Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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 a new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?*

Original photo: Stanmer Park, Bright by Finn Hopson

Best-selling author Holly Black spun an excellent tale of monsters, faeries, and magic in The Darkest Part of the Forest. Though I did not have any specific expectations when I started The Darkest Part of the Forest, I was pleasantly surprised by the raw honesty and struggle between good and evil--not just between humans and monsters, but between the good and evil inside each character. "Grey characters" as I call them, are my favorite, characters that aren't all good or all evil, but a beautiful, awful, realistic mix of both. Black does a fantastic job creating these "grey characters". Hazel has always dreamed of being an honorable, evil-destroying Knight, yet there is a secret, chilling side to her that even she is afraid to face. While Ben, Hazel's brother, has been blessed with a beautiful and covetous gift, he battles with the horrifying responsibility of the gift and envies his sister's 'normal' life. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it's characters, I do wish it had been longer. The plot seemed rushed at times and I think it would have only improved the story if there had been more space to spread it's tentacles and display it's enchanting potential. The Darkest Part of the Forest is a fast and darkly clever read, with a bold blend of modern teenage life and childhood fantasy. 



*Synopsis provided by Goodreads.com

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