The Darkest Part of the Forest
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?
My rating: 5 Stars
Ben and Hazel have a strained relationship from all the secrets they are keeping from each other. Hazel is living on borrowed time but no one knows it. Because of this she goes around kissing boys and isn't willing to get into anything serious. This story revolves around a horned boy in a glass coffin who has been asleep for ages. In Fairfold, humans and the fae live side by side so it's not unusual to them that there is a boy with horns in an eternal sleep in a coffin.
I enjoyed this story immensely and loved that it was a standalone. I liked Hazel but was irritated with her and the way she just wouldn't talk to the people in her life. I wanted her to get everything out into the open because it was clear she was misunderstanding things. I also did not like how she was so set on being a knight she was willing to make a bargain she never should have been making. But overall Hazel was a strong female lead character who loved her older brother so much that she was willing to sacrifice anything so that he could be happy. She was fierce and did not take any crap from anyone. I also loved Ben. He was amazing and so sweet. This book was told from multiple points of view so I was able to see scenes with just Ben or just Hazel. I also liked Severin and Jack, a changeling and Ben's best friend. These characters just made the book and I cared about them early on so it made me more invested in the story.
Holly Black created an amazing world with amazing characters who really made the story stand out. I'm new to stories about the fae but I think this one has become one of my favorites. It was fast-paced but dragged enough that I did not feel like it was missing any of the action. I cannot wait to read more stories by this author. The Cruel Prince is next on my list. I hope I like it as much as I enjoyed The Darkest Part of the Forest.