Title: The Darkest Place of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Date Started: February 13
Date Finished: February 13
Format: Hardcover from my local library
The main reason I got into Holly Black was because of her tales of the faeries. Tithe, Ironside, and Valiant were my favorite books when I was in high school. In 2013, she dabbled into the world of vampires and it was an okay book but had nothing on the faerie tales she wrote. So when I heard about this new novel I was really excited and she did not disappoint.
In the town of Fairfolk, the humans live beside the faeries in somewhat peaceful harmony. The only people who get taken by the fey are the human tourists who do something wrong. These tourists come to see the glass coffin that’s in the forest. In the coffin lays a boy with horns, he’s been in that coffin for years. Hazel and Ben are brother and sister and have declared themselves the knights of the forest. They protect the residents of Fairfolk from the fey. Or at least, they used to when they were kids. Now that they’re older they don’t really talk as much as they used to anymore. Not since Hazel made a deal with the fey to make sure that her brother’s gift of music was utilized to its fullest extent.
But now things have changed. The fey are taking more of the residents and the glass coffin has been broken. The horned boy is awake and moving around. The Elderking wants him back and will do anything to get him including letting his fiercest monster free. Hazel and Ben start looking for him, but when they find him things go in a different way then what they expect.
The storytelling in this book is amazing. Ben and Hazel are perfect main characters, well as perfect as you can be. Their faults actually add more intrigue instead of being too much of an issue. Hazel is the normal one of the two siblings, but she doesn’t want to be. She’s always vying for something to make her different, so she kisses and flirts with all the boys in their town. But when she comes against Jack – Ben’s best friend – she doesn’t even want to flirt with him. He’s her brother’s best friend, it’s a line she won’t cross, even though out of all the guys she’s flirted with he’s the one who can give her what she craves. Ben used to be a musical prodigy, but his ability to play came with consequences. Not wanting to hurt anyone he broke his own hand and refused to play. He’s searching for love and falls for the boy with the horns. Don’t get me wrong, there were some parts in The Darkest Part of the Forest that I actually had to reread because it became really trippy, but with Black’s work I’ve actually come to expect that.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Holly Black’s return to faerie tales is beautifully done. Jack and Hazel’s love is cute and definitely YA worthy. Ben and Severin’s love is also very cute and YA worthy. The family dynamic is actually not really the norm for YA either. Hopefully Black continues with faerie tales.
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