Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

I do believe in faeries, I do, I do!.. Wait, this is The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, not Peter Pan. OOPS!

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?

The Good

  • Super unique story and plot – mixing the contemporary and fantastical.
  • For being a standalone fantasy novel, the pacing was steady and had a very natural progression to the climax.
  • Great characters, some being dark and mysterious (which are my favorites)!
  • Great kickass female MC who was more interested in being a knight than the damsel in distress.
  • Great writing that was able to vividly paint a picture in your mind.

The Bad

  • It was a little too short for a standalone fantasy in my opinion. I felt as though some things were mentioned about the faeries and then never brought up again. I would have rather the book been about 150-200 pages longer and really dive into the whole faerie world a bit more.
  • I really didn’t appreciate the way Hazel and Ben’s parents were portrayed. Just because they’re artists they have to be irresponsible? How very stereotypical of you.

This book was a lot of fun and the concept just really fascinated me. Turning this faerie infested town into a tourist destination was genius! And while this novel could have been twice as long to really dive into the faerie world, I appreciated what Black was able to do with just a few hundred pages. That takes some talent and she was really able to showcase her storytelling abilities with this story. This was my first venture into any of her novels but I do plan to pick up many more!

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars

Sorry that this review doesn’t feature any of my usual graphics!!! Unfortunately, my internet has been acting extremely weird lately and it’s affected my graphics to download correctly. I hope to have it fixed soon for you! So don’t worry, this won’t become a normal thing!