The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Friday, June 3, 2016

Once upon a time in the middle of the forest, there rested a glass coffin. Instead of some slumbering princess, inside slept a handsome boy with horns and pointy ears. Next to the forest was the town of Fairfold, where the residents knew to be wary of the fae. Generation after generation of townsfolk visited the horned boy, enchanted by his strangeness and his beauty. Tourists would come from all over hoping to catch a glimpse of the fae. Every now and then travelers would go missing, some never to return, and some to be found days later, dead. Hazel and her brother, Ben, grew up loving the horned boy just like everyone else. As children, they spent their days romping around the forest, pretending to be brave knights that battled monsters. Though much had changed since childhood, Hazel and Ben still visited the horned boy, until the day he woke up and all hell broke loose.

The Darkest Part of the Forest was an amazing read. Just like all of Holly Black's other books, I couldn't put it down. I love her eerie but charming descriptive style of writing that reverberates the spirit of classic childhood fairy tales. However, while I was reading, I kept pausing because something just seemed off; the story line was a bit chaotic. All the pieces of the puzzle were there, but the pieces just weren't in the right place. Although the disorder was slightly off-putting, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Black has a way of creating worlds and characters that I just can't help but fall in love with.

I think it is important to confess that Holly Black is my all-time favorite author. Black's unique voice and her dark whimsical style of writing breathe life into these gritty fantastic worlds with kick-ass characters that never fail to capture my heart. I find myself rereading her books at least once a year. Was The Darkest Part of the Forest better than my favorite book by Holly Black, Valiant? No, however, this story enchanted me with the same strange, wicked playfulness that is woven into all of her stories. I would recommend this to anyone that loves Faeries, Dark Fantasy, and Young Adult.