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?


I'm telling you, Fairfold is my kind of place. I'm always such a sucker for stories set in a small town with a friendly community where everyone knows each other and of course there has to be a special element to that town. Holly Black being the author of this book, what do we first think of? Anything fantastical! Fairies! Creatures of the Forests! Adventures! Although I may not have read a lot of Holly Black books (which I plan to remedy soon), but before even reading it I knew I would love The Darkest Part of the Forest, plus the book cover is quite ctaching, is it not?

I guess you could say I am one of those people that beleive in fantasticals and such. "I do believe in fairies, I do, I do..."  The concept of people living with the fairfolks and other creatures, this is so much like the provinces here in my country. We are rich with beliefs, legends and stories about the "di ingon nato." From the protections, to the offerings, to the old people telling the youngins about old tales... I felt such at home! So so much like in our country.

The story is beautiful, I think everyone who has read the book agrees to this, noh? But the thing is, it's more than beautiful, it's dark... it's exciting... it's enchnating! I wanted the fairies to whisk me away as they did with Jack and Hazel, but in reality I whisked the pages like the wind. There's a puzzle, and I got so engrossed on questions that needed answer I was willing to sacrifice work just to find it out right away! Darn these supervisors!

Hazel, Hazel, Hazel... Why did here name have to be Hazel? Hazel Grace Lancaster ruined that name for me forever. I couldn't look at my office mate with the same name without remembering that Lancaster girl. But also notice the other characters' names: Ben, Jack, Carter, Amanda... So generic right? I guess to get the simple town, simple people vibe going on?

Parties in the woods with the horned boy in the glass coffin?? That's awesome! It just blew me away! Kids, have a little respect! Atlest offer him a beer or something before dancing on top of his coffin, jeeeeesh!

I'm so glad it's a stand-alone book. After the epilogue, I swear, I sighed with relief knowing that it was it for the Fairfold folks.

"Dead and gone and bones."


4.5 stars

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