The Darkest Part of the Forest

Holly Black
Aug 5, 2016

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?

After finishing this, I feel I can declare that Holly Black is fantastic at writing paranormal standalones. She crafts an awesome world, fills it with strong characters, and then ties it all together with an engaging story that doesn't rely on sequels to be satisfying. I love Holly Black's writing style and the way she weaves snippets from the past into the present storyline to create more tension. And I love the insertion of otherworldly fantasy elements and modern life.

The beginning was a little slow as we get introduced to this world and the characters, but then the pace really picks up and it's just one thrilling scene after another. And I wasn't expecting the creepiness! I wouldn't say it's a scary book, but there is definitely a creep factor that kept me on edge at times. Another thing I really enjoyed was all the relationship dynamics-romance, friendships, sibling and family relationships. Lots of great ties between the characters.

I would recommend it to anyone who liked Holly's previous books, anyone looking for a solid paranormal standalone, or anyone who enjoys faerie lore.

Written by
Olivia from Leawood Pioneer Library YAAC

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