Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Page Count: 337
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
A girl makes a secret sacrifice to the faerie king in this lush New York Times bestselling fantasy by author Holly Black
In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives….
Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.
Until one day, he does….
As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be.
The Darkest Part of the Forest is bestselling author Holly Black’s triumphant return to the opulent, enchanting faerie tales that launched her YA career.
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black is a standalone young adult fantasy read that takes place in a world just like ours only there are fae living among the humans. Now this one is on the darker side as these fairies are not the sparkly nice kind but the dark and creepy version.
Hazel and Ben are a brother and sister who live in Fairfold, a city in which the humans live alongside the Fae. In the woods there is a glass coffin with a faerie boy that has been there for years and years that Hazel and Ben have both fallen in love with. The siblings have spent their childhood playing make believe which includes their faerie prince from the woods but one day that boy wakes from his coffin and the games the two played become alarmingly real.
The story in The Darkest Part of the Forest really starts off a bit slow as it introduces the characters and the world. Holly Black however does a great job giving life to her vision in the book. I couldn’t help but enjoy the way she’s weaved a fantasy tale into our world with mentions of things like Youtube and McDonald’s that everyone knows bringing the story into this time.
There’s also a lot of diversity in the book but it’s done in a way that doesn’t scream hey look at my attempt at diversity like some books tend to do. The characters are who they are and go about their story as if nothing is out of the ordinary which is how it should be in the world.
As for the fantasy side, this was a fun read but I’m not sure I’d say it’s overly original in a lot of the happenings. The idea of making deals with the Fae and finding you get more than you bargain for is not a new one along with simply the darker versions of the creatures. But the characters and setting make the story a fun one to read and once the action got going a little quicker I really enjoyed it.
About the author:
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and The Darkest Part of the Forest. She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.