I received this book from Hachette Publishing New Zealand,
in exchange for an honest review.
Faeries. Knights. Princes. True love.
Think you know how the story goes? Think again...
In the forest of the small town of Fairfold lies a glass case. In the case lies a horned boy. And he will change everything.
Hazel and her brother Ben have, like the rest of the town and the tourists it brings, always known about the horned Prince in the box. Ever since there were children they would play around his sleeping body, they would slay faeries in the woods, and tells stories to the Prince. Stories are well and good, and you can create a dream around a sleeping person...but when said person wakes and goes missing, all those dreams come crashing down. Not only that, but Hazel thinks she somehow was involved with breaking him out.
Now Severin, the horned Prince, is out of his glass case, there are even more strange going-ons in the town, and Hazel and Ben are caught up in the middle of it. When Hazel discovers there's more to her that she ever though, that the bargain she made with the Alderking all those years ago has much different, much more severe, consequences than she realised, she must figure out what is going on, and how to rid the town of a monster in the woods. 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? - Good Reads.
I really enjoyed this book. Holly Black is an incredible world-maker, creating characters and stories and worlds that draw you in and refuse to spit you back out. While Hazel was a bit of a you-know-what with the boys of the town, and she was selfish and didn't blink an eye when it came to using people, she knew it. She knew who she was (at least that part of her), and though this was the case, as the story went on, it became apparent that that was more just a show, just an act because her true feelings scared her.
Ben, at first, seemed to be in the shadow of Hazel. He thought that even though they had both loved Severin as children, before the met him in real life, that Severin would be destined to fall for her Hazel, and that broke him. Ben's best friend, Jack, is a changeling, and while his human brother, Carter, is barely a character at all in this story, I really liked Jack and his connection to the faeries.
It's written in third person, and while it centres mostly on Hazel, Ben also has his moments in the spot light, and I really liked that. It was easier than reading the whole thing from Hazel's perspective, even if it was in third person.
If you enjoy YA books that are about small towns, about betrayal, loyalty, love and with a supernatural twist, then definitely give The Darkest Part of the Forest a go. While it is currently a stand-alone, from what I've read online, it seems Black isn't closed to the possibility of writing more books, and creating a series. If this is the case, then I will be reading any more she writes. But if not, it ends in such a way that it could happily remain a stand alone.
What about you? Have you read this book?
Thinking about it? Let me know what you think!
Image from Good Reads.