The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
**ARC received from the publisher**
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… (Goodreads)
One of the things that I really loved about this story is that Hazel is the hero.
She wants to be a knight, fighting monsters and saving her town, rather than waiting passively for a Prince Charming to come and save the day.
I love a good, strong female lead and Hazel fits the bill perfectly!
Hazel and her brother are raised by inattentive parents, left to their own devices much too often and getting into more trouble than was healthy. But if they weren’t neglected, they wouldn’t have had so many childhood adventures!
The jury’s still out though on whether or not that was a good thing.
Having unwisely made a deal with the fae when she was younger, things go from bad to worse for Hazel when the mysterious horned boy disappears from his glass coffin in the woods.
So many questions!
Who is the horned boy?
Where did Hazel’s childhood sword disappear to?
Who is leaving her cryptic messages?
And when will the Alderking finally make Hazel pay up?
Really enjoyed this story! Holly is an incredibly talented writer who gives us great characters, an interesting plot, and a nice twist to the ending that I wasn’t expecting.
Well worth reading!