dawn and dusk, of standing between one thing and another, of not quite and almost, of borderlands and shadows."
"It was enough to make her want to sit down on the ground and cry. It was too much. But there was no one else, so it couldn't be too much. It had to be exactly enough. It had to be what she could handle, and she had to handle it."
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