Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reviewing: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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?

*giggles madly*

I've only read two Holly Black books-- the other being The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (rated 4 stars)-- and in my opinion, they both were good, but this one is so epic it blew my mind.

Okay, okay. I'll try to be rational and calm. 

The story focuses on siblings Hazel and Ben. They were fabulous in completely different ways. Hazel was brave and strong and never ever gives up. Ben is quieter and softer, but he is also wonderful (he was also given a "gift" as a baby. his music, quite literally, puts people and fairies in a trance). As children (and I'm fairly sure this doesn't count as a spoiler because it's in the first few chapters, but just in case, you've been warned) Hazel and Ben hunted the fairies in their town. 

As children.

Of course, it is not a Holly Black book without the delicious, mysterious magic. That's why Hazel and Ben live in a town by a forest filled with fairies. But I think what is probably the most mysterious, magical thing that first draws the reader into this book is the horned boy sleeping in the glass case. I don't even know how to talk about him, or describe him. The simple idea of him was so incredibly intriguing. 

Now to Jack and Carter, who are brothers but not really. Jack is a changeling. Once I actually read that he was changeling, all I could think about was how much I was not going to not read this book. I LOVE reading about changelings. I once read hundreds of websites talking about them and dreamed of writing a book with them in it. Changelings, from what I had read, were dark and evil fairy children, traded with human children at birth. What's not to love?

True to my expectations, Jack and Carter were also awesome.

Everything was awesome. There is really no other way to describe it.

Holly Black has a way of writing things that makes them sound so deep and profound that you feel chills just looking at the words. Honestly, that's probably what gave this book the rating it got. 

There's a monster in our wood
She'll get you if you're not good
Drag you under leaves and sticks
Punish you for all your tricks
A nest of hair and gnawed bone
You are never, ever coming...home. 


  1. I keep hearing good things about this book, and I just read Coldest Girl In Coldtown myself, so clearly I need to put this on my list. :)

    1. Yes! Do it! In my opinion, it's better than the Coldest Girl in Coldtown. But, if you loved CGiC in general, you should definitely love this book too. :)