ARC Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

7:30 AM Serena 0 Comments

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Format: Owned, signed ARC (hardcover published 1/13/2015)
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Part of a series? Nope! It's a standalone. 

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?

I won my copy of The Darkest Part of the Forest in a raffle at a launch party back in June, but I just recently got around to reading it. Now I'm kicking myself for letting this sit on my shelf for so long because I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. 

The only other thing I've read of Holly's is her story in the My True Love Gave to Me anthology (my review can be found here). While I didn't love the story itself, I did like Holly's writing because it has a magical quality to it. Both the plot and the writing in TDPotF have that same magical quality. 

I feel like Holly Black was put in this world to write fantasy. She wove this gorgeous fairytale-esque storyline in with these awesome characters, and the whole thing just blew my mind. Hazel, Ben, and Jack, Ben's changeling best friend, are trying to save their town by defeating this thing in the darkest part of the forest, but they're also trying to find out who they are and what they want to do with themselves. Each character had their own separate backstory and destiny of sorts, but everything meshed together in a way that I was invested in all of them. I was rooting for Jack and Hazel and Ben and the horned boy in a way that's sometimes hard for me when I read standalones. 

Anyway, in case you skipped all that because I stopped making sense somewhere, the bottom line is that The Darkest Part of the Forest is a wonderful, magical novel set in a wonderful magic world with likable characters (there's an LGBT character or two thrown in the mix, which was a plus) and a well-paced plot. This book releases next month, and I hope you decide to give it a chance! 

If you want to get yourself a copy, Barnes and Noble has limited amounts of SIGNED hardcovers on sale! Get yours here