Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Tourists drive in to see the lush wonders of Faerie and, most wonderful of all, the horned boy. But visitors fail to see the danger.
Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be. But as she’s swept up in new love, with shifting loyalties and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
After reading the description of this book, I didn’t really know what to expect but I knew that it would be great, based on my experience with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The Darkest Part of the Forest was eerie and mysterious and darker than I thought it would be. I probably enjoyed The Coldest Girl in Coldtown just a little bit more but I would still really recommend this one if you like reading about faeries.
I thought the plot was very interesting and clever. It really kept me guessing and nothing was very predictable to me. The beginning of the book was very slow but it became more and more fast-paced as the book progressed. I flew through the last third of the book and I really enjoyed how it ended. The story and the world were well-developed, especially for a standalone novel, but I still wanted a little bit more from the story. For me, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a bit better developed.
The characters were my favourite part of the book. They felt incredibly modern and now, and I think a part of that comes from all the diversity that Holly Black put into this book. We have a couple of gay characters and some dark-skinned characters. I really appreciate that Holly incorporates diverse characters into all her books. Each of the characters in The Darkest Part of the Forest were very unique and we really got to know each of them very well. Ben was my favourite character from the start. He was very interesting to read about and I just connected with him straight away. I actually wasn’t a big fan of Hazel – I found it hard to connect with her and there were times when I felt that she was a bit dramatic. I liked most of the other characters though, and the relationships between them. I also liked that the romance didn’t play out in the way that I had expected and I really liked what we got in the end.
The other aspect of the book that I thought was really strong was how the book ended. I thought the epilogue was the perfect way to end the book. It was a nice, light ending to a book that was quite dark and creepy.